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Updated: 22 min 34 sec ago

World Championship Day 14

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will take on Gary Anderson, and Michael Smith will face Nathan Aspinall after the four players won through the quarter-finals of the 2018/19 William Hill World Championship at London's Alexandra Palace.

Day 14 of the £2.5 million event saw the four quarter-finals played across two sessions, with two-time World Champions Van Gerwen and Anderson now set for a Sunday night semi-final showdown.
Anderson made it through to the semi-finals for the fourth time in five years as he overcame Dave Chisnall 5-2 with a 103.03 average.

A blistering start from the Scotsman saw him take the opening set 3-0 in just 39 darts, before winning the second set 3-1 to double his advantage.

Finishes of 121 and 112 from Chisnall applied the pressure in set three, but Anderson took the deciding leg to go 3-0 up.

A resilient Chisnall came from 2-0 down to take the fourth set, but back-to-back checkouts of 115 and 130 helped Anderson restore his three-set cushion at 4-1.

The deciding leg of set six went the way of Chisnall, but any hopes of a comeback from the St Helens man were put to bed by Anderson who ended the contest with a 171 followed by a 48 finish to make it through to the final four.

"Dave always gives you a tough game so I'm glad to make it through, and the 180s are back which is pleasing," said Anderson.

"My back was still a bit sore, so it was good that I could get the job done in fairly quick time and now I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Van Gerwen eased into the final four with a 5-1 triumph over Joyce, which saw the world number one post his 17th consecutive ton-plus average on the Alexandra Palace stage.

The opening two sets went Van Gerwen's way for the loss of just one leg, before Joyce took out 66 on the bull in the deciding leg of set three to go within a set of the Dutchman.

However, the comeback was short-lived as Van Gerwen won the deciding leg of the fourth set to stretch clear once again, restoring his two-set advantage.

The Dutchman took the fifth and sixth sets 3-1 to wrap up the win and continue his quest for a third success at Alexandra Palace, where he will meet Anderson in a replay of the 2016/17 final.

"I think I played well overall tonight, but I had a terrible spell because I put too much pressure on myself," said Van Gerwen.

"I wanted to show everyone what I can do and I dipped down a bit but I can't really complain with a 5-1 win.

"Tomorrow night I will be expecting something special from myself, I can't let myself down and I need to make sure I'm sharp."

The winner of that match will face either Smith or Aspinall in the final after the North West pair advanced to the semi-final stage for the first time with convincing victories over Luke Humphries and Brendan Dolan respectively.
Premier League finalist Smith had no trouble in defeating Humphries 5-1 with a dominant display which saw him end the match with a 103 average.

Smith sealed the opening set with a 117 checkout, before taking the second without dropping a leg to double his lead.

Humphries, who ended Rob Cross' reign as World Champion on Friday, fired in a 170 finish on his way to halving the deficit, only for Smith to restore his two-set cushion by taking the fourth set 3-1.

Smith won the deciding leg of set five, and followed it up with two 11-dart legs in the sixth to edge closer to his first World Championship title.

"My dream is another step close to reality now, I'm pleased with my scoring but not my doubles-hitting," said Smith.

"The way I was two or three years ago that game probably would've turned out differently but I'm a different player now and I put my foot down when I need to.

"I told my son the only time he can come on the stage is if I win this trophy, I've never even touched the trophy myself and I won't do so until I win it."
Aspinall continued his dream debut run with an impressive 5-1 demolition of Dolan.

After cruising through the opening set without the loss of a leg, Aspinall won the deciding leg of set two to double his lead.

It got even better for the former World Youth Championship runner-up as a magnificent 132 checkout helped him on his way to set three, before landing a 122 finish on his way to a 4-0 lead.

Former World Grand Prix runner-up Dolan won three consecutive legs to get a set on the board, but 27-year-old Aspinall slammed the door in the Northern Irishman's face, wrapping up the win with a 96 finish.

"It feels unreal, this is a life-changing win for me and my family," said Aspinall.

"I felt really relaxed and I enjoyed it up there today, it's probably the most calm and confident I've felt up there even though that was the biggest game of my life.

"The dream isn't over yet, I feel there's more to come from me and I can't wait to play my semi-final. I'm just loving every minute of this!"

Sunday's play will open with Smith v Aspinall, followed by Van Gerwen v Anderson.

The tournament will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

Photos by Lawrence Lustig.

World Championship Day 13

LUKE HUMPHRIES knocked reigning World Champion Rob Cross out of the 2018/19 William Hill World Darts Championship on a thrilling night at London's Alexandra Palace.

Day 13 of the £2.5 million event saw the final six last 16 ties take place, with Saturday's quarter-final line-up now confirmed.

Humphries, a 500/1 shot at the start of the tournament, found himself two sets down to second seed Cross who fired in three ton-plus finishes in an impressive start from the defending champion.

A determined Humphries regrouped, taking the third set 3-1 with a 115 finish, before a trio of 15-dart legs saw the 23-year-old level the tie.

The fifth set also went the way of Humphries, as the Newbury man took the lead in sets for the first time in the match, before coming back from 2-0 down in the sixth set, reeling off three successive legs to book his place in the quarter-finals where he will take on Michael Smith.

