The quarter-final line-up of this year’s PDC World Darts Championship was confirmed on Wednesday and there are four high quality games to look forward to tomorrow.
The afternoon session kicks-off with Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski taking on former BDO World Champion Stephen Bunting at the Alexandra Palace. Both players were embroiled in dramatic encounters in their fourth-round matches. 15th seed Ratajski somehow progressed despite missing nine match darts against German number one Gabriel Clemens who failed to convert seven match darts of his own. Ratajski eventually took out double one to win 4-3 and become the first player from Poland to make the quarter-final stage. Bunting had an equally nerve-wracking encounter with fellow English man Ryan Searle in Round 4. Bunting crawled over the line when he took out double tops to also win a last leg decider and progress with a 4-3 win.
Friday afternoon’s order of play finishes with two-time world champion Gary Anderson taking on the non-seed Dirk Van Duijvenbode. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson was in imperious form as he despatched of South Africa’s Devon Petersen in a performance that hinted at the 13th seed regaining the form of his World Championship winning campaigns of 2015 and 2016. The Scot was embroiled in controversy earlier in the competition when he threatened to quit the sport due to the supposed gamesmanship his third-round opponent Mensur Suljovic applied in their encounter. However, he seems to have moved on quickly and is now a serious contender to claim a third World Championship. Anderson’s quarter-final opponent Van Duijvenbode came back from 3-1 behind to defeat Premier League champion Glen Durrant 4-3 in the last round. In yet another last-leg decider, the Dutch man held his nerve to progress to this stage for the first time in his career. Van Duijvenbode will be hoping to go one step further than he did in the Grand Slam where he lost out in the final to Jose De Sousa.
The evening session commences with third seed Gerwyn Price facing off against Derry’s Daryl Gurney. Price’s finishing was impressive as he comfortably defeated the veteran Mervyn King in the last 16. The Welshman will be the clear favourite to make the final from that side of the draw as the winner will play either Ratajski or Bunting in the semi-finals. Gurney will have to be at his best to get the better of Price on Friday. While he put in a fine display in his 4-2 victory over Vincent Van der Voort, Gurney has not been in great form recently and knows that anything short of his highest performance level will not be enough against a ruthless opponent like Price.
The final quarter-final sees number one seed and three-time world champion Michael Van Gerwen take on Dave Chisnall for a place in Saturday’s semi-finals. Van Gerwen was the victor in an epic with sixteenth seed Joe Cullen on Tuesday night. Van Gerwen survived two match darts from his opponent to snatch a place in Friday’s quarter-finals and it once again seems inconceivable that the Dutchman will be halted in his attempt to regain the Sid Waddell Trophy. Chisnall defeated the World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-2 in their last 16 tie. The eight seed Chisnall has had many underwhelming displays at this tournament throughout the years and will be the underdog heading into the match with Van Gerwen. A fast start is almost certainly required if ‘Chizzy’ is to progress to the semi-finals but that still may not be enough as Van Gerwen showed against Cullen.
PDC World Darts Championship Quarter-Finals
Krzysztof Ratajski v Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson v Dirk Van Duijvenbode
Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
Michael Van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall