2017 William Hill World Championship – 29th December Preview
Thursday December 29
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Mark Webster (25) v Daryl Gurney (24)
- In the second round Mark Webster defeated the number eight seed Mensur Suljovic in a final set decider, Webster had led the match 3-1 only for Suljovic to claw his way back into contention before Webster won the final set without dropping a leg.
- Webster hit a total of eight 180s in his win over Suljovic that was his highest total in a World Championship match since he defeated Suljovic at the 2014 World Championship.
- His scoring in the second round was much improved from his first round match, his first nine dart average of 107.79 against Suljovic was 20 points higher than his first nine dart average against Murnan.
- Webster is through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship for the fifth time, he has won three and lost one of his previous four matches at this stage of the tournament. Last year he exited the tournament in the last 16 at the hands of Alan Norris.
- Daryl Gurney defeated number nine seed Robert Thornton 4-3 to book his place in the last 16. Gurney had won the first seven legs of the match to establish control at two sets to nil up, only for Thornton to hit back and lead 3-2 in sets. The response from Gurney was impressive; from a break down in the sixth set he won six legs in a row to seal the victory.
- His scoring and 180 count were both lower in the second round than the numbers he produced in round one, but his double success percentage of over 51% was significantly up from his match against Wattimena.
- This is Gurney’s first appearance in the last 16 at the PDC World Championship; he lost twice in the last 16 at the BDO World Championship (both times to Martin Adams).
Head to Head (Webster leads 3-2)
Webster holds the lead in their overall head to head win record but Gurney has won each of the last two matches between the pair, Gurney won 6-5 most recently in October at a Players Championship tournament. This is their first meeting in a major PDC tournament.
Dave Chisnall (7) v Jelle Klaasen (10)
- Dave Chisnall won 4-2 against unseeded Chris Dobey in round two; it was a very tricky tie for Chisnall and he finally managed to pull away from his opponent when they were locked at two sets each, by winning six out of seven legs to move through to the last 16.
- Chisnall’s scoring in the second round was below the levels he produced in his opening round win over Rodriguez. His match average dropped from 98 to 92 and his first nine dart average dropped from 110 to 101.
- This is his fourth appearance in the last 16 at the PDC World Championship, he has lost on each previous occasion that he has reached this stage of the tournament, the last two times in matches that went all the way into a final set (last year he went down 4-3 to Peter Wright).
- Jelle Klaasen had a 4-0 win over Brendan Dolan in the second round. Three of the four sets all went to a last leg decider so it wasn’t as comfortable as the score suggests.
- He has only dropped one set in the tournament so far.
- A big strength for Klaasen in his victory over Dolan was his doubling, he hit 60% of his attempts at double and overall in the tournament he has a very impressive double success percentage of over 56%.
- Klaasen is through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship for the third time, he has won each of his two previous matches at this stage of the tournament which includes a thrilling 4-3 win over Phil Taylor last year.
Head to Head (Klaasen leads 5-3)
Jelle Klaasen has a lead in their overall head to head record but Chisnall won their most recent encounter 10-9 in the last 16 at last month’s Players Championship Finals. That victory came after Klaasen had won each of their previous four matches. This is their first meeting at the World Championship.
James Wade (6) v Michael Smith (11)
- James Wade defeated Steve Beaton 4-1 in the second round; it was a high calibre performance from Wade, his average was over 100 for the majority of the match, although it dipped fractionally under 100 by the end of the match.
- His final match average of 99.39 against Beaton was his second highest ever at the World Championship.
- Wade’s doubling has been impressive throughout his opening two matches, he’s had a double success percentage of over 50% in both games and his overall tournament percentage is 52.27%.
- Wade will be aiming to make it through to the quarter-finals at the PDC World Championship for the eighth time, having won each of the last 7 matches he has played at this stage of the tournament.
- Michael Smith has won two final set deciders to reach the last 16. Following on from his 3-2 win over Ricky Evans in round one he won 4-3 in an epic match against Mervyn King in round two, his match against King lasted 34 legs.
- His total of fourteen 180s in his win over King was his highest ever match total in a World Championship and increased his tournament total to twenty one.
- This is Smith’s fourth consecutive appearance in the last 16 at the PDC World Championship; last year he beat Benito van de Pas to reach the quarter-finals having previously been defeated at this stage of the tournament by Peter Wright and Stephen Bunting.
Head to Head (Wade leads 6-2)
James Wade has won each of their last five meetings including three wins during 2016. The last time they faced each other was in September at the Champions League of Darts when Wade won 10-5 in their group fixture. Smith’s last win against Wade was back in 2014 at a UK Open qualifier.
Evening Session (7pm)
Peter Wright (3) v Ian White (14)
- Peter Wright enjoyed a comprehensive 4-0 win over Jamie Lewis in round two and dropped just one leg in the process. Overall in his opening two matches he has won all seven sets he has played and has lost only three legs.
- His average of 103.53 against Lewis was his second ton plus average of the tournament and raised his tournament average to 102.40.
- Wright hit 75% of his double attempts against Lewis, his impressive finishing included checkouts of 144, 130 and 100.
