2017 William Hill World Championship – Final Preview

Monday January 2 (8pm)

Final

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Gary Anderson (2)

Van Gerwen

  • In defeating Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 in the semi-finals Michael van Gerwen produced a World Championship record breaking average of 114.05; van Barneveld himself averaged 109.34 which is the highest ever losing average at a World Championship. It was an incredible match in which fifteen of the thirty two legs were won in 12 darts or fewer.
  • Van Gerwen has reached the final having averaged over 103 in each of his five matches, his overall tournament average is 106.68.
  • Van Gerwen’s lowest average at the 2017 World Championship (103.08 in his semi-final win over Daryl Gurney) is higher than any of the averages he produced when he reached the final in 2013 and 2014.
  • His quarter-final win increased van Gerwen’s winning streak to 27 consecutive victories since losing to Daryl Gurney at the German Darts Championship in October. Since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship van Gerwen has now won 39 consecutive matches in PDC televised ranking tournaments.
  • Van Gerwen is aiming to win his seventh PDC major ranking tournament in a row, having previously won the UK Open, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, European Championship, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals over the last twelve months. Van Gerwen has now reached the final in 13 of the 14 major ranking tournaments played since losing to Gary Anderson in the semi-finals at the 2015 World Championship.
  • This is van Gerwen’s third appearance in a World Championship final; he lost 7-4 to Phil Taylor in 2013 and defeated Peter Wright by the same score in the 2014 final.

Anderson

  • Gary Anderson defeated Peter Wright 6-3 to reach his third consecutive World Championship final and the victory extends his winning streak at the World Championship to 17 matches.
  • Anderson’s tournament average is 104.10, which is ahead of his pre-final average during the last two World Championship tournaments.
  • His total of fifteen 180s in his match against Wright means he has now hit the most of any player at the 2017 World Championship (Anderson has hit a total of 49). Anderson needs to hit sixteen 180s in the final to pass his record total of 64 at a World Championship which was set in 2015.
  • This will be Gary Anderson’s 50th World Championship match (PDC and BDO included) since he made his debut at the Lakeside in 2002.
  • Anderson is making his fourth appearance in a World Championship final and of course has won the title in each of the last two years, beating Taylor 7-6 in 2015 and Lewis 7-5 in 2016. In his first final back in 2011 he lost 7-5 to Adrian Lewis.

Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 22-13, they have also drawn once in the Premier League)

As you would expect Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson have met many times over the years, , and it is van Gerwen who holds a winning record overall in their head to head matches. The last time they faced each other was in the final of the World Grand Prix last October when van Gerwen won 5-2. Overall they met in three finals during 2016 with Anderson winning twice (at the Dubai Masters and Auckland Masters).

They have one win each from their previous two meetings at the World Championship, van Gerwen won 4-3 in the last 16 on his way to winning the 2014 tournament (that was Anderson’s last defeat at the World Championship), Anderson defeated van Gerwen 6-3 in the 2015 semi-final on his way to winning his first world title.

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2017 William Hill World Championship – 1st January Preview

Sunday January 1 (7pm) – Semi-Finals

Gary Anderson (2) v Peter Wright (3)

 Anderson

  • In the quarter-finals Gary Anderson defeated Dave Chisnall 5-3; it was a very high quality match in which Chisnall hit a PDC World Championship record equalling twenty one 180’s. At the end of the match Anderson’s average was 105.9 whilst Chisnall averaged 104.63.
  • Anderson has the highest match average of the tournament so far (107.68 vs Benito van de Pas); he also has the highest tournament average (104.38). Of the remaining four players left in the tournament he’s hit the most 180’s (34).
  • The win over Chisnall was Anderson’s sixteenth consecutive win at the World Championship; the last time he lost a match in the tournament was in December 2013 against Michael van Gerwen.
  • During those 16 consecutive wins Anderson has averaged over 100 on ten occasions.
  • This is Gary Anderson’s fourth appearance in the semi-finals at the PDC World Championship and he has won all three of his previous semi-final matches, dropping a total of five sets across all three matches. Those wins came against Terry Jenkins, Michael van Gerwen and Jelle Klaasen (he averaged over 100 in each match). He did, however, lose a World Championship semi-final to Richie Davies back in his BDO days.

Wright

  • Peter Wright reached the semi-finals with a 5-3 win over James Wade. At two sets to one down Wright put together a run of eight consecutive winning legs in a row to take control of the game and although Wade did rally a little, Wright never looked as if he would concede the lead.
  • Wright’s average of 104.79 against Wade was his second highest ever in a World Championship match and means he has now averaged over 100 in each of his last six World Championship matches (he’s averaged over 103 in five of those six matches).
  • Wright has hit a very impressive 54% of his double attempts during the tournament so far, that’s comfortably the highest percentage of any of the four semi-finalists.
  • This is the second time Wright has made it through to the semi-finals at the PDC World Championship; on his previous semi-final appearance back at the 2014 World Championship he defeated Simon Whitlock 6-2.
  • Wright is through to his fourth consecutive PDC televised ranking tournament semi-final having also reached the last four at the European Championship, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals. He failed to win his semi-final in each of those three tournaments.
  • All of Peter Wright’s eight World Championship defeats came against players who had either won a World Championship or have gone to win one since. Those players are Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen (three times), Jelle Klaasen, Phil Taylor and Richie Burnett.

Head to Head (Anderson leads 17-11, they have also drawn once in the Premier League)

Gary Anderson has the edge on their overall head to head record and has only lost one of his last eight matches against Peter Wright (one of those eight matches was a drawn Premier League match). The last time they met was at the Auckland Masters last August when Anderson won 10-6 in the quarter-finals. Their only previous meeting at the World Championship was in the quarter-finals at the 2015 World Championship, Anderson comfortably won 5-1 on his way to winning the his first world title.

 

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Raymond van Barneveld (12)

van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen powered his way to a 5-1 win over Daryl Gurney in the quarter-finals. Van Gerwen had won the first set with three 12 darts legs (which included finishes of 101, 170 and 92) and although Gurney showed plenty of fight and produced some good darts van Gerwen was too strong, especially in the scoring department.
  • Van Gerwen followed up his 170 checkout in the opening set against Gurney with another 170 finish in the third set meaning he has now hit three 170 finishes in the tournament so far.
  • Van Gerwen averaged 103.08 against Gurney; it was the sixth consecutive World Championship match in which has averaged over 103.
  • His quarter-final win increased van Gerwen’s winning streak to 26 consecutive victories since losing to Daryl Gurney at the German Darts Championship in October.
  • Since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship van Gerwen has now won 38 consecutive matches in PDC televised ranking tournaments.
  • This is van Gerwen’s fourth World Championship semi-final appearance; he has won two and lost one of his previous three appearances at this stage of the tournament. In his last World Championship semi-final two years ago he was beaten 6-3 by Gary Anderson.

van Barneveld

  • Raymond van Barneveld won through to the semi-finals with a 5-3 victory over Phil Taylor. With the match finely poised at three sets each van Barneveld won two sets in a row, sealing the win with an 86 checkout on the bull.
  • Van Barneveld averaged 96.31 in his match against Taylor, he has averaged over 100 in one match at the 2017 World Championship and overall has only averaged over 100 in two of his last eighteen World Championship matches.
  • Van Barneveld is through to the semi-finals for the third consecutive year and this will be his fourteenth World Championship semi-final (PDC and BDO included). He has been defeated in each of his last four PDC World Championship semi-final appearances.
  • Van Barneveld has now reached the PDC World Championship semi-finals whilst being seeded as low as 12, 13, 14, 16 and 32.

Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 26-16, they have also drawn once in the Premier League)

Michael van Gerwen has the winning record over their previous head to head meetings, with van Barneveld winning just four of their last twenty two matches. Van Barneveld’s last win against van Gerwen was a very significant one; he edged out his Dutch compatriot 4-3 in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship. Their most recent meeting was last November at the Players Championship Finals where van Gerwen won 10-5 in the quarter-finals.