"I'm absolutely over the moon to knock out the World Champion on a stage he's never lost on before," said Humphries, who has topped the PDC Unicorn Development Tour Order of Merit in each of the last two years.

"When I went 2-0 down I said to myself 'if you want to be World Champion you've got to dig deep' and that's what I did, I didn't give up because you've got to fight back in those situations.

"Two years ago I might've given up there but I believe in my own ability and I'm hugely proud of myself for that performance tonight.

"I take a lot of inspiration from Rob and his win last year has given players like me the belief that I can win this, and if I keep showing resilience like this then I can go all the way."

Smith cruised through to the quarter-finals for the second time in his career with a comfortable 4-1 win over Ryan Searle.

Smith took the opening set 3-1, and, after Searle went 2-0 up in the second, the Premier League finalist came back to win it with a 130 checkout to double his lead.

Back-to-back 11-dart legs helped Smith on the way to a 3-0 lead, but after he missed two match darts in the fourth, Searle stepped in to take double ten to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

Searle took the opening two legs of set five, but a dogged Smith came back once again with three successive legs, sealing the win with a 106 checkout.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson will meet Dave Chisnall in the last eight, after the St Helens thrower made it back-to-back 4-0 wins as he defeated Jamie Lewis to reach the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.

Last year's semi-finalist Lewis took a two-leg lead in the opening set, but Chisnall fought back to win it and followed it up by winning the second 3-1.

Set three went to a deciding leg, and after Lewis missed three darts to halve the deficit, Chisnall found the double to win the set at the ninth attempt, before sealing victory in the next to make it 11 consecutive sets in the tournament.

Ryan Joyce and Nathan Aspinall both continued their fairytale runs in their first World Championships.

Joyce, who won his Tour Card in January, claimed the scalp of a seed for the third successive match as he overcame James Wade 4-3.

Joyce landed a 138 finish to take the opening set, before Wade took the next two sets to lead 2-1.

The next two sets both went on throw to give Wade a 3-2 lead, but after he missed five darts for the match, Joyce stepped in to take the contest to a tense deciding leg.

After Wade took the opening leg, Joyce responded with a 110 checkout followed by a break of throw to go within a leg of victory, and at the fifth attempt the Geordie found the winning double to set up a clash with Michael van Gerwen.

The opening game of the day saw Aspinall come back from 2-0 down to defeat Devon Petersen 4-3 in a roller-coaster affair.

African Qualifier Petersen raced into a two-set lead, but after missing three darts to make it 3-0, Aspinall turned the match on its head to take a 3-2 lead.

Petersen responded to take the tie to a deciding set which went to a tie-break at 2-2, before Aspinall held throw and then found a 13-dart break to book his place in the last eight.

Brendan Dolan reached the quarter-finals for the first time with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Benito van de Pas.

The Northern Irishman won nine of the opening 11 legs as he raced into a three-set lead, before Van de Pas registered his first set.

However, it was to be Dolan's day as the former World Grand Prix finalist edged the fifth set 3-2 to claim a resounding win.

Saturday will see the four quarter-finals take place across two sessions, with Aspinall v Dolan and Chisnall v Anderson in the afternoon, followed by Humphries v Smith and Van Gerwen v Joyce in the evening.

Photos by Lawrence Lustig.

Darts legend John Lowe made MBE

John Lowe, who threw the historic perfect leg in October 1984, has been recognised for his services to the sport and to charity.

One of the most talented players of his generation, the 73-year-old won world championships in 1979, 1987 and 1993.

He said the honour was "absolutely great news" and thanked his supporters.

Lowe, who lives in Chesterfield, threw his famous perfect finish in the World Matchplay tournament against Keith Deller, more than five years before Paul Lim followed up the feat in January 1990.

A former secretary and chairman of the World Professional Dart Players Association, Lowe represented England on more than 100 occasions and captained his country for seven unbeaten years.
Unexpected treat

Over the past 35 years, Lowe has also raised significant sums for a range of charities, with the John Lowe Classic Charity Golf Day bringing in about £250,000 for AMATE (Tenerife's Breast Cancer Association) since it began 14 years ago.

Mr Lowe said he was on holiday in Cyprus when his son called him to tell him of the honour, and that it had been a struggle to keep it a secret before the official announcement.

He added the honour was an unexpected treat at his age.

"It's nice to be recognised for my darts, and for my work for charity," he said.

World Championship Day Twelve

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN and Gary Anderson secured their passage into the quarter-finals of the 2018/19 William Hill World Darts Championship at London's Alexandra Palace as the tournament resumed on Thursday.

Day 12 of the £2.5 million event saw 12 players continue their quest for the Sid Waddell Trophy, with the final four third round games and the first two last 16 clashes in the first day of action following the Christmas break.

Two-time World Champion Anderson survived a scare to see off Chris Dobey 4-3 in a thrilling contest which produced 28 180s between the pair.

Anderson's protégé Dobey charged into a 2-0 lead, before the Scot stormed back, taking sets three and four to level.

He then took a 2-0 lead in set five, only for Dobey to reel off three straight legs to take a 3-2 lead, and the sixth set also went to a deciding leg, which Anderson won thanks to a 13-darter to take the match to a deciding set.

The high-quality contest continued with three consecutive 12-dart holds of throw, with Dobey ahead 2-1, before Anderson came back once again to win three successive legs to seal his place in the quarter-finals following a tie-break.
"It was a hard game to win, hats off to Chris he played a great game and I pinched it in the end," said Anderson.

