World Matchplay Darts – Day Two Preview

The World Matchplay moves into the second day with eight matches played across an afternoon and an evening session. Day one saw the benchmark set by Peter Wright with his impressive 108 average in defeating Kim Huybrechts, with wins also for Whitlock, van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis.

Here are my previews for the day.

Afternoon Session

King vs Gilding

Mervyn King
• Has only won one match in his last 5 appearances at the World Matchplay beating Kim Huybrechts in the 1st Round last year to end a 4 year run of 1st Round exits.
• Won their only previous meeting in a PDC major ranking event when he defeated Gilding 6-3 at the Players Championship Finals in November 2010.
• He has reached at least the semi-final in all of the current PDC TV ranking tournaments, though he is still looking for his first PDC TV tournament title.

Andrew Gilding
• Failed to win a leg on his World Matchplay debut in 2014 when he was beaten 10-0 by a rampant Adrian Lewis.
• Gilding has made the semi-finals of four ranking tournaments this season including the UK Open in March, losing narrowly 10-8 to eventual champion Michael van Gerwen, a match Gilding averaged 108 and hit 10 180s in.
• Gilding comes into the tournament having lost his previous three matches, the most recent two on a deciding leg.

White vs Bunting

Ian White
• He has never failed to get past the 1st Round of the Matchplay in three previous attempts, beating Terry Jenkins (10-4, 2014), Robert Thornton (10-3, 2013) and Vincent van der Voort (10-5, 2012).
• White has reached the final of two ranking tournaments this season, the most recent in early July when he lost to Jelle Klaasen in a Players Championship event.
• Although he has a 5-2 losing record against Bunting he has won their last two encounters, both in 2015.

Stephen Bunting
• On his World Matchplay debut last season he beat Peter Wright 10-6 in the 1st Round before losing to Gary Anderson in the Last 16.
• Since moving over to the PDC in early 2014 Bunting hasn’t lost in the 1st match of a TV major ranking tournaments (7 tournaments), and he has reached two semi-finals and two quarter-finals from the last five.
• Bunting won their only previous major tournament meeting when he defeated White 3 sets to 0 at the 2010 BDO World Championships.

Pipe vs J Lewis

Justin Pipe
• Pipe has lost in the 1st Round of his last 7 PDC TV major ranking tournaments, not having won in one since Dec 2013 when he beat Aaron Monk in the Last 64 of the World Championship.
• He has twice reached the quarter-finals at the World Matchplay (2012 & 2013), last year was the first time in four appearances that he failed to make it past the first match.
• Won the last two meetings against Jamie Lewis by scores of 6-1 and 6-0 (both in 2014).

Jamie Lewis
• Failed to progress past the 1st Round in 6 of his last 7 PDC TV major ranking events and failed to qualify for the UK Open earlier this year.
• Reached the semi-finals of two ranking tournaments this season, a Players Championship event in May and the Gibraltar Darts Trophy in March.
• His recent match form has not been great; he has only won 3 of his last 12 matches in all tournaments.

Smith vs Price

Michael Smith
• Winner of two ranking tournaments this season (the most recent a European tour event in June) and has reached a further four semi-finals.
• Has lost in the 1st round in 4 of his last 5 TV major ranking tournaments, including a narrow 9-8 defeat against Bunting at this years UK Open.
• Broke into the World top 16 for the first time this year and is now 13 in the rankings.

Gerwyn Price
• Making his World Matchplay debut having joined the PDC Pro Tour in 2014 following a career in Rugby.
• Qualified for the World Matchplay on the back of some consistent performances on tour, including 4 quarter-finals and 1 semi-final appearance.
• Trails Michael Smith 2-1 in their head to head meetings but won their last encounter 6-5 in 2014.

Evening Session

Dolan vs van der Voort

Brendan Dolan
• Dolan will be aiming to progress to the Last 16 for the second time, having last done so in 2013 when he defeated Steve Beaton 10-8 in the opening round.
• In their previous Major world ranking event meeting Dolan won 3-1 in sets at the 2012 World Grand Prix.
• His best result on tour this season was a final in a Players Championship event, losing narrowly in the final 6-5 to Adrian Lewis. He has also reached two semi-finals and six quarter-finals.

Vincent van der Voort
• Lost in the 1st round of his last two World Matchplay appearances, his best performance at the World Matchplay came in 2009 when he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Mervyn King.
• Won five of his last six matches against Brendan Dolan, including a 6-5 win earlier this season.
• Reached one ranking event final this season (losing to van Gerwen), has reached a further six quarter-finals.

Jenkins vs Suljovic

Terry Jenkins
• A finalist two times at the World Matchplay (2007 & 2009), was also the last person to beat Phil Taylor in the event back in 2007.
• Jenkins best result on tour this season was a final appearance at the Gibraltar Darts Trophy where he defeated Gary Anderson and James Wade on his way to the final before losing to Michael van Gerwen.
• This is Jenkins 12 appearance at the Matchplay, from the current field only Phil Taylor and Steve Beaton have competed in more.

Mensur Suljovic
• Suljovic has lost in the 1st match in nine of his last eleven TV major ranking tournaments, the exceptions being the 2014 and 2015 UK Opens where he reached the quarter-finals.
• He has reached one semi-final and six quarter-finals on the circuit this year, the semi-final came in a European Tour event when his run was ended by van Gerwen.
• Suljovic has an impressive win % of 73.5% in his ranking tournament matches this season.

Anderson vs Beaton

Gary Anderson
• Produced his best showing at the World Matchplay last year, progressing past the Last 16 for the first time, he reached the semi-finals before narrowly losing 17-15 to eventual champion Phil Taylor.
• Current World Champion and Premier League Champion, Anderson is looking to add the World Matchplay title to complete an impressive treble.
• Won the most recent meeting between the pair when he defeated Beaton at the German Darts Championship in February.

Steve Beaton
• Beaton’s best performances at the Matchplay came in the first two years he competed in the tournament, the quarter-finals in 1998 and the semi-finals in 2001.
• Has lost his 1st match in his last eight PDC TV major ranking tournaments and has only won one match from his last twelve PDC TV major ranking tournaments.
• This will be Steve Beaton’s 16th appearance at the World Matchplay, only Phil Taylor in this years tournament has competed in more.

Wade vs K Anderson

James Wade
• In his 10th World Matchplay, Wade has never failed to get to at least the quarter-finals in the previous nine and has reached the final 5 times (winning in 2007).
• Wade has reached six ranking event finals this season, winning two and runner-up in four.
• In his last 12 ranking tournaments he has only failed to reach the semi-finals twice and has appeared in five finals during this time.

Kyle Anderson
• Making his World Matchplay debut, he has competed in the World Championships three times and the UK Open twice.
• Has a 2-1 head to head record against Wade and won the most recent meeting 6-5 in October 2014.
• His best performance on tour this season was a semi-final showing, he has also reached two quarter-finals in ranking events.

Let’s hope we see some good darts across the two sessions!

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