The Quarter-Finals take centre stage in both the men’s and women’s competitions at the 2023 WDF World Championship at Lakeside…
The Quarter-Finals take centre stage in both the men’s and women’s competitions at the 2023 WDF World Championship at Lakeside on Friday.
An unmissable double-header from the home of world darts sees all remaining hopefuls battle it out for a place in Saturday’s Semi-Finals.
A host of decorated darters remain in the running for glory in both fields, including both defending champions bidding to retain their crowns.
The afternoon session commences with a clash between two multiple Women’s World Championship finalists as Deta Hedman faces Rhian O’Sullivan.
Hedman, 64, was runner-up here in 2012, 2014 and 2016, while O’Sullivan was beaten in both the 2010 and 2011 finals by Trina Gulliver.
Two players entering uncharted territory go head-to-head as fifth seed Wesley Plaisier takes on Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson.
Plaisier has enjoyed a breakthrough 18 months, claiming the World Masters title last year as well as a PDC Challenge Tour title, and was also a semi-finalist on the PDC European Tour in September.
The 33-year-old Dutchman has enjoyed an impressive Lakeside debut so far, defeating Reece Colley 3-1 before brushing aside James Richardson in straight sets.
Nilsson is appearing at this stage of the event for the first time in three attempts, having seen off Jordan Brooks 2-0 and fourth seed James Hurrell in a tense last-set decider, before overcoming Alexander Merkx 3-1 with a 90.4 average.
Aileen de Graaf, the reigning Dutch Open champion and number two seed in the women’s draw, takes on 2019 world finalist Lorraine Winstanley – who saw off Veronika Ihász in straight sets earlier in the week.
Top seed Andy Baetens looks to continue his charge towards a maiden Lakeside title by ending the debut run of New Zealand’s Jonny Tata.
Baetens is appearing in his third Quarter-Final in as many appearances at Lakeside and has dominated the WDF circuit this year by picking up eight ranking titles.
The Belgian star boasts the highest tournament average, having registered back-to-back averages of 94 in commanding wins over Sebastian Białecki and Gary Stone for the combined loss of just one set.
Tata, who stunned Peter Wright in this year’s New Zealand Masters, has continued that form into his Lakeside debut, recording wins over Shaun McDonald, Barry Copeland and Jim Widmayer to make history by becoming the first New Zealander to make the Lakeside Quarter-Finals.
The evening session begins with a tie between reigning women’s champion Beau Greaves and American debutant Paula Murphy.
Greaves, who opted out of a place in the PDC World Championship in order to return to Lakeside, remains the overwhelming favourite to scoop the £25,000 top prize once again and warmed up for this event with a superb showing in last month’s Grand Slam of Darts.
The 20-time PDC Women’s Series event winner swept aside Lorraine Hyde 2-0 with an 88.8 average earlier in the week and now faces an opponent a staggering 48 years her senior, with Murphy having become the oldest player to win a game at Lakeside aged 67.
Meanwhile, Neil Duff resumes the defence of his title with a show-down against Dutch star Chris Landman.
Duff has held his nerve in nail-biting last-set deciders so far this week, edging out Moreno Blom in his opener, before battling back from 2-1 down to deny Martyn Turner on Thursday.
The veteran Northern Irishman is bidding to become only the fifth male player ever to retain a world title at Lakeside, but faces another tough test from the number seven seed.
Landman has picked up a PDC Challenge Tour title this year, gaining a top-up place in a number of ProTour events and notably finishing runner-up in Players Championship Nine in April.
The Dutchman, who also reached the Quarter-Finals of the 2020 BDO World Championship, has seen off Davie Kirwan and Thomas Junghans en route to this stage.
Lisa Ashton steps up her quest for a fifth women’s world title with a tie against last year’s runner-up – Kirsty Hutchinson.
Ashton survived a scare in her opening match as she recovered from losing the first four legs by reeling off the next six in a row to seal a 2-1 victory over Priscilla Steenbergen.
Hutchinson, meanwhile, is unseeded in the draw and has beaten Japan’s Mayumi Ouchi and New Zealand’s Wendy Harper in straight sets.
Perhaps the pick of the day’s ties is saved until last as 2006 Lakeside champion Jelle Klaasen meets American ace Danny Lauby.
Klaasen is back to the scene of his most famous darting moment for the first time since 2007, having gone on to enjoy a successful decade in the PDC which saw him reach the World Championship Semi-Finals in 2016 and compete in the Premier League.
The number three seed was impressive in dispatching Sweden’s Edwin Torbjörnsson 3-0 with a 94 average, before hitting back from 2-1 down to defeat Dennie Olde Kalter in a sudden death leg with a 93.3 average, surviving two match darts in the process.
Sixth seed Lauby has enjoyed a dream Lakeside debut so far and is yet to drop a set after averaging 91.2 in a 3-0 rout of Jarno Bottenberg and dismissing fellow American Leonard Gates with the aid of four 180s and a 124 checkout.
The action gets under way from 1pm GMT, with Men’s Quarter-Final ties to be contested over the best of seven sets and Women’s Quarter-Final ties best of three sets.
WDF World Championship 2023 Quarter-Finals Schedule
Friday December 8
Afternoon session (1pm-5pm)
Deta Hedman v Rhian O’Sullivan
Dennis Nilsson v Wesley Plaisier
Aileen de Graaf v Lorraine Winstanley
Andy Baetens v Jonny Tata
Evening session (7pm-11pm)
Beau Greaves v Paula Murphy
Neil Duff v Chris Landman
Lisa Ashton v Kirsty Hutchinson
Jelle Klaasen v Danny Lauby
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