"At the moment my back is causing me pain and every dart hurts me but I'm trying really hard and I'll keep fighting."

Anderson's fellow former two-time World Champion Van Gerwen threw the highest average of the tournament so far as he secured a comfortable 4-1 victory over Adrian Lewis.

World number one Van Gerwen stormed into a two-set lead, and looked to be coasting as he went 2-0 up in the third before five missed doubles looked to have handed Lewis the advantage, as the Stoke ace halved the deficit to trail 2-1 in sets.

With the match in the balance at 2-2 in set four, Van Gerwen fired in a timely 11-dart leg to regain his two-set cushion before edging the fifth set 3-2 to seal a 4-1 victory and his passage into the last eight.
"I made myself work harder than I needed to," Van Gerwen admitted.

"I missed darts to go 3-0 up and I gave him too much confidence, I should never have put myself in that situation because Adrian puts the pressure on you.

"I had to be at my best and I'm feeling good and confident in myself, so from here I hope to build on this into the rest of the tournament."
In the third round, world number ten Michael Smith came from behind to see off John Henderson 4-2,

World number ten Smith found himself trailing 2-1 to Henderson, as the Scot landed two 116 finishes and a set-saving 161 checkout.

Smith rallied, set four in just 38 darts without the loss of a leg to level, before reeling off six of the last seven legs to secure his place in the last 16 where he will take on Ryan Searle.
The day's final third round games began as South Africa's Devon Petersen continued his memorable run with a 4-2 win over Steve West.

African Qualifier Petersen hit finishes of 139 and 120 to win sets two and three respectively to take a 2-1 lead, and, after West missed a dart at tops to take a 3-2 lead, Petersen found the double to go in front.

Another five darts at double top went begging for West to save the match, and Petersen stepped in to hit double eight and book his place in the last 16, while also securing his 2019 PDC Tour Card.
Emerging star Luke Humphries will face reigning champion Rob Cross in the last 16 after he recorded a 4-1 win over Dimitri Van den Bergh.

A winner of eight Development Tour titles, Humphries picked up where he left off from his 3-1 victory over Stephen Bunting by storming into a two-set lead, winning both on last-leg deciders.

World Youth Champion Van den Bergh pulled a set back, only for Humphries to slam the door in the Belgian's face by reeling off six of the last seven legs to seal his place in round four.
The final third round game of the tournament saw Benito van de Pas reach the last 16 for the fourth time in five years thanks to a 4-2 victory over Toni Alcinas.

Three-time ranking event winner Van de Pas fired himself into a two-set lead, only for Peter Wright's second round conqueror Alcinas to claw his way back into the contest at 2-2.

With set five finely poised at 2-2, Van de Pas found a stunning 149 finish to go win a crucial leg of the match and a 3-2 lead.

Van de Pas, who also hit a 160 finish in the match, made it a hat-trick of incredible ton-plus finishes with a 151 to take the sixth set to a decider which he won with a 15-dart leg to advance to round four, where he will face Brendan Dolan.

The fourth round concludes with the remaining six matches across two sessions on Friday, which include Cross' tie with Humphries, Dave Chisnall up against Jamie Lewis and James Wade's tie with Ryan Joyce.

Photos by Lawrence Lustig.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Thursday December 27
Afternoon Session
Devon Petersen 4-2 Steve West (R3) - REPORT
Luke Humphries 4-1 Dimitri Van den Bergh (R3) - REPORT
Michael Smith 4-2 John Henderson (R3) - REPORT

Evening Session
Benito van de Pas 4-2 Toni Alcinas (R3) - REPORT
Fourth Round x2
Gary Anderson 4-3 Chris Dobey - REPORT
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Adrian Lewis - REPORT

Friday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230)
Fourth Round x3
Nathan Aspinall v Devon Petersen
Benito van de Pas v Brendan Dolan
Ryan Joyce v James Wade

Evening Session (1900)
Fourth Round x3
Ryan Searle v Michael Smith
Jamie Lewis v Dave Chisnall
Rob Cross v Luke Humphries