2017 William Hill World Championship – 30th December Preview

Friday December 30

Quarter-Finals

Afternoon Session (1pm)

James Wade (6) v Peter Wright (3)

Wade

  • James Wade had to come from behind to edge out Michael Smith 4-3 and ensure his place in the quarter-finals. Wade had lost six of the first seven legs to trail 2-0 and was on the verge of being eliminated when 3-1 down, he somehow managed to turn the match around and won each of the last three sets (each of the last two sets were won 3-0 by Wade).
  • Wade’s double success percentage during the tournament so far is 47.44%, that’s the second highest of any player in the quarter-finals (Peter Wright has the highest).
  • This is Wade’s 8th appearance in the quarter-finals at the PDC World Championship. He has won three and lost four of his previous seven World Championship quarter-final matches.
  • Wade has lost 5-1 in each of his last two World Championship quarter-final appearances; those defeats were against Gary Anderson (at last year’s tournament) and Adrian Lewis (three years ago).

Wright

  • Peter Wright defeated Ian White 4-1 in the last 16, Wright took control of the match from the start and dropped only one leg in the first three sets, although White did rally a little he never looked likely to overturn Wright’s lead.
  • Wright has only lost one set in his three matches so far, that’s the fewest of any of the quarter-finalists.
  • Wright’s average against Ian White was 103.05, that’s the fifth consecutive World Championship match where he has averaged over 100, and in four of those five matches he has averaged over 103.
  • Wright’s double success percentage in the opening three rounds is superior to any of the other remaining seven players. During the tournament Wright has hit 58.62% of his double attempts.
  • This will be Wright’s 4th consecutive appearance in the quarter-finals at the World Championship. He defeated Wes Newton 5-4 at this stage of the tournament three years ago on his way to the final but in each of the last two years he has been eliminated in the quarter-finals (by Gary Anderson two years ago and Adrian Lewis last year).
  • All of Peter Wright’s eight World Championship defeats came against players who had either won a World Championship or have gone to win one since. Those players are Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen (three times), Jelle Klaasen, Phil Taylor and Richie Burnett.

Head to Head (Wade leads 14-9)

James Wade has the lead on their overall head to head record but this is mainly due to winning eleven of their first thirteen encounters. More recently Wright has won five of their last six meetings, including a 6-2 win last month in the last 32 at the Players Championship Finals. This will be first time they have met in a World Championship match.

 

Gary Anderson (2) v Dave Chisnall (7)

Anderson

  • Gary Anderson came through a tough test in a high quality encounter against Benito van de Pas in the last 16. Anderson had led 3-0 only for van de Pas to pull two sets back before Anderson wrapped up the match in the sixth set. To give an idea of the standard Anderson played at, he averaged 114 in going two sets up, having hit eight 180s with no missed darts at a double.
  • Anderson’s final match average of 107.68 was his second highest in a World Championship match and the 102.3 average of van de Pas was the highest anyone has ever had in a World Championship match against Anderson.
  • The win over van de Pas has taken Anderson’s consecutive winning streak at the World Championship to 15 matches won in a row.
  • Anderson has won 5-1 in his quarter-final match in each of the last two years on his way to winning his two World Championship titles.
  • Interestingly all four of Anderson’s PDC World Championship quarter-finals prior to today have finished 5-1 (in those matches he has defeated Wright, Wade and van Barneveld; his sole defeat came against Whitlock).

Chisnall

  • Dave Chisnall won 4-2 in the last 16 against Jelle Klaasen, Chisnall had led 3-1 in sets and was two legs to nil up in the fifth set only for Klaasen to win five legs in a row to be just one leg away from levelling the match at 3-3, Chisnall responded to the challenge and won three straight legs to snatch the set and book his place in the quarter-finals.
  • Chisnall has appeared in the quarter-finals at the BDO World Championship in the year he reached the final (2010), but this is his first ever PDC World Championship quarter-final match.
  • Chisnall has hit a total of 27 scores of 180 over his three matches, that’s the highest total of any player in the tournament.
  • Chisnall has won his last seven quarter-final matches in PDC tournaments, that sequence includes a 10-7 win over Gary Anderson at the Perth Masters in August.

Head to Head (Anderson leads 12-4)

Gary Anderson has a good winning record against Dave Chisnall having won twelve of their sixteen meetings. Chisnall did win their last encounter which was at the Perth Masters in August (as mentioned above), that win by Chisnall came after Anderson had beaten him six times in a row. This is only the second time they have faced each other in a PDC major ranking tournament, the only other time was earlier this year at the UK Open when Anderson won 9-7 in the last 64.

 

Evening Session (7pm)

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Daryl Gurney (24)

Van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen had a 4-1 win over Darren Webster in the last 16, the match was a lot tougher than the score suggests with Webster pushing van Gerwen hard in many of the legs, van Gerwen responded with some top class darts at key moments.
  • That win increased van Gerwen’s winning streak to 25 consecutive victories since losing to Daryl Gurney at the German Darts Championship in October.
  • Van Gerwen’s average against Webster was 104.44 which pushed his overall tournament average to 104.58, the highest of any player in the tournament.
  • Overall van Gerwen has averaged over 103 in each of his last five World Championship matches.
  • Since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship van Gerwen has now won 37 consecutive matches in PDC televised ranking tournaments and if he wins today he will have won all his PDC televised ranking matches played during 2016.
  • Van Gerwen has won all three of his previous PDC World Championship quarter-final matches. Those wins came against Adrian Lewis, Mark Webster and Robert Thornton. So wins against an Englishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman, will he add a Northern Irishman to that list?

Gurney

  • Daryl Gurney won 4-3 in a tense last 16 encounter against Mark Webster to reach the quarter-finals. Gurney had come from a set behind to lead 3-1 only for Webster to take the match into a last set decider with Gurney having missed darts at double to win the match 4-2. Gurney eventually got over the line in the seventh and final set.
  • This is Gurney’s first appearance in a World Championship quarter-final and he is the first Northern Irishman to make it through to this stage of the PDC World Championship.
  • Gurney has played a total of eighteen sets to reach the quarter-finals, that’s the most of any of the eight players who are left in the tournament.
  • Gurney’s tournament average of 94.39 and double success percentage of 34.96% are the lowest figures posted by the eight quarter-finalists.

Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 6-2)

Michael van Gerwen has won six of their previous eight meetings but it was Daryl Gurney who came out on top when they last met, winning 6-4 at the German Darts Championship in October. Prior to that match van Gerwen had won their last five encounters (four of which were played during 2016). In their only previous match in a televised ranking tournament van Gerwen had a comprehensive 11-2 win in the semi-finals at the 2015 Players Championship Finals.

 

Raymond van Barneveld (12) v Phil Taylor (4)

Van Barneveld

  • Raymond van Barneveld came from 3-2 down to win 4-3 against the fifth seed Adrian Lewis in the last 16.
  • Statistically the win vs Lewis was van Barneveld’s weakest performance in the tournament so far. His match average, first nine dart average, double success percentage, 180 ratio and high finish were all lower than his previous two matches.
  • This is the 17th time that Raymond van Barneveld has reached the quarter-finals at a World Championship (PDC and BDO included). During his previous 16 World Championship quarter-final matches he has lost only 3 times.
  • Van Barneveld has lost just 1 of his 7 quarter-final matches at the PDC World Championship (that sole defeat was against Gary Anderson).
  • Van Barneveld has won 5-4 during each of the last two years at this stage of the World Championship, his wins coming against Stephen Bunting and Michael Smith.
  • This is the 5th time that van Barneveld has reached the quarter-finals at the PDC World Championship as a player who hasn’t been seeded in the top eight for the tournament.

Taylor

  • Phil Taylor won 4-2 against Kim Huybrechts in the last 16. At 3-0 Taylor looked to be on course for a comfortable win only for Huybrechts to claw his way back into the match before Taylor managed to get over the line.
  • Taylor averaged over 100 throughout his last 16 match and finished with a match average of 101.37 which was similar to the average in his opening round game and a big improvement from the 92.73 average against Kevin Painter in round two.
  • This will be Taylor’s 24th World Championship quarter-final appearance. He has won 20 and lost just 3 of his previous 23 matches at this stage of a World Championship tournament (PDC and BDO included).
  • Phil Taylor will be playing his 130th World Championship match today. His match win/loss record is: Played 129 Won 118 Lost 11.

Head to Head (Taylor leads 56-16, they have also drawn four matches in the Premier League)

Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld have met so many times over the years, Taylor has a very good overall winning record in their meetings but in recent games the outcomes have been a lot more even. Since they met in the semi-finals at the 2015 World Championship they have played nine times with Taylor winning five times and van Barneveld winning four times. They have met four times previously at the World Championship and this is the first time they have faced each other before the semi-final stage. Taylor has won their last three encounters at the World Championship, the most recent of which was a 6-2 win in the semi-finals at the 2015 World Championship. Barney’s World Championship win over Taylor was the famous 7-6 victory in the 2007 final.

