World Matchplay quarter-final line-up will be completed on Wednesday
The quarter-final line-up will be completed on Wednesday night at the World Matchplay, with six major champions battling it out in Blackpool.
Rob Cross is the highest seed left standing in a very competitive bottom half of the draw although Peter Wright is the form man, with ‘Snakebite’ aiming to extend his unbeaten run to 20 games.
Third seed Daryl Gurney continues his pursuit of a third major PDC title, while 10th seed Ian White takes on Gerwyn Price’s conqueror Stephen Bunting.
Here’s what we have in store on Wednesday at the Winter Gardens…
Live World Matchplay Darts
July 24, 2019, 7:00pm
Daryl Gurney vs Keegan Brown
Wednesday’s action begins with a first televised clash between third seed Gurney and former World Youth champion Brown.
Gurney crashed in nine maximums en route to victory over Ricky Evans on Monday, while Brown landed four ton-plus finishes to record an impressive comeback victory over 14th seed Jonny Clayton.
The Northern Irishman reached the semi-finals in Blackpool in 2017 and victory over Brown could set up a potential quarter-final clash against Peter Wright – the man who beat him in the semis two years ago.
‘The Needle’ is through to the second round at the Winter Gardens for the first time since 2015 and he’s bidding to reach just his second major televised quarter-final, the first of which came in the 2014 Grand Slam.
Nevertheless, the Isle of Wight ace has lost all three of his previous meetings against ‘Super Chin’, the most recent being a 6-2 reverse in a Players Championship event back in March.
What they had to say…
Gurney: “I know I’m in for a tough game against Keegan, I saw him on the practice board earlier and he was hitting everything, but hopefully I can come out on top and progress to the quarter-final.”
Brown: “I’m happy to get through but I’m not happy about anything else. In all fairness, this is the hottest venue you can play darts in but I’m just happy to get through. I just want to keep winning.”
Stephen Bunting vs Ian White
Bunting and White lock horns in the second match of the evening for a place in the quarter-finals.
Their respective routes to round two couldn’t have been more contrasting. Bunting came through a sudden-death epic to edge out seventh seed Gerwyn Price, while White completed a 10-0 demolition job on Joe Cullen.
‘The Diamond’ recorded the first whitewash win at the Winter Gardens since 2016 and having lifted two European Tour titles in 2019, he’s fancied by many to reach his first major PDC semi-final this week.
Bunting ended a run of four consecutive first-round defeats at the Matchplay with victory over Price and the former Lakeside champion is now targeting a first quarter-final appearance in Blackpool.
‘The Bullet’ has won eight of his 13 meetings against White and came out on top in their German Darts Championship clash in March, but the Stoke-on-Trent ace did defeat Bunting here in 2015.
What they had to say…
Bunting: “Beating Gerwyn is probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had in the PDC. To win any game here is special, but against one of the best players in the world was extra special.”
White: “It’s a strong field and you knew any draw was going to be hard because it’s a strong field, but the European Tour has given me a lot of confidence this year.”
Rob Cross vs Krzysztof Ratajski
Two major champions collide for a place in the last eight at the Winter Gardens, as 2018 world champion Cross takes on former World Master Ratajski.
Cross cruised through to the second round with an emphatic 10-3 win over Chris Dobey on the tournament’s opening night, while Ratajski marked his Blackpool bow with a 10-5 success against Darren Webster.
‘Voltage’ is aiming to avoid his third successive second-round defeat at the World Matchplay, having lost to Adrian Lewis and Webster at this stage in the previous two editions.
‘The Polish Eagle’ is one of seven debutants in this year’s field and he’s bidding to reach his first televised quarter-final in the PDC ranks.
Cross leads the head-to-head 4-2 and their only previous televised tussle saw the World No 2 run out a comprehensive 10-3 winner in the 2018 UK Open.
What they had to say….
Cross: “I probably get better as the game goes on, and overall I’m happy with how I’m playing – but I don’t feel like I’ve played my best darts yet. I love this event and I want to do well this week.”
Ratajski: “I hope I can play better in the next round because I was very nervous in my first game. The venue is amazing, the most beautiful I’ve played in. It’s a big tournament so to win on this stage is great.”
Peter Wright vs Simon Whitlock
Wright and Whitlock clash for the second straight year in Blackpool and ‘Snakebite’ will be hoping for a repeat of last year.
The Scot thrashed ‘The Wizard’ 16-5 in the quarter-finals 12 months ago and he comes into this contest on a 19-game unbeaten run, having also registered the highest-winning average of round one.
Whitlock has been struggling with tendinitis around his elbow, however, the Australian impressed against John Henderson, defying a 101.33 average from ‘The Highlander’ to book his place in round two.
Wright is the only player in the bottom half of the draw to have previously reached a World Matchplay final, although Whitlock is a two-time semi-finalist at the Winter Gardens.
‘Snakebite’ dominates the pair’s head-to-head record 17-9, but Whitlock is bidding to claim his third-straight televised win over Wright, having beaten him at the Grand Slam and European Championship in 2018.
What they had to say….
Wright: “It’s about time I come into this tournament feeling good, I normally come into it feeling tired and its felt like hard work. This time I’m feeling nice and fresh. Whoever I play in this tournament will have to play well, otherwise they’re going home.”
Source: Read Full Article