World Championship Day Eleven

REIGNING William Hill World Darts Champion Rob Cross continued his impressive title defence with a straight sets victory over Cristo Reyes at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.
Cross averaged over 100 for the second consecutive match as he moved into the last 16 with a convincing win on the final day of action before the Christmas break.
Cross took the first set 3-1 before a 126 checkout on the bull helped him double his lead by winning three straight legs in set two.
An 11-darter put Reyes 2-1 ahead in the third set but Cross edged it 3-2.
The Spanish ace went seven darts into a nine-darter attempt as he took the first leg in the fourth set, but a brilliant 147 finish levelled the set for Cross, who went on to seal victory with a clinical 76 checkout.
"I felt really good up there," said Cross, who had beaten Jeffrey De Zwaan on the opening night of the tournament.
"I think the ten days in between games helped me. I've felt relaxed and I was ready for this match and I think that showed in my performance.
"It's a good start and I know if I can keep this up I've got every chance of going all the way again."
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis raced past Darius Labanauskas to set up a mouth-watering last 16 showdown with world number one Michael van Gerwen.
Lewis needed less than 35 minutes of playing time to complete a 4-0 demolition of Lithuania's Labanauskas, who defeated Raymond van Barneveld in the previous round.
"I wanted to win quickly because I haven't felt great since the last match," said Lewis, who remains in the hunt for a third World Championship title.
"I've been tucked up in bed for a couple days watching the darts and I'm going to rest up and get ready for the game against Michael.
"I think that Michael looked vulnerable in his last match and I'm really looking forward to playing him."
James Wade survived a scare as he completed a comeback victory against Keegan Brown.
Wade came from 3-1 down in sets to seal a 4-3 triumph against the player who had knocked him out of the tournament 12 months ago.
Brown won deciding legs in each of the first two sets and, after Wade had halved the deficit, stormed set four without losing a leg.
Three-time semi-finalist Wade bounced back from the brink, however, winning three successive sets to clinch a victory that he capped off with a 101 checkout.
"It feels amazing, I'm so happy and Santa has come a little bit early for me," said Wade, who will return after Christmas to take on Ryan Joyce.
"I was numb at the end of the match. I can't explain how I came back and won.
"I'm going to enjoy myself now. I'm very excited for Christmas. It's my first one with my son and as a family so I'm really excited and really happy."
Nathan Aspinall continued his dream debut run as he reached the last 16 with a comfortable victory over Australia's Kyle Anderson.
Aspinall, a winner on the ProTour in 2018 after winning back his Tour Card at Qualifying School in January, landed four finishes of over 100 on the way to a 4-1 success over the former Auckland Darts Masters winner.
"I'm over the moon," said 27-year-old Aspinall, who had beaten sixth seed Gerwyn Price in the second round.
"I think some of the top seeds might have underestimated us other players. We are all capable and anybody can beat anybody else on their day.
"I'm living the dream and this could be a life-changing tournament for me."
Brendan Dolan reached the last 16 for the first time after defeating Mervyn King 4-2, continuing a strong return to form for the 2010 World Grand Prix finalist.
Chris Dobey defeated Vincent Van der Voort 4-3 in a high-quality encounter, in which the two-time TV quarter-finalist hit nine maximums as he progressed to the last 16, where the 28-year-old will take on mentor Gary Anderson.
The action at Alexandra Palace resumes on December 27 with the remaining four matches from round three before the first two last 16 ties, featuring two-time champions Anderson, Van Gerwen and Lewis.
The tournament is being broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Sunday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230)
Chris Dobey 4-3 Vincent Van der Voort (R3) - REPORT
Brendan Dolan 4-2 Mervyn King (R3) - REPORT
James Wade 4-3 Keegan Brown (R3) - REPORT
Evening Session (1900)
Adrian Lewis 4-0 Darius Labanauskas (R3) - REPORT
Nathan Aspinall 4-1 Kyle Anderson (R3) - REPORT
Rob Cross 4-0 Cristo Reyes (R3) - REPORT
Thursday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230)
Devon Petersen v Steve West (R3)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Luke Humphries (R3)
Michael Smith v John Henderson (R3)
Evening Session (1900)
Toni Alcinas v Benito van de Pas (R3)
Fourth Round x2
Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis

Friday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230)
Fourth Round x3
Nathan Aspinall v Petersen/West
Alcinas/Van de Pas v Brendan Dolan
Ryan Joyce v James Wade
Evening Session (1900)
Fourth Round x3
Ryan Searle v M Smith/Henderson
Jamie Lewis v Dave Chisnall
Rob Cross v Van den Bergh/Humphries
Saturday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230)
Quarter-Finals x2
Aspinall/Petersen/West v Alcinas/Van de Pas/Dolan
J Lewis/Chisnall v G Anderson/Dobey
Evening Session (1900)
Quarter-Finals x2
Cross/Van den Bergh/Humphries v Searle/M Smith/Henderson
Van Gerwen/A Lewis v Joyce/Wade
Sunday December 30 (1900)
Semi-Finals
Tuesday January 1 (2000)
Final
Images: Lawrence Lustig/

Aspinall Dumps Out Price On Day of Comebacks

NATHAN ASPINALL dumped out Gerwyn Price, while Devon Petersen shocked Ian White on an incredible day of comebacks at the 2018/19 William Hill World Darts Championship.

Day Nine of the £2.5 million event saw the final eight second round matches take place at Alexandra Palace, with Grand Slam of Darts champion Price surrendering a 2-0 lead to former World Youth Champion Aspinall.

The opening two sets both went to last leg deciders, with Price edging both 3-2 to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

Set three also went the full five legs, but after Price missed the bullseye for a 3-0 victory, ProTour event winner Aspinall hit double 16 with his last dart in hand to get his first set on the board.

Growing in confidence, Aspinall hit a 140 checkout to take the third set 3-1, and then took the lead for the first time since the opening leg to go 1-0 up in the deciding set before reeling off the last two legs to secure a famous win.

"This is absolutely massive for me and my family, and I'm not done yet," said Aspinall, who will take on Kyle Anderson in round three.

"I know what I can do and I knew if I played my game I could win, even at 2-0 down I thought I would still win and I never gave up.

"Going full-time this year was a big risk for me and my family, but winning a ProTour event along with this win tonight gives me security and I couldn't be happier."