 

2017 William Hill World Championship – 29th December Preview

Thursday December 29

 Afternoon Session (1pm)

Mark Webster (25) v Daryl Gurney (24)

Webster

  • In the second round Mark Webster defeated the number eight seed Mensur Suljovic in a final set decider, Webster had led the match 3-1 only for Suljovic to claw his way back into contention before Webster won the final set without dropping a leg.
  • Webster hit a total of eight 180s in his win over Suljovic that was his highest total in a World Championship match since he defeated Suljovic at the 2014 World Championship.
  • His scoring in the second round was much improved from his first round match, his first nine dart average of 107.79 against Suljovic was 20 points higher than his first nine dart average against Murnan.
  • Webster is through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship for the fifth time, he has won three and lost one of his previous four matches at this stage of the tournament. Last year he exited the tournament in the last 16 at the hands of Alan Norris.

Gurney

  • Daryl Gurney defeated number nine seed Robert Thornton 4-3 to book his place in the last 16. Gurney had won the first seven legs of the match to establish control at two sets to nil up, only for Thornton to hit back and lead 3-2 in sets. The response from Gurney was impressive; from a break down in the sixth set he won six legs in a row to seal the victory.
  • His scoring and 180 count were both lower in the second round than the numbers he produced in round one, but his double success percentage of over 51% was significantly up from his match against Wattimena.
  • This is Gurney’s first appearance in the last 16 at the PDC World Championship; he lost twice in the last 16 at the BDO World Championship (both times to Martin Adams).

Head to Head (Webster leads 3-2)

Webster holds the lead in their overall head to head win record but Gurney has won each of the last two matches between the pair, Gurney won 6-5 most recently in October at a Players Championship tournament. This is their first meeting in a major PDC tournament.

 

Dave Chisnall (7) v Jelle Klaasen (10)

Chisnall

  • Dave Chisnall won 4-2 against unseeded Chris Dobey in round two; it was a very tricky tie for Chisnall and he finally managed to pull away from his opponent when they were locked at two sets each, by winning six out of seven legs to move through to the last 16.
  • Chisnall’s scoring in the second round was below the levels he produced in his opening round win over Rodriguez. His match average dropped from 98 to 92 and his first nine dart average dropped from 110 to 101.
  • This is his fourth appearance in the last 16 at the PDC World Championship, he has lost on each previous occasion that he has reached this stage of the tournament, the last two times in matches that went all the way into a final set (last year he went down 4-3 to Peter Wright).

Klaasen

  • Jelle Klaasen had a 4-0 win over Brendan Dolan in the second round. Three of the four sets all went to a last leg decider so it wasn’t as comfortable as the score suggests.
  • He has only dropped one set in the tournament so far.
  • A big strength for Klaasen in his victory over Dolan was his doubling, he hit 60% of his attempts at double and overall in the tournament he has a very impressive double success percentage of over 56%.
  • Klaasen is through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship for the third time, he has won each of his two previous matches at this stage of the tournament which includes a thrilling 4-3 win over Phil Taylor last year.

Head to Head (Klaasen leads 5-3)

Jelle Klaasen has a lead in their overall head to head record but Chisnall won their most recent encounter 10-9 in the last 16 at last month’s Players Championship Finals. That victory came after Klaasen had won each of their previous four matches. This is their first meeting at the World Championship.

 

James Wade (6) v Michael Smith (11)

Wade

  • James Wade defeated Steve Beaton 4-1 in the second round; it was a high calibre performance from Wade, his average was over 100 for the majority of the match, although it dipped fractionally under 100 by the end of the match.
  • His final match average of 99.39 against Beaton was his second highest ever at the World Championship.
  • Wade’s doubling has been impressive throughout his opening two matches, he’s had a double success percentage of over 50% in both games and his overall tournament percentage is 52.27%.
  • Wade will be aiming to make it through to the quarter-finals at the PDC World Championship for the eighth time, having won each of the last 7 matches he has played at this stage of the tournament.

Smith

  • Michael Smith has won two final set deciders to reach the last 16. Following on from his 3-2 win over Ricky Evans in round one he won 4-3 in an epic match against Mervyn King in round two, his match against King lasted 34 legs.
  • His total of fourteen 180s in his win over King was his highest ever match total in a World Championship and increased his tournament total to twenty one.
  • This is Smith’s fourth consecutive appearance in the last 16 at the PDC World Championship; last year he beat Benito van de Pas to reach the quarter-finals having previously been defeated at this stage of the tournament by Peter Wright and Stephen Bunting.

Head to Head (Wade leads 6-2)

James Wade has won each of their last five meetings including three wins during 2016. The last time they faced each other was in September at the Champions League of Darts when Wade won 10-5 in their group fixture. Smith’s last win against Wade was back in 2014 at a UK Open qualifier.

 

Evening Session (7pm)

Peter Wright (3) v Ian White (14)

Wright

  • Peter Wright enjoyed a comprehensive 4-0 win over Jamie Lewis in round two and dropped just one leg in the process. Overall in his opening two matches he has won all seven sets he has played and has lost only three legs.
  • His average of 103.53 against Lewis was his second ton plus average of the tournament and raised his tournament average to 102.40.
  • Wright hit 75% of his double attempts against Lewis, his impressive finishing included checkouts of 144, 130 and 100.
  • He is trying to make it through to the quarter-finals at the World Championship for the fourth time in a row.
  • He has won through in last set deciders in two of his last three matches in the last 16 at the World Championship. Last year he won a 4-3 thriller against Dave Chisnall at this stage of the tournament.

White

  • Ian White had a 4-1 win over Jonny Clayton in round two. He took control of the match to move into a 3-0 lead and despite losing a set he never looked in danger of letting the match slip away.
  • The finishing of White has been his strength during the tournament so far. He has hit 50% of his double attempts.
  • His average against Clayton was 92.6, meaning overall he has failed to average over 94 in each of his last five World Championship matches.
  • This is the second time White has made it through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship, on his previous appearance in the last 16 at the 2014 World Championship he won 4-3 against Richie Burnett and went on to lose 5-4 to Simon Whitlock in their quarter-final.

Head to Head (Wright leads 9-5)

Peter Wright has won nine of his previous fourteen matches against Ian White. They have faced each other four times in 2016 and Wright has been victorious in three of those matches, most recently winning 11-6 in the last 16 at the World Matchplay back in July.

 

Phil Taylor (4) v Kim Huybrechts (13)

Taylor

  • In round two Phil Taylor won 4-0 against Kevin Painter to move through to the last 16 without dropping a set, overall he has only lost six legs in his opening two matches.
  • Whilst his scoreline against Painter was convincing, the performance of Taylor wasn’t at the level he showed in his opening round. His average of 92.73 was his lowest in a World Championship match since he averaged 90.23 in defeating Jerry Hendriks in round two back at the 2013 World Championship (Taylor went on to win the title in that tournament).
  • In each of the last two years, Taylor’s fixture in the last 16 at the World Championship has gone all the way to the final set. Last year he lost 4-3 to Jelle Klaasen at this stage of the tournament, the previous year he won 4-3 against Kim Huybrechts to reach the quarter-finals.
  • Taylor has made it through to the quarter-finals at the World Championship in only two of the last five years.

Huybrechts

  • Kim Huybrechts had a comfortable 4-0 win over Max Hopp in his second round match. Having taken control of the game in the first set he never looked likely to give his lead away, though it has to be said the pressure from Hopp was limited.
  • Huybrechts has yet to lose a set at this year’s World Championship and he’s only dropped a total of seven legs.
  • His overall performance against Hopp wasn’t at the same level he showed in his opening round win over James Wilson with his match average dropping from 98.66 to 92.76.
  • He still has a very respectable double success percentage of 46.67% after two matches.
  • Huybrechts is aiming to reach the quarter-finals at the World Championship for the first time since he managed it on his debut at the 2012 World Championship. Two years ago he was thwarted at this stage of the tournament by Phil Taylor in a final set decider.
  • Each of his last four defeats at the World Championship have been in a final set deciders.

Head to Head (Taylor leads 10-1)

Phil Taylor has a good winning record against Kim Huybrechts having only lost one of their previous eleven meetings. The last time they faced each other was at the Austrian Darts Open in June when Taylor won 6-3 in the last 16 on his way to winning the tournament. As mentioned above they met at this stage in the 2015 World Championship with Taylor coming through a last set decider, Huybrechts had led that match 3-2 only for Taylor to win the final two sets.