- He is trying to make it through to the quarter-finals at the World Championship for the fourth time in a row.
- He has won through in last set deciders in two of his last three matches in the last 16 at the World Championship. Last year he won a 4-3 thriller against Dave Chisnall at this stage of the tournament.
- Ian White had a 4-1 win over Jonny Clayton in round two. He took control of the match to move into a 3-0 lead and despite losing a set he never looked in danger of letting the match slip away.
- The finishing of White has been his strength during the tournament so far. He has hit 50% of his double attempts.
- His average against Clayton was 92.6, meaning overall he has failed to average over 94 in each of his last five World Championship matches.
- This is the second time White has made it through to the last 16 at the PDC World Championship, on his previous appearance in the last 16 at the 2014 World Championship he won 4-3 against Richie Burnett and went on to lose 5-4 to Simon Whitlock in their quarter-final.
Head to Head (Wright leads 9-5)
Peter Wright has won nine of his previous fourteen matches against Ian White. They have faced each other four times in 2016 and Wright has been victorious in three of those matches, most recently winning 11-6 in the last 16 at the World Matchplay back in July.
Phil Taylor (4) v Kim Huybrechts (13)
- In round two Phil Taylor won 4-0 against Kevin Painter to move through to the last 16 without dropping a set, overall he has only lost six legs in his opening two matches.
- Whilst his scoreline against Painter was convincing, the performance of Taylor wasn’t at the level he showed in his opening round. His average of 92.73 was his lowest in a World Championship match since he averaged 90.23 in defeating Jerry Hendriks in round two back at the 2013 World Championship (Taylor went on to win the title in that tournament).
- In each of the last two years, Taylor’s fixture in the last 16 at the World Championship has gone all the way to the final set. Last year he lost 4-3 to Jelle Klaasen at this stage of the tournament, the previous year he won 4-3 against Kim Huybrechts to reach the quarter-finals.
- Taylor has made it through to the quarter-finals at the World Championship in only two of the last five years.
- Kim Huybrechts had a comfortable 4-0 win over Max Hopp in his second round match. Having taken control of the game in the first set he never looked likely to give his lead away, though it has to be said the pressure from Hopp was limited.
- Huybrechts has yet to lose a set at this year’s World Championship and he’s only dropped a total of seven legs.
- His overall performance against Hopp wasn’t at the same level he showed in his opening round win over James Wilson with his match average dropping from 98.66 to 92.76.
- He still has a very respectable double success percentage of 46.67% after two matches.
- Huybrechts is aiming to reach the quarter-finals at the World Championship for the first time since he managed it on his debut at the 2012 World Championship. Two years ago he was thwarted at this stage of the tournament by Phil Taylor in a final set decider.
- Each of his last four defeats at the World Championship have been in a final set deciders.
Head to Head (Taylor leads 10-1)
Phil Taylor has a good winning record against Kim Huybrechts having only lost one of their previous eleven meetings. The last time they faced each other was at the Austrian Darts Open in June when Taylor won 6-3 in the last 16 on his way to winning the tournament. As mentioned above they met at this stage in the 2015 World Championship with Taylor coming through a last set decider, Huybrechts had led that match 3-2 only for Taylor to win the final two sets.
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Darren Webster
- Michael van Gerwen was pushed very hard by Cristo Reyes in round two; it was a match of the highest quality where van Gerwen eventually won 4-2. The average of 106.07 of Reyes was the highest ever losing average in a World Championship match.
- That win increased van Gerwen’s winning streak to 24 consecutive victories since losing to Daryl Gurney at the German Darts Championship in October.
- Van Gerwen’s own average against Reyes was 105.24, which was the third time he has averaged over 105 within his last four World Championship matches. His overall tournament average so far after two rounds played is 104.67.
- His highest ever World Championship average of 109.23 came in a 4-0 win over Darren Webster in the second round at last year’s tournament.
- Van Gerwen lost at this stage of the tournament last year in an epic tussle against Raymond van Barneveld that went to a last set decider.
- Since losing to van Barneveld in the last 16 at the 2016 World Championship van Gerwen has now won 36 consecutive matches in PDC televised ranking tournaments.
- Darren Webster had a fantastic 4-0 win over the 17th seed Simon Whitlock in his second round match. Webster is the only unseeded player to reach the last 16 at this year’s tournament.
- His average against Whitlock was 104.64, that’s comfortably his highest ever average in a televised tournament and the fourth highest average of the 2017 World Championship so far.
- His doubling throughout the tournament so far has been very efficient, his overall double success percentage is 49% and he has recorded checkouts of 157, 147 and 140 (twice).
- Webster is aiming to make it through to the quarter-finals at the World Championship for the second time. The last time was ten years ago.
Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 10-1)
Michael van Gerwen has a very strong winning record against Darren Webster which includes a 4-0 win in the second round at the 2016 World Championship where Webster won just one leg and van Gerwen averaged over 109. Their most recent encounter last month in the semi-finals at the Players Championship Finals was a much closer affair with Webster taking a shock 6-0 lead before van Gerwen recovered to eventually win 11-8.