A strong performance from Anderson saw him come through a tough test against Noel Malicdem, defeating the Filipino qualifier 3-1 in another high-quality affair.

A sensational comeback from Petersen saw him come back from two sets down to defeat 11th seed White 3-2 after a tense tie-break.

White, a winner of three PDC titles in 2018, got off to a flying start as he took the opening two sets for the loss of just one leg with an average of over 110.

However, a dramatic turn of events saw South African Qualifier Petersen, starring in his sixth World Championship, rattle in five 180s to win both the third and fourth sets 3-1 to take the match to a deciding set.

The pair exchanged breaks of throw, followed by two holds to take the contest to a tie-break before Petersen struck a crucial break to go 4-3 up, and then found double ten with his second match dart to clinch victory.

"This is the biggest win of my life, I couldn't be happier right now," said Petersen, who will face Steve West in round three.

"I love playing on the Ally Pally stage, it's a magnificent showcase for me to show my best game and to show people what I'm all about.

"Over the last 18 months I've been adapting my throwing style, which is why I haven't had great results on the tour, but I'm glad that my best game is coming through now when it matters most."

Meanwhile, superior finishing proved to be the difference for West as he ran out a 3-1 winner over Richard North.

Dimitri Van den Bergh produced the highest winning average of the tournament (104.45) in his impressive 3-1 triumph over Jonny Clayton.

Last year's quarter-finalist Van den Bergh got off to a flying start, winning the opening leg 3-0 with three 13-dart legs, before Clayton fired in three 180s on his way to winning the second set 3-1 to level the contest.

Van den Bergh took set three 3-1, and then came back from 2-0 down in the fourth set, kick-started by a 108 finish, to reel off three successive legs for the win and set up a meeting with Luke Humphries.

"I am so happy with how I played tonight but I know this is how I need to play if I’m going to become World Champion," said back-to-back World Youth Champion Van den Bergh.

"I wasn't feeling comfortable in myself in my first round game but since then I spent a lot of hours on the practice board with my dad which gave me the perfect preparation to produce this performance."

The opening game of the day saw Benito van de Pas survive a match dart before defeating Jim Long 3-2 in a dramatic tie-break.

Competing in his fifth consecutive World Championship, Van de Pas took the opening two sets with the concession of just two legs, only for Canadian Qualifier Long to fight back with two sets of his own to take the match to a deciding set.

With nothing to separate the pair at 2-2 in the fifth set, the game went to a tie-break with Long missing a dart at tops for the match at 3-2.

Van de Pas fought back with three successive legs, winning it with a stunning 150 finish and he will now face Spain's Toni Alcinas.

John Henderson came through a high-quality five-set contest with Gabriel Clemens to set up a meeting with Michael Smith, while former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown will take on James Wade in a rematch of last year's first round after coming from a set down to defeat former semi-finalist Jelle Klaasen 3-1.

The action continues on Saturday with six third round ties, featuring two-time World Champions Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson.

The tournament will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Friday December 21
Afternoon Session
Benito van de Pas 3-2 Jim Long (R2)
John Henderson 3-2 Gabriel Clemens (R2)
Steve West 3-1 Richard North (R2)
Kyle Anderson 3-1 Noel Malicdem (R2)

Evening Session
Devon Petersen 3-2 Ian White (R2)
Keegan Brown 3-1 Jelle Klaasen (R2)
Nathan Aspinall 3-2 Gerwyn Price (R2)
Dimitri Van den Bergh 3-1 Jonny Clayton (R2)

Saturday December 22
Afternoon Session (1230)
Ryan Joyce v Alan Norris (R3)
Dave Chisnall v Kim Huybrechts (R3)
Daryl Gurney v Jamie Lewis (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
Ryan Searle v William O’Connor (R3)
Gary Anderson v Jermaine Wattimena (R3)
Michael van Gerwen v Max Hopp (R3)

Searle Shocks Suljovic In Second Round

RYAN SEARLE sent Mensur Suljovic crashing out of the William Hill World Championship on Thursday, while Adrian Lewis eased through to the third round at Alexandra Palace, London.

Somerset talent Searle pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament so far as he defied ten 180s from Austrian ace Suljovic to claim a 3-1 success.

The game had looked likely to go Suljovic's way when he claimed the first set 3-1 with the aid of a superb 11-darter.

ProTour finalist Searle responded with a 120 finish on his way to winning the second set, before winning three consecutive legs to claim set three and a 2-1 lead.

World Matchplay finalist Suljovic continued to apply the pressure, but Searle landed a magnificent 118 finish to claim a memorable victory.

"I am over the moon," said Searle, who will take on William O'Connor in round three.

"Mensur was awesome in the first set but I managed to find my game. I'm really happy to have done so well having only just squeaked into the tournament.

"I've got a great record against Willie. We've played three times and I've won them all so I am hoping that continues."

Lewis produced his best quality at key moments in his 3-0 win against Ted Evetts.

The two-time World Champion won deciding legs in each of the first two sets with 14 and 13 dart legs, before an 11-darter helped him seal the third set 3-1.

"I thought it was a great game," said Lewis, who famously suffered a shock first round defeat in last year's tournament.

"I did feel some pressure coming into this tournament but I've been playing really well in practice and I'm confident I can do really well.