 

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Darren Webster

Van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen was pushed very hard by Cristo Reyes in round two; it was a match of the highest quality where van Gerwen eventually won 4-2. The average of 106.07 of Reyes was the highest ever losing average in a World Championship match.
  • That win increased van Gerwen’s winning streak to 24 consecutive victories since losing to Daryl Gurney at the German Darts Championship in October.
  • Van Gerwen’s own average against Reyes was 105.24, which was the third time he has averaged over 105 within his last four World Championship matches. His overall tournament average so far after two rounds played is 104.67.
  • His highest ever World Championship average of 109.23 came in a 4-0 win over Darren Webster in the second round at last year’s tournament.
  • Van Gerwen lost at this stage of the tournament last year in an epic tussle against Raymond van Barneveld that went to a last set decider.
  • Since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship van Gerwen has now won 36 consecutive matches in PDC televised ranking tournaments.

Webster

  • Darren Webster had a fantastic 4-0 win over the 17th seed Simon Whitlock in his second round match. Webster is the only unseeded player to reach the last 16 at this year’s tournament.
  • His average against Whitlock was 104.64, that’s comfortably his highest ever average in a televised tournament and the fourth highest average of the 2017 World Championship so far.
  • His doubling throughout the tournament so far has been very efficient, his overall double success percentage is 49% and he has recorded checkouts of 157, 147 and 140 (twice).
  • Webster is aiming to make it through to the quarter-finals at the World Championship for the second time. The last time was ten years ago.

Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 10-1)

Michael van Gerwen has a very strong winning record against Darren Webster which includes a 4-0 win in the second round at the 2016 World Championship where Webster won just one leg and van Gerwen averaged over 109. Their most recent encounter last month in the semi-finals at the Players Championship Finals was a much closer affair with Webster taking a shock 6-0 lead before van Gerwen recovered to eventually win 11-8.

 

 

2017 William Hill World Championship – 28th December Preview

Wednesday December 28

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Kim Huybrechts (13) vs Max Hopp

Huybrechts

  • Kim Huybrechts was an impressive 3-0 winner over James Wilson in the first round; he rounded off his performance with a 138 finish in the last leg of the match.
  • In his win against Wilson, Huybrechts averaged 98.66 and had a double success percentage of 64.29% (the second highest percentage of any player who made it through to round two).
  • This is the fourth time he has featured in the second round at the World Championship, on each of the last two occasions his second round tie has gone all the way into a last set decider.

Hopp

  • Max Hopp progressed to round two with a 3-1 win over Vincent van der Voort, after losing the opening set Hopp won nine of the next eleven legs. During the match he had a spell where he scored a 180 in four consecutive legs.
  • His doubling against van der Voort was very efficient; overall he hit 58.8% of his double attempts.
  • This is his second time in the second round at the PDC World Championship; two years ago he was well beaten by van der Voort at this stage of the tournament having failed to win a set.

Head to Head (Huybrechts leads 2-1)

Kim Huybrechts has won two of their previous three matches, including their only meeting in a major ranking tournament when he defeated Hopp 9-7 at the UK Open in 2015. This is the first time they have faced each other since Huybrechts won 6-0 in their last 32 encounter at the European Darts Trophy in September 2015.

 

James Wade (6) v Steve Beaton (27)

Wade

  • James Wade progressed to round two courtesy of a 3-0 win over Ronny Huybrechts. Wade had trailed 1-0 in each of the three sets.
  • The highlight of Wade’s performance was a 141 finish in the final leg of the match; overall his double success percentage was a very respectable 56.25%.
  • Wade has made it through to the second round at the World Championship for the eleventh consecutive time, he has only suffered defeat in two of his previous ten matches at this stage of the tournament, the most recent defeat was two years ago when he lost 4-1 to Stephen Bunting.

Beaton

  • Steve Beaton had a 3-1 win against Devon Petersen to reach round two, with the score at one set all and 1-0 to Petersen he won six out of the next seven legs to secure the win.
  • Beaton was one of eight players who progressed to round two having averaged below 90.
  • His double success percentage was 39% against Petersen but many of the missed doubles were early in the match, he impressively needed only seven double attempts to win his last six legs of the match.
  • Beaton is aiming to reach the last 16 at the PDC World Championship for the first time since the 2004 tournament and surprisingly he has never won back to back matches at the PDC World Championship in all his 15 previous appearances at the tournament. Going back to his time in the BDO the last time Beaton won back to back matches at a World Championship tournament was 1998.

Head to Head (Wade leads 17-3)

James Wade has an excellent winning record over Steve Beaton in their previous head to head matches having won seventeen of their twenty meetings. They have played twice previously at the World Championship, both matches were in the second round with Wade winning 4-3 and 4-2.

 

Jelle Klaasen (10) v Brendan Dolan (23)

Klaasen

  • Jelle Klaasen won 3-1 against Jeffrey de Graaf in the first round, in what was a good competitive match; in terms of overall legs won it was 9-8 to Klaasen.
  • The match stats of Klaasen in the first round were very respectable, he averaged 96, hit over 52% of his double attempts, had three ton plus checkouts and scored a total of six 180s.
  • He has made it through to the second round at the PDC World Championship on four previous occasions (winning twice and losing twice). Last year at this stage of the tournament he defeated Mervyn King 4-2.

Dolan

  • Brendan Dolan produced a good performance in the opening round to defeat Christian Kist 3-1.
  • Dolan’s average against Kist was 95.12 and his double success percentage was over 56%.
  • This is his sixth appearance in the second round at the PDC World Championship and he has yet to progress past this stage of the tournament. Overall in his five second round defeats combined he has only won a total of four sets.

Head to Head (Dolan leads 5-3)

Brendan Dolan has the overall lead in their head to head record but it is worth noting that Jelle Klaasen has won each of their last three meetings. This is the first time they have played since the first round of the 2015 World Grand Prix when Klaasen won 2-1. Their only other previous encounter in a major ranking tournament came at the 2015 UK Open with Klaasen winning 9-4 in the last 64.

 

Evening Session (7pm)

Peter Wright (3) v Jamie Lewis (30)

Wright

  • Peter Wright dropped just two legs in his 3-0 opening round win over preliminary round winner Jerry Hendriks.
  • It was very good all round performance from Wright; he averaged 101, hit 45% of his double attempts and had high finishes of 141 and 131.
  • Wright hasn’t failed to get past round two since losing to Michael van Gerwen at the 2013 World Championship. In each of the last three years he has beaten an unseeded player at this stage of the tournament.

Lewis

  • Jamie Lewis won through to the second round at the World Championship for the first time courtesy of a hard fought 3-2 win over Mick McGowan.
  • A highlight of his performance in the opening round was his doubling; he finished the match with a double success percentage of 50% and impressively checked out 108 against the throw to win the match.
  • Lewis is aiming to reach the last 16 at a major ranking tournament for the first time since 2015 when he did so at the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals.

Head to Head (Wright leads 4-1)

Peter Wright has won four of their five previous meetings, though three of their last four encounters have gone to a last leg decider. This will be the first time they have met in a major ranking tournament and the first time they have met since 2015.

 

Third Round

Gary Anderson (2) v Benito van de Pas (15)

Anderson

  • Gary Anderson hasn’t dropped a set in this year’s tournament and overall he has dropped only six legs. It’s the first time he has gone through the first two rounds at a World Championship without conceding a set.
  • Anderson has played a total of 27 legs to reach this round of the tournament; van de Pas played 31 legs during his second round matches alone.
  • Anderson has now won 14 consecutive matches at the PDC World Championship.
  • This is the seventh time in a row that he has made it through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship, of the previous six appearances he has lost just two (against van Gerwen and van Barneveld).

Van de Pas

  • In round two Benito van de Pas won 4-3 against Terry Jenkins, with Jenkins having missed a dart at double to win the match in the seventh set.
  • His average of 95.79 in his second round win over Terry Jenkins was his highest ever average in a World Championship match. Anderson has averaged more than that in each of his last 13 World Championship matches.
  • This is the third time in a row that van de Pas has made it through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship, in each of the last two years he has lost at this stage of the tournament without winning a set (the 4-0 defeat came against Michael Smith and Robert Thornton).

Head to Head (Anderson leads 1-0)

Gary Anderson and Benito van de Pas have met just once previously, with Anderson winning 6-4 in the semi-final of a UK Open qualifier back in February.

