2016 World Matchplay – Day Four Preview
The 2016 World Matchplay has now been trimmed down to 16 players and tonight (Tuesday) sees the first four Last 16 matches take place.
Here is the tournament draw as it stands.
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson
(8) Robert Thornton v (9) Dave Chisnall
(5) Peter Wright v (12) Ian White
(4) Adrian Lewis v Gerwyn Price
(2) Gary Anderson v (15) Terry Jenkins
(7) Michael Smith v Steve Beaton
(3) Phil Taylor v Mensur Suljovic
Mervyn King v Brendan Dolan
(Just a reminder the Last 16 matches are now first to 11 (best of 21) rather than first to 13 as they used to be.)
Here are my previews for tonight’s matches
- Thornton finally made it through to the Last 16 at the World Matchplay having failed to get through the 1st round in 6 previous appearances.
- He defeated Matchplay debutant Josh Payne 10-7 in the opening round, he led 4-2 with a 100 average, Payne rallied and led 5-4 but missed a dart to break throw. Thornton made the most of the let off and won 6 of the remaining 8 legs to get the win.
- Thornton has yet to make it through to a ranking quarter-final in 2016, a win here would end that run.
- Thornton has made it through to the quarter-finals in only 3 of his last 18 TV ranking tournaments.
- Chisnall overcame a very tricky first round opponent in Benito van de Pas to reach the Last 16. He led 4-1 at the first break and was averaging around a 109, van de Pas clawed the deficit back and levelled at 7-7 to set up a tense finish, but Chizzy won 3 legs in a row, including 2 against the throw to seal the win (van de Pas did miss darts to win 2 of those legs though).
- He has played in the Last 16 at the Matchplay 3 times previously and hasn’t lost beating Caven, Hamilton and Keegan Brown. The matches have been fairly tight though (2x 13-10 and 1x 13-11).
- Chisnall hit 6x 180’s in the 1st round and was 50% on his double success rate.
Having met 23 times previously Chisnall and Thornton are no strangers to play each other. Chisnall has beaten Thornton each of the last 3 times they have met and has won their last 4 meetings in TV matches (including coming from 8-0 and 9-6 down to beat Thornton at the Masters earlier this year, and a 7-0 win in the Premier League).
I think Chisnall will keep up that good recent run against Thornton and go through to his 4th successive Matchplay quarter-final. They both hit 6x 180’s in the opening match and it would be no surprise to see a good number in this match
- Wright had a fairly comfortable 10-5 win over Joe Cullen in the opening round, he averaged between 97 and 100 for most of the match and never allowed Cullen to win 2 legs in a row. His end average was 99.66; he hit 6x 180’s and was around 45% on his finishing.
- Wright has won 7 of his last 10 matches in the Last 16 stage of a TV ranking tournament, last year he defeat Andrew Gilding 13-7 at this stage of the tournament.
- White continued his impressive record of having never lost in the opening round at the Matchplay with a comprehensive 10-2 win over Daryl Gurney.
- He played was excellent in patches against Gurney, hitting 8x 180’s. But his opponent struggled to find any consistency and White wasn’t pressured a great deal.
- White has a good recent record in the Last 16 of major TV ranking tournaments, of his last 8 Last 16 matches he has progressed through to the quarter-finals 6 times.
Wright and White have met 13 times previously with Wright having the edge 8 wins to 5. White won the last time they played, in a last leg decider at the Gibraltar Darts Masters in May, but Wright won the only previous time they have played on TV, that was at the Master in January where Wright won 10-7 in the 1st round, it was a good quality match with only 2 of the 17 legs going over 15 darts.
This should be a very hard fought Last 16 match, Wright has the better pedigree in progressing further in TV tournaments but White is in good form having won 2 ranking tournaments this year and has produced some good performances on TV, notably pushing MVG hard at the Matchplay last year. I think this has the potential to be decided by 2 or 3 legs and I am tipping Wright to just squeeze through. Again this looks like a match in which the 180 count could be pretty healthy.
- van Gerwen was in imperious form in his 10-0 demolition of Jamie Caven in round one. He averaged 105.85 and was 50% on his double attempts.
- His first round average was his highest at the Matchplay; narrowly eclipsing his 105.58 in the 2013 Last 16 against Peter Wright.
- MVG hasn’t failed to reach the quarter-finals at the Matchplay since 2009.
- In his last 21 matches at the Last 16 stage in major TV ranking tournaments he has only lost twice.
- Kyle Anderson had an easier than expected win over van der Voort in round one, he broke throw early on to lead 3-2 at the first ad break and never let that lead slip. With the score at 5-4 he reeled off 5 legs in a row to win 10-4.
- This is his 3rd appearance in the Last 16 of a TV ranking tournament; both of the previous times were at the UK Open where he reached the quarter-finals earlier this year.
Kyle Anderson has a good record against van Gerwen (compared to most!) having won 2 and lost 2 of the 4 meetings they have had so far. Most recently Anderson defeated van Gerwen 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Austrian Darts Masters in June, prior to that they had shared the last 2 meetings which both went to a last leg decider. The only time they have met on TV was at the Perth Masters in 2014 when MVG won 6-0.
Due to his record against van Gerwen there is no reason for Kyle Anderson not to believe that he has a good chance of pushing van Gerwen hard and actually beating the world number one. In all fairness though they have not met in such a high profile match as this one and it’s in these type of matches that van Gerwen shines, the Dutchman will certainly be out to get some revenge for the loss in Austria. Anderson will give a good account of himself, and will go toe to toe with van Gerwen at times but I think MVG will be too strong in the end.
- Lewis was a 10-6 winner over Mark Webster in round one. It was a tight match for much of the encounter with the match locked at 5-5 after 10 legs. The latter stages were dominated by Lewis though as Webster started to struggle with his throw and Lewis won 5 of the remaining 6 legs.
- This is his 10th time in the Last 16 at the Matchplay; he has only lost 2 of those 10 Last 16 matches but did fall at this stage last year against his opponent here Gerwyn Price.
- Price came through a very hard match against Kim Huybrechts in the 1st There were never more than 2 legs separating them all through the game, but Price finished the match strongly winning 6 of the last 8 legs from 6-4 down to win 108.
- He reached his only TV ranking quarter-final so far at this tournament last year, as mentioned above he defeated Lewis at this stage on the tournament in 2015.
They have met 6 times previous with Lewis winning 4 of those matches but Price won their last match which was in the Last 16 of last year’s Matchplay, that was an excellent performance from Price he led 12-7 with Lewis closing the gap to 12-10 before Price got over the line.
There has been quite a bit of fighting talk from both players since this matchup was finalised after Lewis won his 1st round game. If the match lives up to the hype we should be in for quite a battle. Price certainly rose to the occasion last year and showed his ability against Huybrechts in round one, having won twice on tour this year his confidence is high. Lewis has undoubted quality and when he is switched on is a major force, he is very much up for this game and I think the added motivation will bring out the best in him. I’m going with Lewis to win.