2016 World Matchplay – Day Five Preview

The 2016 World Matchplay moves into it’s fifth day today  (Wednesday) and it’s the last four of the second round matches. The quarter-final lineup will be complete at the close of play.

Already through to the quarter-finals are Michael van Gerwen, Dave Chisnall, Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright, but who will join them?

Here are my previews for tonight’s matches

King v Dolan

King

  • King won only his 2nd match at the Matchplay since 2009 when he upset former champion and last year’s runner-up James Wade in round one.
  • It was a very strong performance from King, he was at it from the off and this continued throughout the match. He averaged around 100 pretty much all the game and his scoring and finishing were of a very good standard (66.7% on his doubles).
  • This is his best run in a TV ranking tournament since he reached the quarter-finals of the UK Open in 2015.

Dolan

  • Dolan produced a shock 10-7 win over 11th seed Raymond van Barneveld in round one. Dolan was never behind in the match with all but 1 leg going with throw. Dolan crucially broke the van Barneveld throw in the 10th Dolan’s finishing throughout was impressive and he only lost 1 leg where he had darts at a double.
  • This is the 3rd time in the last 4 years that he has made it through to the Last 16 at the Matchplay, the two previous times he lost to the eventual runners-up (Lewis in 2013 and Wade in 2015).
  • It’s only the 4th time Dolan has made it through to the Last 16 of a PDC singles ranking tournament since last year’s World Matchplay and the first time he has done so this season.

Verdict

Both King and Dolan upset the odds to reach this stage and both will see this as a good opportunity to win valuable ranking money and progress to the quarter-finals. They haven’t played each other since September 2014 and Dolan has the edge in their past meetings have won 3 of the last 4 they have played (he also leads 4-2 in the overall head to head). King won the only time they previously met in a TV tournament when he defeated Dolan in the semis at the World Grand Prix in 2012.

The finishing of both players was very impressive in their opening round wins but keeping up that level and bringing it to this game is another matter. King complained about his back after the win against Wade and it will be interesting to see how it holds up here. I do favour King to win this match but if Dolan plays like he did against Barney it could be a very tight game.

 

Smith v Beaton

Smith

  • Smith came through 10-6 against Whitlock in the 1st It was a very slow start for him, he was averaging only 79 after 5 legs when he trailed 3-2, coming back after the break he was a totally different player winning 8 of the next 11 legs and lifting his average up to over 97 at the end of the match.
  • This is the 2nd time he has made it into the Last 16 at the Matchplay, the previous time was in 2014 when he lost 13-6 to the eventual winner Phil Taylor, Smith averaged over 100 in that defeat.
  • Smith has now reached the Last 16 in 6 of his last 7 PDC major TV ranking tournaments, prior to that he had reached the Last 16 only 4 times from the previous 20.

Beaton

  • Beaton defeated 10th seed Jelle Klaasen to book his place in round two. It was a very confident performance from Beaton who finished well throughout the match and took advantage of any misses Klaasen made. Beaton had a checkout % of over 52%.
  • He is through to the Last 16 for the first time since 2012; he last made it further than the Last 16 way back in 2001 when he reached the semi-finals.
  • He last made it to the quarter-finals of a TV ranking tournament in 2009 when he went to the final of the European Championship, prior to that it was 2005 at the World Grand Prix. He did reach the semi-finals at the Grand Slam in 2010 when he took out Phil Taylor on the way.

Verdict

Smith and Beaton have played 9 times previously and Smith very much has the upper hand winning 7 of those matches including each of the last 5. Beaton’s last win against Smith came in 2011 and Smith is a much improved player since then. They met most recently at the World Championship last December when Smith won 4 sets to 2.

If Smith carries on his form from the last 11 legs of his match against Whitlock he will take some stopping here, but it isn’t easy to write off Beaton, he has been to 2 ranking finals this season and his confidence showed in his win over Klaasen. If I had to favour anyone it would be Smith but I think Beaton has a decent chance of putting out another seed and I can’t predict the winner with real confidence.

 

Taylor v Suljovic

Taylor

  • Taylor made heavy work of getting through the 1st round in a tight 10-8 win against Robbie Green. Taylor trailed 2-0 and 3-2 early on but he was never behind after levelling at 3-3 but could never quite shake off his opponent.
  • Taylor hasn’t failed to get past the Last 16 at the Matchplay since 1996, so has won 19 straight matches at this stage of the tournament. He has only conceded more than 6 legs on 3 occasions in those 19 matches.
  • Taylor’s average of his Last 16 averages over the last 10 years in the Last 16 at the Matchplay is 103.09.

Suljovic

  • Mensur Suljovic came through a very hard battle with Stephen Bunting in round one winning 10-8. Two breaks of throw in the opening mini session effectively gave Suljovic an advantage he never let slip. Both players were averaging around 101-102 for most of the game. Suljovic’s finishing proved the crucial factor in the final outcome.
  • He is no stranger to the latter stages of TV tournaments having been at least to the Last 16 in 7 of his last 8 TV ranking tournaments.

Verdict

Taylor and Suljovic have met 3 times previously with Taylor winning all 3, the most recent was a quick race to 4 at the World Cup and prior to that they hadn’t played each other since 2009. Suljovic has yet to win a leg against Taylor in all 3 matches. This is the longest format they have met under.

This is potentially a very tricky match for Taylor; Suljovic has played plenty of matches on the TV stage over the past couple of years and is one of the most consistent players on the circuit. I’m not sure the previous meetings will have a large bearing on the outcome. Taylor will have to close out legs better than he did against Green as Suljovic is excellent at taking his chances. I think Suljovic will give Taylor some problems but I just think Taylor will rise to the occasion at the right time and make it through to the quarter-finals.

 

G Anderson v Jenkins

Anderson

  • Anderson gave a very strong performance in his comfortable 10-1 win over Alan Norris in round one. Anderson averaged 101.28, hit 6x 180’s and was 66.7% on his double attempts.
  • He has only gone further than the Last 16 in 1 of his previous 7 appearances at the World Matchplay, the only time he did was in 2014 when he lost 17-15 in the semi-finals to Phil Taylor.
  • Last year he gave a disappointing performance in a 13-9 defeat to Mensur Suljovic at this stage of the tournament.

Jenkins

  • Jenkins struggled to a 10-7 win over Justin Pipe in round one, Jenkins never averaged over 86 at any point in the match and was only averaging 83 when the match was 5-5. He did pick up a little towards the end and won 5 of the last 6 legs from 6-5 down but overall plenty to improve on.
  • This is his first time in the Last 16 since 2013 when he took Taylor to extra legs just losing out 14-12 against the eventual champion.
  • 3 of his last 4 defeats at the World Matchplay have been by just 2 legs.

Verdict

They have met plenty of times down the years with Jenkins having the edge on head to head wins having won 13 and lost 11. Jenkins has actually won 12 of their last 13 meetings including the last 2 times they have played on the TV stage, most recently 6-5 at last year’s World Series Finals.

Anderson has been in great form in recent weeks, winning World Series events and carrying some of that form across to his opening round here, Jenkins wasn’t good in the opening round and would have to play a lot better to get close to Anderson. The interesting factor in this match is the head to head record with Jenkins dominating over the past few years, I don’t think he will extend that domination here though and I expect Anderson to progress.

 

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