 

Adrian Lewis (5) v Raymond van Barneveld (12)

Lewis

  • Adrian Lewis produced a strong performance and dropped just four legs in beating Joe Cullen 4-0 in their round two clash; overall Lewis has lost only eight legs across his two matches so far.
  • Lewis averaged over 100 throughout his win over Cullen, finishing with a match average of 102.65; another highlight of his performance was a 161 checkout in the second set.
  • This is the 11th time that Lewis has made it through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship which is an impressive total given that this is his 12th World Championship appearance.
  • Of his ten previous matches at this stage of the tournament he has only lost twice, both defeats were in last set deciders (against Andy Jenkins and Raymond van Barneveld).
  • Overall in best of seven set World Championship matches he has won 19 and lost only 3 times (all of those defeats were in last set deciders).
  • This is a landmark match for Adrian Lewis, as it will be his 50th PDC World Championship match since he made his debut at the 2006 World Championship tournament. The total brings him level with Dennis Priestley in second place on the list of most matches played at the PDC World Championship (it’s no surprise that Phil Taylor tops the list).

Van Barneveld

  • Raymond van Barneveld won comprehensively against Alan Norris in round two, dropping only two legs in his 4-0 win. Overall van Barneveld has lost just four legs in reaching this stage of the tournament.
  • He averaged 103.59 against Norris which was his highest average at the World Championship for four years (since he averaged over 108 in the opening round against Michael Smith at the 2013 World Championship). His tournament average so far is 101.27
  • Van Barneveld is through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship for the 10th time and overall including his time in the BDO it will be his 22nd appearance in the last 16 at a World Championship.
  • Of his nine previous appearances in the last 16 the PDC World Championship he has lost twice (to Kevin Painter and Mark Webster).
  • Overall in his 19 best of seven set matches played at the PDC World Championship he has won 17 and lost only 2 of those matches.

Head to Head (van Barneveld leads 32-21, they have also drawn twice in Premier League matches)

It is no surprise that Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis have met plenty of times over the years and this is their 56th encounter. Barney has won five of the last six times they have met (their most recent match was won 6-4 by van Barneveld at the Players Championship Finals last month). They have faced each other twice previously at the PDC World Championship and they both have a win to their name; Lewis won 6-3 in the 2016 World Championship semi-final whilst van Barneveld won 4-3 in the last 16 at the 2015 World Championship.

 

2017 William Hill World Championship – 27th December Preview

Tuesday December 27

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Mensur Suljovic (8) v Mark Webster (25)

Suljovic

  • Mensur Suljovic won 3-0 in the first round against Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp. From 2-0 down in the opening set Suljovic won seven consecutive legs to take control of the match, and then recovered from being a break down to win the third set.
  • It was a far from sparkling performance from Suljovic; he averaged 88.51 and won just one of his legs in under 16 darts, it was only the second time Suljovic has averaged under 90 in a televised tournament in nearly eighteen months (excluding double start at the World Grand Prix).
  • This is the second year in a row that he has reached the second round and overall it’s his third second round appearance at the PDC World Championship. He won both previous matches at this stage of the tournament (against David Pallett in 2015 and James Wade at the 2011 World Championship).

Webster

  • Mark Webster had a 3-0 win over Joe Murnan in the opening round. Webster’s finishing against Murnan was the most impressive of any player in the first round; he only missed two attempts giving him a double success percentage of over 81%.
  • His excellent finishing included a checkout of 129 which extended his record of now having a ton plus checkout in each of his last 18 World Championship matches.
  • Webster’s scoring in the first round didn’t match his doubling, his average over his first nine darts was just 87.87 (the lowest of any player who made it through to the second round).
  • This is the seventh occasion in eight PDC World Championship appearances that Webster has made it through to the second round, last year he defeated Terry Jenkins 4-0 at this stage of the tournament.

Head to Head (Webster leads 6-2)

Mark Webster has good record against Mensur Suljovic having won each of their last six meetings, including victories in their two previous matches in televised tournaments. Earlier this year they met in the last 16 at the UK Open where Webster won 9-5 and they also faced each other in the first round of the 2014 World Championship where Webster came from behind to defeat Suljovic three sets to two.

 

Robert Thornton (9) v Daryl Gurney (24)

Thornton

  • Robert Thornton had a 3-0 win over preliminary round winner Zoran Lerchbacher in round one. It was a match littered with missed doubles and Thornton’s double success percentage of 23% was the lowest of any player who won through to round two.
  • Thornton’s match average of 88.55 against Lerchbacher was his lowest average at the World Championship for seven years.
  • He has made it through to the second round at the PDC World Championship seven times previously and has won five and lost two of those matches; the last two times he reached the second round he won without dropping set.

Gurney

  • Daryl Gurney won 3-1 against Jermaine Wattimena in an entertaining match to reach the second round.
  • Gurney’s scoring against Wattimena was very impressive; his first nine dart average of 116.51 was bettered only by van Gerwen during the round one matches.
  • This is the third time he has reached the second round at the PDC World Championship; he previously lost to Gary Anderson and Dave Chisnall at this stage of the tournament in good quality matches. Gurney hit a total of twenty 180s across those two matches (9 against Anderson and 11 against Chisnall).

Head to Head (Thornton leads 3-0)

Robert Thornton has triumphed in all three of their previous meetings; their most recent encounter was back in October 2015 at the World Grand Prix where Thornton won 2-0 in the opening round on his way to winning the tournament.

 

Dave Chisnall (7) v Chris Dobey

Chisnall

  • Dave Chisnall came from a set down to win 3-2 in a highly entertaining and tough first round match against Rowby-John Rodriguez. Between them they hit a total of sixteen 180s which was the highest total of any first round match.
  • Chisnall impressively won the deciding set 3-0, with two eleven dart legs on his own throw sandwiching a 141 checkout to break the Rodriguez throw.
  • Overall he has reached the second round at the PDC World Championship four times previously and has lost just once (that loss was against Benito van de Pas two years ago). Last year in the second round he hit twelve 180s in a 4-1 win over Christian Kist.

Dobey

  • Chris Dobey had a 3-1 win over number 26 seed Justin Pipe in the first round.
  • The win against Pipe was Dobey’s first ever World Championship match.
  • Dobey had missed darts at double to win the match 3-0 and then had to survive missed darts from Pipe which would have taken the match into the deciding set.
  • Dobey hit three ton plus checkouts against Pipe, including back to back 100 and 105 finishes at the start of the 4th

Head to Head (Dobey leads 2-1)

Dave Chisnall and Chris Dobey have met three times previously (all three matches were played in 2016) and Chris Dobey has won two of those games. When they met in March at the German Darts Masters, Dobey hit seven 180s and averaged 102.25 in a 6-4 win.  This will be the first time they have played in a major televised tournament.

 

Evening Session (8pm)

Raymond van Barneveld (12) v Alan Norris (21)

Van Barneveld

  • Raymond van Barneveld impressed in a 3-0 win over Robbie Green in round one. The highlight of his performance was a 156 finish in the opening set.
  • He is through to the second round at the PDC World Championship for the tenth time and has never lost in his previous nine matches at this stage of the tournament.
  • In each of the last three years he has won 4-3 in the second round, those wins were against Bunting and Caven (twice).
  • Another interesting stat is that each of van Barneveld’s last six World Championship matches played over the best of seven sets have gone all the way to a last leg decider (Barney won five of those matches).

Norris

  • Alan Norris had to come from two sets behind to win 3-2 in his first round match against John Michael.
  • Norris struggled on his doubling for much of his match against Michael; his double success percentage of 28.95% was the second lowest of any player who made it through to round two.
  • He has now made it through to the second round in each of his two appearances at the PDC World Championship, last year at this stage of the tournament he won 4-1 against Joe Murnan on his way to reaching the quarter-finals.

Head to Head (van Barneveld leads 3-0)

All three of their previous encounters have been won by Raymond van Barneveld, the most recent of which was at a Players Championship tournament in September when van Barneveld won 6-2. This will be the first time they have met in a major ranking tournament.

 

Phil Taylor (4) v Kevin Painter

Taylor

  • Phil Taylor dropped just two legs in a comprehensive 3-0 victory over David Platt to extend his record of never having lost in the first round at a World Championship,
  • Taylor averaged 101.93 against Platt, which was the eighth time in his last ten World Championship matches that he has averaged over 100.
  • Taylor has lost just 1 of his 55 matches against unseeded players at the PDC World Championship; the sole defeat was against Dave Chisnall in their second round match at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Three of Taylor’s last four defeats at the World Championship have been in best of seven set matches. Those defeats came against Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall and Jelle Klaasen.

