World Matchplay Darts – Day Five Preview
The tournament really caught fire last night with an outstanding performance from van Gerwen followed by the game of the tournament so far with Gerwyn Price playing a superb match to defeat fourth seed Adrian Lewis. Hopefully we will see some more of the same tonight. Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and James Wade are all in action so plenty of quality on display. Keegan Brown will be aiming to upset Dave Chisnall to follow fellow debutant Gerwyn Price into the quarter-finals.
Here are my previews for tonight’s matches.
• Chisnall needed extra legs to scrape through his opening round match against Caven, it was a very patchy performance from Chisnall who scored well on the 180’s hitting 13 but his finishing wasn’t impressive with only 31% and if he is to go further this will have to improve.
• Keegan Brown gave a good performance in defeating Thornton, although it must be said Thornton didn’t look at ease on the stage where he still hasn’t won a match. This isn’t take anything away from Brown’s performance though as he was over 52% on his finishing.
• Verdict: Chisnall has a 6-0 lead on their previous head to head meetings, their most significant meeting came at the Grand Slam last year when Chisnall turned around an 8-2 deficit to win 16-14 in the quarter-finals. Brown competed very well in that match and does have the game to compete. Much depends on Chisnall’s finishing, if he shows the quality of finishing he consistently showed in the Premier League he will win but if he messes about on the doubles as in the first round then Brown could spring a surprise.
• Wade was one of the most impressive performers of the opening round when he averaged over 103 with a checkout % of over 43% in defeating an opponent in Kyle Anderson who pushed him all the way.
• Dolan was arguably the least impressive winner of a first round match averaging 88.5 and only 27% on the doubles. His opponent van der Voort didn’t punish the missed doubles and between them they only hit 16 from 60 attempts.
• Verdict: Taylor aside, Wade has the best World Matchplay pedigree and it showed in his first round match how much he loves the stage at Blackpool, this format suits him. Dolan has beaten Wade twice in TV major ranking tournaments, once at the World Grand Prix (SF 2011) and once at the Players Championship finals (2012), but it is difficult to envisage him getting the better of Wade on this stage, Wade has never failed to make a quarter-final at Blackpool and I don’t expect that run to end here.
• Taylor did what he needed to do in the first round and won very comfortably against an opponent that didn’t push him at all. It is difficult to judge Taylor on that performance, he missed a few doubles but often there was no pressure and we all know he is capable of more.
• Many expected Taylor to be facing van Barneveld, but Hamilton had other ideas. Hamilton hadn’t shown good form coming into the tournament but he has good memories of the World Matchplay and seemed to draw on these to give an impressive display, be it against an opponent who didn’t show up until he was 8-2 down. Hamilton did play very well in those first 10 legs though.
• Verdict: These two have met plenty of times over the years with Taylor mainly coming out on top. They have played three times at the World Matchplay with Taylor winning all 3 (17-11 2006 SF, 17-9, 2011 SF, 16-11 2012 QF). Hamilton played well against Barney but will have to improve even more to stop Taylor who is intent on winning another Matchplay title. Taylor should raise his level from his first match and earn his place in the last 8.
• Anderson had a comfortable win 10-4 against Steve Beaton in the first round, the current World and Premier League champion Anderson showed patches of good finishing but there is certainly more to come and he will improve.
• Suljovic was involved in a tight tussle with Terry Jenkins winning 13-11. Mensur did come from 5-2 behind to rattle off 7 of the next 8 legs to gain control of the game before Jenkins hit back and Suljovic then got over the line in extra legs. It wasn’t a good performance in terms of stats but he did show bottle.
• Verdict: This is the first meeting between the two as far as the records show so it will be interesting to see how Anderson handles the unorthodox Austrian. Looking back to how he was uncomfortable in the World Championships against Kircher he might not be able to find his rhythm against Suljovic. I would still expect Anderson to win but it’s worth seeing how Anderson’s body language is in the opening legs to see if it will be a struggle or not.
And here is a recap on last nights results and the stats
Wright 13-7 Gilding
Whitlock 9-13 White
van Gerwen 13-2 J.Lewis
A.Lewis 10-13 Price
Thanks for reading and enjoy the darts!