2016 World Matchplay – Day Three Preview
It’s day three at the World Matchplay and the final four matches in the first round are to be played tonight.
As usual I have plenty of useful information and stats on the matches.
- Klaasen made his Matchplay debut in 2009 but has only competed 4 times at the tournament previously and this is the first time he has been a seeded player.
- His best Matchplay performance came in 2010 when he defeated Mervyn King and Gary Anderson before losing to Simon Whitlock, and that is the only time he has made it through the 1st
- Whitlock has proven to be Klaasen’s nemesis at the Matchplay, each of his last 3 defeats at the tournament came against Whitlock.
- Klaasen’s best performance this season was a semi-final appearance at the UK Open, that followed his run to the semi-finals at the World Championships at the start of the year.
- Klassen has made the quarter-finals at least in 4 of his last 6 TV ranking tournaments since losing in the 1st round at last year’s Matchplay.
- Beaton is competing at the Matchplay for the 17th time and his experience at the tournament stretches back to 1998 when he reached the quarter-finals.
- His best performance was when he reached the semi-finals in 2001 where he lost to Richie Burnett.
- Since reaching the semis in 2001 he has failed to get further than the Last 16 in each of his last 14 appearances at the tournament and has lost in the 1st round 9 times.
- Beaton’s last 4 wins at the Matchplay have all been against seeded players who reached a TV ranking final (Osborne, Nicholson, Terry Jenkins and Painter).
- Beaton has only made it through to the Last 16 in 2 of his last 19 TV ranking tournaments, he has also lost 3 of his last 24 TV ranking tournament matches, although 12 of his 21 defeats came against players who are ranked inside the top 8.
- Beaton has had some good results on the tour in 2016, he has reached the final of 2 ranking tournaments, the most recent of these came at the start of July in a Players Championship event.
Klaasen has really found his form in recent big TV ranking events highlighted by his runs deep into the World Championship and UK Open tournaments, if he plays like he did in those tournaments he is a contender to go deep in this tournament, his form hasn’t been as consistent recently though with only 1 Last 16 appearance in his last 5 tournaments. Beaton is still in the top 32 and still reaching ranking finals which shows the quality he is still capable of after all this time, he hasn’t shown his best darts on TV in recent times and that would need to change if he is to defeat Klaasen. I think Klaasen will progress but Beaton will give him some anxious moments.
- van Barneveld is playing at the Matchplay for the 10th time having made his debut back in 2007. He reached at least the quarter-finals on each of his first 5 appearances but has failed to go past the Last 16 in each of the last 4 years.
- His best run was to the final in 2010 when he lost to Phil Taylor, that is the only time Barney has lost to the eventual champion.
- Last year was the first time he didn’t get past the opening round and also the first time he lost to an unseeded player in the tournament, Andy Hamilton was the man who put Barney out in round one.
- He averaged under 90 in each of his last 3 defeats at the Matchplay.
- van Barneveld failed to get further than the Last 16 in 7 of his last 10 TV ranking tournaments, the 3 events when he did go further than the Last 16 he reached the semi-finals.
- In the 4 recent World Series tournaments he lost to the eventual winner on each occasion (Gary Anderson 3 times and van Gerwen once).
- Dolan will be playing at the Matchplay for the 5th year in a row. He has made it through the 1st round in 2 of the 4 years previously.
- This is the first time since 2012 where he has been an unseeded player, he has yet to defeat a seeded player at the tournament (his wins came against van der Voort and Beaton who were both unseeded).
- Dolan hasn’t made it through the Last 16 in any TV ranking tournament since reaching the Last 16 here last year. Overall he has won just 2 of his last 10 TV tournament ranking matches
- He has struggled for good results on the tour this season; his best tournament position has been reaching the Last 16 in 2 tournaments.
