PDC World Championship – Day Six Preview

Tonight it’s the penultimate session of First Round matches at the PDC World Championship’s and here are my previews for the matches being played this evening.

Tuesday December 22 (7pm-11pm)

Dean Winstanley v Ronny Huybrechts

Winstanley

  • Winstanley is competing at his 6th World Championships (4th in the PDC). He reached the final in his first ever appearance in the BDO World Championships losing 7-5 to Martin Adams in that final.
  • He also had a significant feat on his debut in the PDC World when he hit a 9 dart finish against Vincent van der Voort; it was in vain though as he went on to lose that Last 32 encounter.
  • Winstanley hasn’t qualified for a PDC TV ranking event since the UK Open earlier this year. He lost to William O’Connor in the early rounds of that tournament. On the tour his best run in a ranking tournament has been the Last 16 stage in a players championship event.
  • Winstanley has won 3 of their 4 previous meetings, including a 6-5 win in their most recent encounter on the pro tour in October. Three of their four head to head matches have gone to a deciding leg or set.

Huybrechts

  • Ronny Huybrechts will be playing at his 3rd PDC World Championships. He made his debut against his brother Kim two years ago and lost that match 3-1.
  • Last year he won his opening round match against Andy Smith by 3 sets to 0 (dropping only 2 legs), though Smith did have a number of missed double attempts. He then lost 4-1 to Peter Wright in the Last 32.
  • The last time Huybrechts qualified for a TV ranking tournament was also at the UK Open and as with Winstanley he also made a an early exit from the competition.

Verdict

An intriguing 1st Round match between two players who are in need of a confidence boosting run in this tournament, neither has enjoyed the best of years on the tour in 2015. Winstanley has been to a BDO World Championship final, a World Master final and a Grand Slam of Darts semi-final in previous years so can obviously play to a good standard but he hasn’t really shown any of that level of form recently. Ronny Huybrechts has beaten Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and James Wade on the TV in the past, but again like Winstanley he hasn’t shown that level recently. It really is a hard match to call. I would actually make Ronny Huybrechts a very small favourite but I can’t pick a winner and I don’t think anyone could with any real confidence.

 

Wes Newton v Cristo Reyes

Newton

  • Newton is competing at his 12th consecutive PDC World Championships, he is a 3 time quarter-finalist. His defeat in the opening round last year was the first time he had been beaten in the opening round for 6 years.
  • The significance of Newton’s opponent here is certainly worth mentioning. It was Reyes who knocked Newton out in the 1st Round last year.
  • This is Newton’s first TV ranking tournament appearance since the UK Open and on the tour he has only won 44% of his matches with a Last 16 placing in a Euro Tour event his best run in a tournament.

Reyes

  • Reyes is back for his 2nd appearance at a PDC World Championship having made a real impact on his debut last year when he defeated Newton and Painter on his way to the Last 16 where he lost to eventual champion Gary Anderson.
  • In his match against Newton last year Reyes won the first two sets only to be pegged back to 2-2 with Reyes coming through a last leg decider. Against Anderson he won the opening set with an average of over 115, Anderson recovered to win the match 4-1 but Reyes still averaged over 98.5.
  • Although he has failed to get past the Last 16 stage of a tour tournament in his first season on the circuit he has tasted victories against the likes of Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Stephen Bunting this year.
  • They have played each other since last year’s Worlds with Reyes also winning that match on a deciding leg.

Verdict

As mentioned this is a repeat of their 1st Round encounter last year at the World Championship when the unknown Reyes upset the odds to knockout Newton. It is worth taking into account that Newton only lost on a deciding leg so it wasn’t a convincing defeat but since that match Reyes has made a positive impact on the PDC tour and Newton has struggled for form and had a season to forget. Reyes looks comfortable on the TV stage and he is a very capable player, his run last year with wins against Newton and Painter was no fluke and I think he will repeat his win against Newton this year.

 

Dave Chisnall v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Chisnall

  • Chisnall is competing at his 5th PDC World Championships having previously participated in 3 BDO World Championships. He reached the final of the BDO World Championships in 2010.
  • His best run at the PDC Worlds has been to the Last 16 (twice), he made a big impact in his debut year in the PDC Worlds when he defeat Phil Taylor 4-1 in the Last 32 match, Chisnall went out 4-0 to Hamilton in the next round.
  • In each of the last 2 years Chisnall has exited the tournament at the hands of unseeded players; van de Pas last year and Henderson 2 years ago, both of those players were seeded in this year’s tournament though.
  • It has been 3 years since Chisnall lost in a TV ranking tournament to a player currently ranked outside the top 32 in the PDC Order of Merit.

Rodriguez

  • Rowby-John Rodriguez made his debut at the PDC World Championships last year and it was a very disappointing debut, he lost 3-0 to van Barneveld averaging only 79.2.
  • He has won a match in each of his last 3 PDC TV tournaments, defeating Kist at the European Championships, Phillips at the Grand Slam and Whitlock at the World Series of Darts Finals.
  • His best run in a ranking tournament this season has been to the semi-finals of a Pro Tour event in July. He has won a tournament on the Development Tour too.

Verdict

This could be a tricky first round match for the number 13 seed Dave Chisnall, Rodriguez is a player very much on the rise, although he possibly doesn’t quite have the consistency yet, he can follow up a 95+ average with an average under 85. Chisnall himself is capable of spells of outstanding darts as he showed at the Grand Slam of Darts during his match against Peter Wright when he hit a 9 dart finish and was averaging 119 after 5 legs, as good as Chisnall can be he can also struggle to find his range and look very ordinary. I do expect to see Chisnall as the winner of this match but it’s not a certainty and Rowby-John can push him hard.

 

Terry Jenkins v Darin Young

Jenkins

  • This is Terry Jenkins 12th consecutive appearance at the PDC World Championships, he has reached 1 semi-final and 2 quarter-finals but overall it’s an underwhelming record for a player who has contested a number of TV ranking finals.
  • He has 6 World Championship defeats against unseeded players – the most recent of these was a 3-2 1st Round defeat to Per Laursen 2 years ago, Jenkins hit a 9 dart finish in that match, had a total of 11 180’s and won 11 legs to Laursen’s 10.
  • Jenkins has played Darin Young at the World Championships before, this was 6 years ago and Jenkins won comfortably 4 sets to 0.

Young

  • Young is competing at his 9th PDC World Championships; he has lost in the 1st Round on all but one occasion, his only win coming 3-2 against Andy Smith 6 years ago.
  • He qualified for this tournament through the North American qualifier (PDC Spectacular) beating Larry Butler in the final and Ken MacNeil in the quarters, the field also contained John Part and Gary Mawson and wasn’t an easy tournament to win.
  • His highest World Championship average is 86.57 vs Colin Lloyd 3 years ago. He last time he played Jenkins in the World Championships 6 years ago he averaged 75.96.

Verdict

Jenkins may not produce his best darts as often as he used to do but he is still seeded 11 and has a ranking tournament win to his name this season. Young doesn’t have a good record in the World Championships and possibly doesn’t have the scoring power to create enough chances to put pressure on Jenkins, he might win a set from Jenkins but I don’t foresee a seed falling here.

 

 

 

 

 

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