The final four face off in the men’s and women’s WDF World Championships on Saturday as the Semi-Finals take centre…
The final four face off in the men’s and women’s WDF World Championships on Saturday as the Semi-Finals take centre stage at Lakeside.
The remaining hopefuls include two previous winners in the women’s draw and one former champion in the men’s competition, while a clutch of in-form contenders are featuring at this stage for the first time.
Beau Greaves is bidding to become the fifth female to successfully defend the world title, and the 19-year-old sensation faces a tricky test against two-time finalist Rhian O’Sullivan.
Greaves, who opted out of a place in the PDC World Championship in order to defend her Lakeside title, has dropped just one leg in her two matches en route to the Semi-Finals, sweeping aside Lorraine Hyde before whitewashing 67-year-old Paula Murphy with a second successive average of 88.
Welsh star O’Sullivan was beaten in both the 2010 and 2011 finals here by Trina Gulliver and has also performed superbly to reach this stage, recording back-to-back 2-0 wins over Suzanne Smith and Deta Hedman with averages of 85 and 80.4.
The evening session also sees Jelle Klaasen continue his quest for a second Lakeside crown with a clash against Dutch compatriot Chris Landman.
Klaasen is back to the scene of his career-defining triumph in 2006, 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.
He then blitzed past American left-hander Danny Lauby 4-1 in Friday’s Quarter-Finals with six 180s to his name.
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 number seven seed has eclipsed his run to the 2020 BDO World Championship Quarter-Finals with wins over Davie Kirwan, Thomas Junghans and Neil Duff – where he notably prevailed in a sudden death leg after the defending champion missed two match darts.
The afternoon session sees number one seed Andy Baetens take on Swedish star Dennis Nilsson as both bid to reach their first Lakeside final.
Pre-tournament favourite Baetens has dominated the WDF circuit this year with eight ranking titles, and the Belgian star boasts the highest tournament average, having registered back-to-back 94s in commanding wins over Sebastian Białecki and Gary Stone, before averaging 93.2 in a 4-2 success over New Zealand’s Jonny Tata with a 160 checkout to boot.
Nilsson, 47, had never been beyond the First Round in his two previous Lakeside appearances but is enjoying the best run of his long career to date.
The former PDC Challenge Tour event winner began with a 2-0 win over Jordan Brooks, before edging out fourth seed James Hurrell in a tense last-set decider and overcoming 13th seed Alexander Merkx 3-1.
He then registered the highest average of the tournament (97.44) in a terrific 4-1 victory over World Masters champion Wesley Plaisier in the Last Eight.
Meanwhile, Lisa Ashton resumes her pursuit of a fifth world title when she takes on Dutch Open champion Aileen de Graaf.
Ashton, who is recovering from recent elbow surgery, has survived scare in both of her matches so far, battling back from a set behind to defeat Priscilla Steenbergen and last year’s runner-up Kirsty Hutchinson.
Second seed De Graaf is through to a third Lakeside Semi-Final following a 2-1 win over emerging star Nicole Regnaud and a straight sets success against Lorraine Winstanley.
The action gets under way from 2pm GMT, with Men’s Semi-Final ties to be contested over the best of nine sets and Women’s Semi-Final ties best of five sets.
The afternoon session is preceded by the opening Boys’ Semi-Final between Germany’s Mats Theobald and Bradley Van der Velden of the Netherlands, while the second Semi-Final sees Hungary’s András Borbély take on Ireland’s Adam Dee to kick off the evening.
WDF World Championship 2023 Semi-Finals Schedule
Saturday December 9
Afternoon session (2pm-5pm)
Boys Semi-Final – Mats Theobald v Bradley Van der Velden
Aileen de Graaf v Lisa Ashton
Andy Baetens v Dennis Nilsson
Evening session (7pm-10pm)
Boys Semi-Final – András Borbély v Adam Dee
Beau Greaves v Rhian O’Sullivan
Chris Landman v Jelle Klaasen
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