The World Matchplay hasn’t been one of Barney’s most successful tournaments, he hasn’t gone further than the Last 16 since 2010 and he hasn’t averaged over 100 in the tournament since that same year. Dolan himself has been slipping down the rankings over the past year and now he isn’t seeded is going to be facing some very tough draws. I don’t think Dolan is playing the standard of darts to trouble van Barneveld and I expect Barney to win which could set up an intriguing second round match vs Wade.
- Taylor has been an ever present at the Matchplay and will be playing in the 23rd edition of the tournament, and it’s a tournament he has tasted phenomenal success in having won it 15 times.
- Incredibly in 22 years Taylor has never lost in the 1st round and has only twice failed to get as far as the quarter-finals. He has an outstanding 92.8% win record in the tournament.
- Last year saw him fall at the semi-final stage to James Wade, it was the first time he had lost at the Matchplay since 2007.
- 6 of Taylor’s 7 defeats have been against players who have reached the final, but only 1 of those went on to win the title (Evison in 1996).
- Green will be the 50th unseeded player that Taylor has faced at the Matchplay – of the previous 49 he has won 47 and lost 2. The 2 unseeded players to beat him both reached the final (Evison 1996 and Baxter 1998). All the rest of Taylor’s defeats have been against players seeded in the top 8.
- Taylor is looking to win his first PDC TV ranking tournament since the Matchplay 2014 which was 12 tournaments ago.
- Green is returning to the Matchplay for the 2nd time having made his debut all the way back in 2004. Of the current field only Taylor, Beaton and Terry Jenkins made their Matchplay debuts earlier.
- On his debut back in 2004 Green lost 10-7 to Bob Anderson who was seeded 16.
- Since returning to the PDC in 2015 this is Green’s 4th PDC TV ranking tournament, he reached the Last 16 at last year’s Grand Slam when he was beaten 10-8 by Thornton.
- Green has reached 2 ranking semi-finals on the tour this season, both semis were in the same weekend in April, he was beaten by van Gerwen and White who both went on to win the tournament.
The Winter Gardens must feel like a second home to Taylor and he has admitted how comfortable he feels at the tournament which is clearly evident by his record there. Green earned his qualification for the Matchplay on the very last day of the cut off so just being at the tournament is a huge bonus and he is a player who has nothing to lose. Taylor has been playing well enough to suggest he will avoid an upset in this match; Green’s scoring will give him chances against Taylor but not enough to win the match.
- This is Smith’s 4th time at the World Matchplay, he has lost in the 1st round in 2 of his previous 3 appearances and last year was beaten 10-4 by Gerwyn Price at this stage.
- His solitary win at the tournament came in 2014 against Justin Pipe when he won 10-8 before being beaten by Taylor in Round 2.
- Smith had failed to make it through to a TV ranking quarter-final until last year when he reached the semi-finals at the Grand Slam, he backed this up with a good run to the quarter-finals at the World Championships.
- His best result on tour this year was when he reached the final of the Austrian Darts Open in June where he was beaten in the final by Phil Taylor
- Whitlock will be competing in his 7th World Matchplay since making his debut in 2010.
- He reached the semi-finals on his debut before losing to Phil Taylor and again made the semi-finals in 2014 when he was beaten by van Gerwen.
- This will be the first time he hasn’t been seeded for the Matchplay.
- In 11 TV ranking tournament since he made the Matchplay semi-finals in 2014 Whitlock has only made 1 quarter-final appearance.
- Up the end of April Whitlock had made 1 semi-final and a further 5 quarter-finals in ranking tournaments, since then he has only reached the Last 16 twice and he comes into the Matchplay having lost his last 4 ranking tournament matches.
The last match of the opening round is another fairy tricky match to call, Smith has shown some improvements in his game on the big stage, though he didn’t enjoy a good Premier League he will be better for the overall experience. Up to 2 years ago Whitlock was a serious contender to reach major semi-finals and possibly beyond but his game hasn’t reached those levels on a consistent basis and he has dropped out of the top 16. I’m finding it difficult to predict a winner with any real conviction so I will just say this one will go to extra legs.