Lewis, who will play Darius Labanauskas in the last 32 after the Lithuanian claimed a shock win against Raymond Van Barneveld on Monday, added: "I wanted to play Barney. I mean that from the heart.

"I think he deserved that big match. He's only got a couple of years left of playing and it was sad to see him lose.

"It won't change my approach because it will be an equally tough game against Darius."

Mervyn King fended off a fightback from Jan Dekker to win a tie-break in a dramatic contest.

King appeared to be coasting to victory when he won the first two sets but Dekker took out 100 in the deciding leg of the third set after a chance to win the match went begging.

The Dutchman went on to level and took the match into overtime when the final set reached two apiece but King regained his composure to win the two legs he required to progress.

"I made hard work of it," admitted King, who had thrown away a two-set lead to lose in the last 64 at Ally Pally 12 months ago.

"I should have won that easily but I knew Jan would come good at some point in the match because he is a great player.

"I was happy with how I played but I have been practising really well. The important thing was getting over this hurdle and hopefully my practice game will come out later in the tournament."

Alan Norris won a thrilling contest against Steve Lennon, which went all the way down to a sudden-death leg.

The pair couldn't be separated after four sets and four legs, forcing a tie-break and eventually a last-leg shoot-out.

Lennon won the bull but a 180 put Norris in control and he took out 81 to set up a third round meeting with Ryan Joyce.

"Determination got me through that one," said Norris, who was making his first televised appearance since February.

"I've had rough year but I've been on the practice board and started wearing glasses and I feel like I'm coming back.

"Simon Whitlock gave me his glasses to try and since then I can actually see again. They've made a huge difference and I hope things are on the up now."

Cristo Reyes came from two sets behind to defeat Rowby-John Rodriguez, becoming the second Spanish player to reach the last 32 - following Toni Alcinas' win over Peter Wright.

Reyes produced four finishes of over 100 as he punished Austrian youngster Rodriguez for missed opportunities to set up a third round clash with defending champion Rob Cross.

Day Eight of the £2.5 million event began with a straight sets victory for Jermaine Wattimena over Michael Barnard.

The highlight for the quickfire Dutchman was a 130 checkout as he set up a third round meeting with Gary Anderson.

Luke Humphries produced a highly impressive performance to defeat Stephen Bunting, while Chris Dobey raced through a 3-0 victory over Steve Beaton.

The action continues on Friday with eight second round ties, featuring Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price.

The tournament will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.
2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Thursday December 20
Afternoon Session
Jermaine Wattimena 3-0 Michael Barnard (R2)
Alan Norris 3-2 Steve Lennon (R2)
Luke Humphries 3-1 Stephen Bunting (R2)
Chris Dobey (R2) 3-0 Steve Beaton

Evening Session
Cristo Reyes 3-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez (R2)
Mervyn King 3-2 Jan Dekker (R2)
Adrian Lewis 3-0 Ted Evetts (R2)
Ryan Searle 3-1 Ryan Searle (R2)

Friday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230)
Benito van de Pas v Jim Long (R2)
John Henderson v Gabriel Clemens (R2)
Steve West v Richard North (R2)
Kyle Anderson v Noel Malicdem (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Ian White v Devon Petersen (R2)
Jelle Klaasen v Keegan Brown (R2)
Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall (R2)
Jonny Clayton v Dimitri Van den Bergh (R2)

William Hill World Darts Championship Update

JAMES WADE survived a scare when he was taken to a tie-break by Japan's Seigo Asada before winning through to the third round of the William Hill World Darts Championship, while Michael Smith also progressed at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday.

A determined and animated Wade earned a hard-fought victory against his impressive opponent, who had taken the scalp of Krzysztof Ratajski in round one.

Asada, who has won three titles on the PDC Asian Tour this year, averaged over 97 and fired in a spectacular 130 checkout but was ultimately punished for missed opportunities at pivotal moments in the match.

"His performance shocked and surprised me," admitted Wade, the winner of two televised titles in 2018.

"I honestly didn't think he had that game in him and I should have prepared better.

"I didn't play well and I had to dig in deep. I could have easily lost but I dug in and it's a magnificent feeling to win a game that I probably shouldn't have won."

Smith - the third favourite with title sponsors William Hill to lift The Sid Waddell Trophy - moved safely through with a 3-1 victory over Ron Meulenkamp.

Finishes of 112 and 132 helped Premier League runner-up Smith book his place in the third round.

"I don’t take a lot of positives from that match but I got the job done and now I can go home, enjoy Christmas and prepare for my next game," said Smith, who won the Shanghai Darts Masters in July.

"I'm getting married in the New Year and I want my fiancé to be the first woman in history to be waiting for me at the end of the aisle with the World Championship trophy!"

Eighth seed Simon Whitlock was dumped out by Ally Pally debutant Ryan Joyce in a surprise straight sets defeat for the 2010 finalist.

Joyce, who defeated Anastasia Dobromyslova in round one, edged the first set 3-2 before a 109 finish helped him take the second set 3-1 before he wrapped up an impressive victory.

"I think this is the biggest win of my career," said Joyce, a semi-finalist on the ProTour in 2018.

"I realise I caught Simon on a bad day but I'm pleased that I played to my strength and hit the doubles.

"I was always expecting Simon to click in, play world class darts and come back but when that didn't happen I sensed my opportunity and I'm glad I took it."