Painter

  • Kevin Painter defeated number 29 seed Jamie Caven 3-1 to earn his spot in round two. From one set all and 2-0 down in the third set Painter won six legs in a row.
  • Painter progressed through to the second round with the lowest average of any winning player in round one. His average of 85.13 was also his second lowest average ever at the PDC World Championship.
  • Painter is appearing in the second round for the thirteenth time in his 16 PDC World Championship appearances, he has exited the tournament at this stage in each of the last two years (losing to Taylor and Reyes).

Head to Head (Taylor leads 31-1)

Kevin Painter defeated Phil Taylor the first time they met, all the way back in 2001 at the World Grand Prix. Since then Taylor has won each of the last 31 matches between the pair. They have played five times previously at the World Championship, including famously in the 2004 final when Painter pushed Taylor all the way into a last set decider. This is only the second time they have played each other since 2012 and indeed the first time since they met at this stage during the 2016 World Championship when Taylor won 4-1.

 

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Cristo Reyes (32)

Van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen dropped just one leg in a very convincing 3-0 win over Kim Viljanen in round one, his average of 103.34 against Viljanen was the highest in the first round of any player.
  • That win increased van Gerwen’s winning streak to 23 consecutive victories since losing to Daryl Gurney at the German Darts Championship in October.
  • Since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship van Gerwen has now won 35 consecutive matches in PDC televised ranking tournaments.
  • In the second round last year at the World Championship he produced his highest ever average in a World Championship match (109.23 in a 4-0 win over Darren Webster).

Reyes

  • Cristo Reyes had to recover from a set down to win 3-2 and overcome the strong challenge of Dimitri Van den Bergh in their round one match where the Belgian hit nine 180s.
  • The clinical doubling of Reyes was a vital factor in his win over Van den Bergh, overall Reyes hit 63.16% of his attempts, which was the third best percentage of any player who progressed to the second round.
  • This is the second time Reyes has appeared in the second round at the World Championship having also done so on his debut two years ago. On that occasion he made a comeback from three sets to one down to defeat Kevin Painter 4-3.

Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 2-1)

Cristo Reyes won their first ever encounter when he triumphed 6-3 at a Players Championship tournament in April 2015, van Gerwen has exacted his revenge since then winning both subsequent meetings. The most recent time they played was at the 2015 European Championship when van Gerwen won 10-3 in the last 16.

2017 William Hill World Championship – Day Nine Preview

Second Round

Friday December 23

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Ian White (14) v Jonny Clayton

White

  • In the first round White had a 3-0 win over preliminary round winner Kevin Simm.
  • He hit a crucial 130 finish after Simm had missed three darts at double to level the match at one set all.
  • That 130 checkout was White’s highest ever checkout at the PDC World Championship.
  • White’s average against Simm of 87.20 was his second lowest ever at the PDC World Championship.
  • White is through to the second round at the PDC World Championship for the third time, he has won one and lost one of those matches (both games were against Kim Huybrechts).

Clayton

  • Jonny Clayton defeated 19th seed Gerwyn Price 3-1 in the opening round to make a winning start on his World Championship debut.
  • Clayton recovered from losing the opening set against Price to win three sets in a row to ensure his place in round two.
  • A 116 finish for Clayton in the final leg of the 2nd set was pivotal and he followed it up with a 120 finish in the first leg of the 3rd
  • He hit just a single score of 180 against Price which came in the 2nd leg of the match so he has gone 16 legs since last hitting one.

Head to Head

This is the first competitive meeting between Ian White and Jonny Clayton

 

Michael Smith (11) v Mervyn King (22)

Smith

  • Michael Smith twice had to come from behind to defeat Ricky Evans 3-2 in the first round.
  • Trailing 2-1 in sets and 1-0 in the 4th set he won six legs in a row to win through to the second round.
  • His highest checkout against Evans was 143; Smith has now had a checkout of at least 130 in eight of his last ten World Championship matches.
  • Smith is through to the second round for the fourth consecutive year and he has a 100% winning second round record, with wins against Phil Taylor, Brendan Dolan and Steve Beaton.
  • He has averaged over 95 in each of his last 9 World Championship matches
  • Smith needs nine 180s to bring his total to 100 180s scored overall in World Championship matches.

King

  • Mervyn King won 3-2 in an epic tussle against Steve West in round one; it was a match that went all the way to a tenth leg in the fifth and final set.
  • He had trailed by two sets to nil and had to survive missed match darts from West to keep his tournament hopes alive. King impressively checked out 136, 140, 95 and 106 within the space of six legs during the match.
  • He is aiming to get through the second round for only the second time since the 2009 World Championship.
  • King’s only win at this stage of the tournament since 2009 was against Ricky Evans three years ago.
  • He has only had one match average over 95 during his last eight World Championship matches.
  • King has never won a PDC World Championship match against a higher seeded opponent or indeed an opponent seeded in the top 16.

Head to Head (King leads 6-3)

Mervyn King has the overall lead in their head to head record but Michael Smith has the upper hand in recent meetings having won three out of their last four encounters. This is the first time they have faced each other since 2015.

 

Benito van de Pas (15) v Terry Jenkins (18)

Van de Pas

  • Benito van de Pas overcame preliminary round winner Tengku Shah 3-1 in the first round, van de Pas crucially won the opening set despite Shah having first dart at double in all five legs.
  • The doubling of van de Pas was the most impressive part of his game in the opening round; he hit 61.1% of his attempts.
  • He has never failed to get through round two in two previous attempts, having defeated Dave Chisnall and Dimitri Van den Bergh (he won both matches 4-2).

Jenkins

  • Terry Jenkins came from a set down to win 3-1 against Josh Payne in his opening round match of the tournament.
  • Jenkins had missed darts at double to win the opening set, from there he went on to win nine of the next twelve legs, although he did have to survive missed darts from Payne which would have taken the match into a deciding set.
  • That run of winning legs from Jenkins included impressive back to back checkouts of 140 and 121 in the fourth set.
  • He exited the tournament in the second round last year with a 4-0 defeat against Mark Webster.
  • Jenkins has never registered a win at the World Championship against a higher seeded opponent.

Head to Head (Benito van de Pas leads 3-2)

Benito van de Pas and Terry Jenkins have met five times previously with neither player establishing a run of more than one win in a row. They have faced each other twice in 2016 with Benito van de Pas taking the honours most recently in the last 16 at the World Grand Prix.

 

Evening Session (7pm)

Darren Webster v Simon Whitlock (17)

Webster

  • Darren Webster came from behind twice to defeat 16th seed Stephen Bunting 3-2 in an enthralling first round match. Webster had to survive seven missed match darts at double from Bunting in the fifth set.
  • During his win over Bunting he hit eight 180’s and took out big finishes of 157, 147 and 140.
  • This is the third year in a row that he has made it into the second round; though he has suffered exits against Dean Winstanley and Michael van Gerwen in the last two years.
  • Webster’s only World Championship appearance when he progressed further than the second round was ten years ago.

Whitlock

  • Simon Whitlock only dropped one leg in a comfortable 3-0 win over preliminary round winner Dragutin Horvat to reach round two for the first time in three years.
  • Whitlock closed out the match with checkouts of 170 and 158 in the final two legs of his match winning third set.
  • He has a 100% winning record in the second round at the PDC World Championship having played six matches and won them all at this stage of the competition.
  • During his six second round wins at the PDC World Championship he has played 26 sets and won 24 of them.

Head to Head (Darren Webster leads 3-1)

Darren Webster has the winning record over their four previous meetings and has won their two most high profile encounters. The first time they met was in the first round of the 2015 World Championship where Webster won 3-1 and their most recent meeting was last month at the Players Championship Finals when Webster won 6-3 on his way to reaching the semi-finals.

 

Gary Anderson (2) v Andrew Gilding

Anderson

  • Reigning champion Gary Anderson had a very comfortable 3-0 win over Mark Frost on the opening night of the tournament.
  • That win was Anderson’s 13th win in a row at the World Championship having not lost since van Gerwen defeated him back in December 2013.
  • Since losing in the second round on his debut at the PDC World Championship he has never failed to get past second round in six attempts.
  • Anderson has never been defeated by an unseeded player at the PDC World Championship.

