The final four places in the Quarter-Finals of the 2020 World Matchplay are up for grabs in Milton Keynes on…
The final four places in the Quarter-Finals of the 2020 World Matchplay are up for grabs in Milton Keynes on Wednesday as the big names aim to make their move.
The top seeds continued to tumble on Day Four of the sport’s summer show-piece, headed by world number one Michael van Gerwen as he suffered a shock 11-4 rout at the hands of Simon Whitlock.
World number six Nathan Aspinall was also sent packing in the final match of the First Round, leaving the bottom half of the draw wide open for a potential first-time finalist.
Wednesday plays host to a further quartet of mouth-watering Last 16 ties at the Marshall Arena, featuring no less than three World Champions.
Arguably the pick of the ties sees reigning PDC World Champion Peter Wright take on three-time BDO World Champion Glen Durrant.
Wright is vying to complete a prestigious World Championship and World Matchplay double in the same year, having also won The Masters back in January.
Winner of the final Summer Series event last week, ‘Snakebite’ wore glasses for the first time in a TV major at the weekend in his clash with Jose De Sousa but removed them at 8-5 down and went on to win the match 10-8.
He now faces a dilemma of whether to retain the glasses for a second attempt or go without and risk minimal vision of small targets.
Durrant, meanwhile, enjoyed a sensational debut in Blackpool 12 months ago, beating Van Gerwen en route to the Semi-Finals before being edged out by Michael Smith.
Duzza has stormed into the world’s top 16 in his first 18 months as a PDC Tour Card holder and has reached at least the Quarter-Final stage in four of his last seven televised tournaments.
He brushed aside Jeffrey De Zwaan 10-3 in Round One with a blistering 107 average and is now out to end a run of five straight defeats to the colourful Scot.
Danny Noppert pulled of a terrific First Round scalp of world number three Gerwyn Price and now aims to follow it up with a win over two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis.
Noppert, who is poised to become the new Dutch number after this week, knows what it takes to reach televised finals, having done so at the 2017 BDO World Championship and 2019 World Series Finals.
A former Players Championship event winner, the 29-year-old appears to be going from strength-to-strength and will be quietly confident of claiming another high-profile scalp.
Lewis, however, produced one of his best televised performances of the last 18 months as he averaged 97.3 in an epic 11-9 win over Steve Beaton in Round One.
The 2013 World Matchplay runner-up appears re-energised after embarking on a strict fitness regime during lock-down and will look to draw upon his vast experience and natural talent to storm through a closely-matched quarter of the draw.
Daryl Gurney is a man on a mission following last year’s Semi-Final heartbreak, and the two-time major winner steps up his quest with a clash against a resurgent Vincent van der Voort.
Gurney was on the wrong end of the greatest comeback in World Matchplay history 12 months ago when he squandered a 15-9 lead in a 17-15 defeat to eventual champion Rob Cross.
However, he reeled off five straight legs from five apiece to deny Ricky Evans in Round One and will look to go through the gears as the stakes and format increase.
Van der Voort finds himself at this stage of the competition for the first time in nine years after an impressive 10-6 defeat of Dave Chisnall in Round One.
The popular Dutchman has made no secret of his dislike for the Winter Gardens and it appears the change of venue has provided a welcome change of fortune for the former UK Open finalist.
Two exciting young guns collide in another potentially close-run classic as Joe Cullen takes on Dimitri van den Bergh.
Cullen avenged last year’s 10-0 whitewash at the hands of Ian White with a contrastingly tense 13-12 success, holding his nerve in a nail-biting sudden death leg.
The former European Tour event winner notably reached the Quarter-Finals in Blackpool two years ago, losing to eventual champion Gary Anderson in an epic, and will fancy his chances of equalling that landmark here.
Van den Bergh became the last player to secure their spot in the Second Round when he marked a dream Matchplay debut by defeating Nathan Aspinall 10-5 with a 98.4 average on Tuesday.
The Belgian number one has forged a reputation as a formidable big stage performer, notably reaching two World Championship Quarter-Finals, and will look to pick up from where he left off 24 hours ago.
The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of 21 legs.
All matches must be won by two clear legs, with a match being extended if necessary for a maximum of six extra legs before a sudden death leg is required.
World Matchplay 2020 Match Schedule
Wednesday July 22
7.15pm Daryl Gurney v Vincent van der Voort
8.15pm Dimitri Van den Bergh v Joe Cullen
9.15pm Peter Wright v Glen Durrant
10.15pm Danny Noppert v Adrian Lewis