Kim Huybrechts stormed through to the third round with a brilliant whitewash win over Daniel Larsson.

Huybrechts averaged over 103 as he romped to victory without dropping a leg against Sweden's Larsson, who had beaten Robert Thornton in round one.

"I'm really happy with how I played," said Huybrechts, who dedicated the victory to his late mother.

"It's been really hard for me over the last couple of years to come to terms with losing the most important person in my life but my mum will always be my inspiration.

"I've put in some hard work both physically and mentally and I know I will be back better than ever."

Brendan Dolan took out the first 170 finish of this year's event during in his triumph over an out-of-sorts Joe Cullen as the former World Grand Prix finalist moved into the last 32.

The Northern Irishman, who has dropped just one leg in each of his first two matches, will meet either Mervyn King or Jan Dekker in round three.

"Joe didn't perform and I was able to take advantage of that," said Dolan.

"I kept him down and he didn't get a leg on the board until the third set which must be soul destroying for a player.

"Things haven't gone to plan for me during the year but I'm in the third round now and the past can be wiped off. There's more to come from me and I'll show it in the next round."

Ireland's William O'Connor also reached the last 32 after edging out James Wilson in a five-set thriller.

After hitting ten 180s and four ton-plus finishes between them, O'Connor came out on top by averaging 116 in the deciding set.

PDC Asian Tour star Noel Malicdem moved into the second round with a hard fought victory against Jeffrey De Graaf.

Malicdem, who won two events on the Asian Tour and hit a nine-darter in the Event One final, landed crucial finishes of 96 and 91 as he came from 2-1 down to progress.

Nathan Aspinall enjoyed a comfortable victory against fellow World Championship debutant Geert Nentjes.

Aspinall, who won a Players Championship event in September, defeated the Dutch youngster by three sets to nil as the first round concluded.

The second round action continues with another double session on Thursday, featuring eight matches, including opening ties for two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis and former Champions League winner Mensur Suljovic.

The biggest ever World Darts Championship is being broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

William Hill World Darts Championship
Wednesday 19 December
Afternoon Session
Nathan Aspinall 3-0 Geert Nentjes (R1)
Noel Malicdem 3-2 Jeffrey de Graaf (R1)
Brendan Dolan 3-0 Joe Cullen (R2)
Kim Huybrechts 3-0 Daniel Larsson (R2)

Evening Session
William O’Connor 3-2 James Wilson (R2)
Ryan Joyce 3-0 Simon Whitlock (R2)
Michael Smith 3-1 Ron Meulenkamp (R2)
James Wade 3-2 Seigo Asada (R2)

Thursday December 20
Afternoon Session (1230)
Jermaine Wattimena v Michael Barnard (R2)
Alan Norris v Steve Lennon (R2)
Stephen Bunting v Luke Humphries (R2)
Steve Beaton v Chris Dobey (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Cristo Reyes v Rowby-John Rodriguez (R2)
Mervyn King v Jan Dekker (R2)
Adrian Lewis v Ted Evetts (R2)
Mensur Suljovic v Ryan Searle (R2)

Image courtesy “Lawrence Lustig/PDC”

Cologne & Hamilton Host World Series

THE PDC World Series of Darts will enjoy two new destinations in 2019 as Cologne and Hamilton host the sport's top players alongside events in Las Vegas, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The World Series of Darts enjoyed a brilliant year in 2018, including a world record crowd of 20,210 fans for the German Darts Masters in Gelsenkirchen.
Next year, the tournament will revert to a two-day event and be held at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne on July 12-13, as eight top PDC players take on eight leading German aces.
That tournament will follow the US Darts Masters on July 4-5, as the sport's stars return to the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas.
The action at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort will begin with the North American Championship, before the two-day World Series of Darts event sees PDC stars take to the stage.
A treble-header in August will then see the stars head Down Under for events in Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand, where Hamilton will host a PDC tournament for the first time.
The three events will begin on August 9-10 at the BCEC with the Brisbane Darts Masters, which first welcomed the World Series of Darts in 2018.
The third staging of the Melbourne Darts Masters will then take place on August 16-17 at the Hisense Arena, before the World Series crosses the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.
Hamilton's Claudelands Arena will host the NZ Darts Masters on August 23-24, with a new destination in New Zealand following four successful years in Auckland.
The international events will be followed from November 1-3 by the World Series of Darts Finals in Amsterdam, as 24 players contest the season-ending tournament at AFAS Live.
"Following the success of our 2018 World Series of Darts events, this is an exciting schedule for 2019 which will take the world's top players around the globe," said PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter.
"The German Darts Masters kicked off this year's action with a world record crowd and we're expecting huge interest once again with our first event in Cologne.
"It's also great to be able to take the World Series to Hamilton, with the sport growing in popularity year-on-year in New Zealand, while established destinations in Australia and Las Vegas are a great place to see the biggest names in darts live."
Travel packages from the UK for the World Series of Darts Festival in Las Vegas will be available in due course, with information to be posted at www.pdc.tv/vegas. Ticket-only options will also be available.
Tickets for the German Darts Masters are available now through www.eventim.de/german-darts-masters.
Ticket information for the Brisbane Darts Masters and Melbourne Darts Masters will be available in due course, with fans able to register for information via www.ticketek.com.au/darts.
Tickets for the NZ Darts Masters will go on sale in January through www.ticketek.co.nz/darts.
Tickets for the 2019 World Series of Darts Finals are available now through www.pdc-europe.tv/tickets.
2019 PDC World Series of Darts
US Darts Masters – July 4-5, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
German Darts Masters – July 12-13, LANXESS Arena, Cologne
Brisbane Darts Masters – August 9-10, BCEC, Brisbane
Melbourne Darts Masters – August 16-17, Hisense Arena, Melbourne
NZ Darts Masters – August 23-24, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
World Series of Darts Finals - November 1-3, AFAS Live, Amsterdam