Gilding

  • Andrew Gilding came from two sets down to win 3-2 in a titanic first round battle against John Henderson in round one. It was a match that went all the way to the eleventh and final leg in the fifth set.
  • Gilding had impressively taken out back to back checkouts of 101 and 143 to take the match into the final set.
  • During the match against Henderson he hit a total of eight 180s which is his highest total in a World Championship match.
  • This is Gilding’s second successive appearance in the second round, last year he was soundly beaten 4-0 by Adrian Lewis at this stage of the tournament.

Head to Head (Gary Anderson leads 3-0)

This will be the fourth time they have met and Gary Anderson has yet to taste defeat against Gilding, though all three matches went to a last leg decider (6-5 in each case). All three encounters were in non-televised tournaments.

 

Adrian Lewis (5) v Joe Cullen (28)

Lewis

  • Adrian Lewis came through the first round with a 3-0 win over Magnus Caris, extending his record of having never lost in the opening round at the World Championship.
  • In eleven previous second round World Championship matches he has only ever lost once, that defeat came at the 2009 World Championship against Paul Nicholson.
  • Last year’s second round 4-0 win over Andrew Gilding was the first time he had won his second round match without dropping a set.
  • Lewis has averaged over 100 in the second round in each of the last three years.
  • Overall in best of 7 set matches at the World Championship his record is: Played 21 Won 18 Lost 3 (all 3 defeats were in a last set decider).

Cullen

  • Joe Cullen came through a very tough first round match against Corey Cadby, Cullen eventually winning 3-1 after losing the opening set.
  • It was a match of the highest quality, after three sets Cullen was averaging 109 and Cadby was averaging 107.
  • This is the first time that Cullen has appeared in round two of the World Championship having ended a run of six consecutive first round defeats.

Head to Head (Adrian Lewis leads 9-1)

Adrian Lewis has a very good overall win record against Joe Cullen having won nine of their ten meetings, including nine in a row after Cullen won their first encounter. Digging a little deeper into the results shows the recent matches between them have been very close despite the dominance of Lewis; five of their last six matches have gone all the way to a last leg decider. This will be their first meeting in a televised tournament.

 

2017 William Hill World Championship – Day Eight Preview

Thursday December 22 (7pm)

Jelle Klaasen (10) v Jeffrey de Graaf

Klaasen

  • 2006 BDO Champion Jelle Klaasen is competing at his 11th World Championship tournament (it’s his 9th PDC World Championship appearance).
  • Last year he had his best run at the PDC World Championship when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Gary Anderson, earlier in the tournament Klaasen had defeated 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor in the last 16.
  • It was also Gary Anderson who ended Klaasen’s World Championship hopes two years ago, Klaasen had led their last 16 encounter 3-1 only for Anderson to produce a tremendous performance in winning the final 3 sets.
  • Overall Klaasen has won 4 and lost 4 of his 8 previous first round matches at the PDC World Championship.
  • His average of 102.54 against Joe Cullen in the first round last year was his highest ever World Championship average.

de Graaf

  • Jeffrey de Graaf is making his PDC World Championship debut having made the switch from the BDO earlier this year. He appeared at the Lakeside in each of the last four years but failed to get through the first round on each occasion.
  • Two of his four first round defeats at the Lakeside came against fellow Dutchmen; he lost on his debut to Jan Dekker and last year he was beaten by Richard Veenstra.
  • He has yet to reach a ranking tournament quarter-final on the PDC tour but has posted a 9 dart finish already during his time in the PDC (the 9 dart finish was away from the TV stage in a Players Championship tournament in September).

Head to Head

This is the first time Klaasen and de Graaf have met in a PDC tournament.

 

Vincent van der Voort (20) v Max Hopp

van der Voort

  • Vincent van der Voort is appearing at his 10th consecutive PDC World Championship, overall it’s the 16th time has appeared at a World Championship tournament having featured 6 times at the Lakeside during his time in the BDO.
  • He has a perfect record in the first round at the PDC World Championship, having won all of the 9 first matches he has played so far.
  • Van der Voort has never lost to an unseeded player at the PDC World Championship; he has played a total of 12 matches against unseeded players and has won them all.
  • Seven of his nine defeats at the PDC World Championship have been against players seeded in the top eight; the other two defeats came against world finalists Kevin Painter and Andy Hamilton.
  • The only players to have beaten van der Voort at the PDC World Championship are Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor, James Wade (twice), Adrian Lewis (three times), Kevin Painter and Andy Hamilton.

Hopp

  • 20 year old Max Hopp is competing at the PDC World Championship for the 5th consecutive year. He has exited the tournament in the first round in 3 of his previous 4 visits to the Alexandra Palace.
  • His only first round win came against Mervyn King two years ago in a match that went all the way to a deciding set. Hopp’s average in that match was over 96 and he hit an impressive total of 10 180s.
  • It was van der Voort who defeated Hopp in the second round two years ago, winning four sets without reply.

Head to Head (van der Voort leads 2-0)

They have met twice previously and van der Voort has taken the honours on both occasions. As mentioned above they played at the World Championship two years ago with van der Voort winning 4-0, their most recent encounter was in September at the European Darts Trophy where the Dutchman won 6-1.

 

Dave Chisnall (7) v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Chisnall

  • Former BDO finalist Dave Chisnall is making his 9th consecutive World Championship appearance, it’s his 6th time in the PDC World Championship and he is yet to go further than the last 16.
  • Chisnall is the number 7 seed at this year’s tournament, he has been the number 7 seed before (3 years ago) on that occasion it wasn’t lucky number 7 as Chisnall suffered his only first round defeat at the PDC World Championship when he lost 3-2 to John Henderson.
  • All four of Chisnall’s first round victories at the PDC World Championship have been won without dropping a set (including a 3-0 win against Rowby-John Rodriguez last year).
  • Chisnall has reached two TV tournament finals during 2016 (Masters and Players Championship Finals).

Rodriguez

  • Rowby-John Rodriguez is participating at the PDC World Championship for the third year in a row and he is looking to get through the first round for the first time.
  • He has yet to win a set at the World Championship having lost 3-0 to both Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall.
  • His average against van Barneveld two years ago was 79, last year against Chisnall it was 89, is he due a 99 average this year?

Head to Head (Chisnall leads 2-1)

Chisnall leads their overall head to head record with two wins to one, but it was Rodriguez who came out on top when they last met (at a UK Open qualifier back in February). Both of Chisnall’s wins have been in TV tournaments, he won a group stage match at the 2014 Grand Slam as well as their first round match at last year’s World Championship as mentioned above.

 

Kim Huybrechts (13) v James Wilson

Huybrechts

  • Kim Huybrechts is making his 6th consecutive PDC World Championship appearance; his best performance came on his debut when he reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual runner-up Andy Hamilton.
  • He has lost in the first round on two occasions, and both defeats were in last set deciders against unseeded players (Scott Rand in the 2013 World Championship and Dave Pallett last year).
  • Huybrechts has hit a ton plus checkout in each of his last 10 World Championship matches.
  • All five of his World Championship defeats have been against Englishmen (Andy Hamilton, Scott Rand, Ian White, Phil Taylor and Dave Pallett).

Wilson

  • James Wilson is making his PDC World Championship debut, though he did feature on 3 occasions at the Lakeside during his time in the BDO. His best performance at the Lakeside was a run to the quarter-finals in 2014 where he was eventually beaten by Alan Norris.
  • At a Players Championship tournament in September he reached his first ranking final since he switched to the PDC, he also reached three consecutive semi-finals on the PDC circuit during the summer.
  • His best performance in a TV ranking tournament this year was a quarter-final appearance at the European Championship, on his way to the quarter-final he defeated Kim Huybrechts in round one.

Head to Head (Huybrechts leads 2-1)

Kim Huybrechts has won 2 of their 3 previous meetings but it was Wilson who came out on top the last time they played, which was at the European Championship only a couple of month ago (as mentioned above). The previous two matches which went the way of Kim Huybrechts were both played in 2015 in non TV tournaments.

2017 William Hill World Championship – Day Seven Preview

Wednesday December 21 (7pm)

Zoran Lerchbacher v Simon Stevenson – Preliminary Round

Lerchbacher

  • Zoran Lerchbacher is returning to the PDC World Championship for the 2nd time having made his debut 3 years ago where he defeated Ben Ward in the prelim round before losing 3-0 to the eventual champion Michael van Gerwen in round one.
  • Lerchbacher qualified for three European Tour events during 2016, reaching the last 32 at the Austrian Darts Open and European Darts Trophy. His best match performance in those tournaments was a 6-2 win over Joe Murnan where he averaged 94.55.

Stevenson

  • Simon Stevenson is appearing at the PDC World Championship for the first time. This is his first full year on the PDC tour having won his tour card at Q School last January.
  • Stevenson reached his first PDC ranking quarter-final in August at a Players Championship tournament where he defeated James Wade and Alan Norris along the way before losing to James Wilson.
  • On his Players Championship Finals debut at the end of November he lost in the opening round, but had led Jelle Klaasen 4-2 in their best of eleven leg match.

 

Mensur Suljovic (8) v Ron Meulenkamp

Suljovic

  • Mensur Suljovic is appearing at his 10th World Championship tournament, it’s his 9th time at the PDC World Championship; he made his World Championship debut at the Lakeside in 2002.
  • His best performance in the PDC World Championship came last year when he reached the last 16 before losing to Adrian Lewis. Prior to last year he lost 3 consecutive first round matches at the World Championship.
  • Suljovic has beaten some big names in World Championship matches, notably Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Peter Manley. Suljovic was the last player to beat van Gerwen in the first round of this tournament.
  • In September he won his first PDC ranking tournament when he defeated Kim Huybrechts 6-5 in the final of the International Darts Open.
  • He has appeared in three further finals since then including reaching his first TV tournament final at the European Championship in October, during that tournament he won back to back matches against Phil Taylor and Peter Wright.

Meulenkamp

  • Ron Meulenkamp is competing at the PDC World Championship for the 2nd time, matching his two appearances at the Lakeside during his time in the BDO.
  • He has lost in the first round in each of his three World Championship appearances so far. On his PDC debut two years ago he exited the tournament against Mark Webster.
  • At the recent Players Championship Finals he registered notable wins in back to back matches against Stephen Bunting and Gary Anderson.

Head to Head (Suljovic leads 1-0)

There has been just one previous meeting between Suljovic and Meulenkamp, this was way back in 2009 at a Players Championship tournament and Suljovic won 6-5.

 

James Wade (6) v Ronny Huybrechts

Wade

  • James Wade is competing at his 15th consecutive World Championship tournament (13th in the PDC following 2 appearances in the BDO).
  • Despite being a multiple major champion Wade has yet to appear in a World Championship final, his best efforts so far have been two semi-final appearances (he lost to Adrian Lewis in 2012 and Michael van Gerwen in 2013).
  • Wade has a very consistent record of getting through the opening rounds; he hasn’t lost in the opening round since the 2006 World Championship (10 consecutive first round wins) and has appeared in the quarter-finals in 7 of the last 9 years.
  • Seven of Wade’s last nine defeats at the World Championship have been against players who have won a World Championship (either before or since).
  • Wade hasn’t yet registered a match average of over 100 in a World Championship match; though he came very close against Devon Petersen three years ago when he averaged 99.92.

Huybrechts

  • Ronny Huybrechts is appearing in the PDC World Championship for the 4th consecutive year since making his first round debut in a defeat against his brother Kim at the 2014 tournament.
  • He has won his first round match in each of the last two years (winning against Andy Smith and Dean Winstanley), only for Peter Wright to end his tournament in the second round on both occasions.

Head to Head (They are level with 2 wins each)

Wade and Huybrechts have shared two wins each in their four previous meetings, but both of the last two matches have gone the way of Ronny Huybrechts, including a 6-4 at the 2014 European Championship in their only prior TV meeting. This is the first time they have faced each other since September 2015.

 

Robert Thornton (9) v Lerchbacher/Stevenson

Thornton

  • This is Robert Thornton’s 11th World Championship appearance (his 9th consecutive appearance in the PDC World Championship).
  • He made two quarter-final appearances in the BDO and his best showing in the PDC has also been a run to the quarter-finals (at the 2015 World Championship).
  • Last year he was beaten 3-0 in the first round by Alan Norris, it was the first time he had lost in the first round at the PDC World Championship and in fact all of 9 of his World Championship match defeats prior to last year came against top 8 seeded players.

Head to Head

Robert Thornton played Simon Stevenson in April at a Players Championship tournament and won that encounter 6-1.

2017 William Hill World Championship – Day Six Preview

Tuesday December 20 (7pm)

Boris Koltsov v Dragutin Horvat – Preliminary Round

Koltsov

  • Boris Koltsov is competing at the PDC World Championship for the second time having made his debut two years ago.
  • On his debut he defeated Muramatsu of Japan in the prelim round before losing 3-1 to Kevin Painter in the first round where he averaged 78 (all of the sets in his match against Painter only lasted 3 legs each).

Horvat

  • Dragutin Horvat is making his World Championship debut at this year’s tournament.
  • He notably reached the quarter-finals of the International Darts Open on the European Tour in September. On his way to the last eight he defeated Ricky Evans, Gerwyn Price and Ian White (he averaged over 90 in all 3 matches, with his average against White being just under 100) before losing to Kim Huybrechts.

Head to Head

This is their first competitive meeting in the PDC.

 

Brendan Dolan (23) v Christian Kist

Dolan

  • Brendan Dolan is making his 9th consecutive appearance at the PDC World Championship, that’s the most appearances of any player from Northern Ireland at a World Championship.
  • Dolan has won his first round match at the World Championship on 5 of his 8 appearances, but he has never made it past round two.
  • 7 of his 8 first round matches at the World Championship have only lasted 3 sets. His last 4 wins at the tournament have been without dropping a set.
  • Since losing in the first round at the World Championship last year he has won his opening round matches in every TV tournament he has played (UK Open, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals).

Kist

  • 2012 BDO champion Christian Kist is appearing in the PDC World Championship for the 3rd consecutive year.
  • On his PDC World Championship debut two years ago he lost out in a very tough opening round match against Jelle Klaasen. Last year he defeated Justin Pipe in round one before losing 4-1 to Dave Chisnall in a match where Chisnall averaged 102.85.
  • He won 5 matches in 2012 on his World Championship debut to lift the BDO title and has only won 2 of 5 World Championship matches since then.
  • Kist enters the tournament having reached his first PDC major quarter-final at the recent Players Championship Finals.

Head to Head (Dolan leads 3-1)

Brendan Dolan has won 3 of their 4 previous encounters including a 6-5 win in their most recent meeting which was in September at the European Darts Grand Prix. This is the first time they have met in a major ranking tournament.

 

Raymond van Barneveld (12) v Robbie Green

van Barneveld

  • Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld is competing at his 25th World Championship since making his debut all the way back in 1991.
  • This is his 11th consecutive appearance at the PDC World Championship; he made his debut at the 2007 tournament where he defeated Phil Taylor in a classic final.
  • He has only lost once in the first round at the PDC World Championship; that defeat came against James Richardson in the 2012 tournament. Since then he reached the semi-finals in 3 of the last 4 years.
  • Van Barneveld has won 3-0 in 8 of his 10 first round matches at the PDC World Championship.

Green

  • Robbie Green will be making his first appearance at the PDC World Championship though he has previously appeared at a World Championship tournament 5 times during his time in the BDO.
  • He only suffered one first round defeat at the Lakeside and reached at least the quarter-finals on the last 3 occasions he participated at the Lakeside (this included a run to the semi-finals in 2014 where he lost to the eventual champion Stephen Bunting).
  • Green reached the quarter-finals at the recent Players Championship Finals where he was beaten by tournament runner-up Dave Chisnall.

Head to Head (They are level with one win each).

Raymond van Barneveld and Robbie Green have met twice previously and they each have one win to their name. Their most recent clash was at a Players Championship tournament in October where Green won 6-5. Previously they faced each other at the 2014 Grand Slam of Darts with van Barneveld claiming a 5-3 win in their group stage fixture.

 

Simon Whitlock (17) v Koltsov/Horvat

Whitlock

  • Simon Whitlock is competing at a World Championship for the 14th He is a former-finalist at both the BDO and PDC World Championship tournaments and has lost in the semi-finals on three occasions.
  • Whitlock has exited the tournament in the opening round in each of the last two years, last year he lost to Ricky Evans and the year before he was ousted by Darren Webster. Prior to his defeat by Webster two years ago he had never lost in the first round at a World Championship tournament.
  • Whitlock has won two PDC ranking tournaments this season; both came during October at Players Championship tournaments.

Head to Head

Whitlock has no previous meetings against either Koltsov or Horvat.