World Championship Day Six

VINCENT VAN DER VOORT moved into the third round of the William Hill World Darts Championship with a straight sets victory over Darren Webster as the action continued on Tuesday at Alexandra Palace, London.
Van der Voort, who had beaten Lourence Ilagan on Monday, dumped out number 13 seed Webster, who only managed to win one leg.
"I didn't play well but I played at little bit better than Darren," said The Dutchman, who celebrated his birthday with the victory.

"All that mattered was getting through this match. It was difficult playing a day after winning the first match the before so I'm not really concerned about the performance - only the result.
"I will have to play better in the next round but the main thing is that I will be there."

Japanese star Seigo Asada came from two sets behind to defeat Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski in round one.

Austria's Rowby-John Rodriguez tasted victory at Ally Pally for the first time in four attempts by defeating Ricky Evans.

The former PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship finalist claimed a 3-1 victory to move into round two, where he will face Spanish number one Cristo Reyes.

Former World Grand Prix and UK Open champion Robert Thornton was knocked out in the first round by Swedish debutant Daniel Larsson, who won 3-1 to set up a last 64 meeting with Kim Huybrechts.
Recently crowned Players Championship Finals winner Daryl Gurney enters the tournament on Tuesday evening along with PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion Dimitri Van Den Bergh.

The £2.5 million tournament is being broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

Schedule of Play
Tuesday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230)
Daniel Larsson 3-1 Robert Thornton (R1) - REPORT
Rowby-John Rodriguez 3-1 Ricky Evans (R1) - REPORT
Seigo Asada 3-2 Krzysztof Ratajski (R1) - REPORT
Vincent van der Voort 3-0 Darren Webster (R2) - REPORT
Evening Session (1900)
Steve Lennon v James Bailey (R1)
Ron Meulenkamp v Diogo Portela (R1)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Chuck Puleo (R1)
Daryl Gurney v Ross Smith (R2)

Wednesday 19 December
Afternoon Session (1230)
Nathan Aspinall v Geert Nentjes (R1)
Jeffrey de Graaf v Noel Malicdem (R1)
Joe Cullen v Brendan Dolan (R2)
Kim Huybrechts v Daniel Larsson (R2)
Evening Session (1900)
James Wilson v William O’Connor (R2)
Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce (R2)
Michael Smith v Meulenkamp/Portela (R2)
James Wade v Ratajski/Asada (R2)

Alcinas Sends Wright Crashing Out

TONI ALCINAS sent world number three Peter Wright crashing out of the William Hill World Championship with a stunning 3-1 victory at London's Alexandra Palace on Sunday.

The Spanish star punished 2014 runner-up Wright for poor finishing to reach the third round of the £2.5 million event for the second year in a row.

Alcinas opened up a 2-0 lead in the first set but a sublime 167 finish helped Wright force a decider, in which he left himself on 28 by scoring 171 - only to see his opponent take out 109.

Alcinas won the second set 3-1 before Wright seemed to start to find his feet, taking the third set 3-0, but the Spanish World Cup star produced a brilliant 13-darter to break in the deciding leg of set four to complete the biggest shock of the tournament so far.

"I played really well and I'm happy," said Alcinas, after defeating Wright for the first time in his career, having lost seven previous encounters against the Scotsman.

"I had played against Peter several times and could never beat him. He didn't play his best game but it was still a hard match and I had to play well to win.

"It is a special moment for me and I hope I can go even further now."

Dave Chisnall survived a scare as he fought back from two sets behind to defeat Josh Payne and reach round three.

Payne, a winner on the PDC ProTour in 2018, looked to be cruising to victory when he took the first two sets without dropping a leg while averaging almost 110.

Chisnall produced a strong leg to break in the deciding leg in set three before taking the fourth set 3-1, forcing a decider, which he won by the same margin after Payne had missed a dart to level.

"I thought I was out when he was two-nil up," admitted Chisnall.

"I just had to believe that he wouldn't be able to keep playing as well as he was and I know that I get better the longer games go on.

"That's what happened and it gives me confidence for the longer format in the next round."

Luke Humphries impressed in his 3-0 win against Adam Hunt, in which he won nine consecutive legs after losing the first.

Newbury ace Humphries, who topped the PDC Unicorn Development Tour Order of Merit for the second successive year, needed less than 20 minutes to complete his first World Championship victory.

"The first set was a bit scrappy but I'm really pleased with how I played after that," said the 23-year-old, who averaged 97.58.

"I feel like I am a better player this year and the Development and Challenge Tours have really helped me. Without them I wouldn't be here playing like I did."

Former World Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan eased into the second round with a 3-0 win over China's Yuanjun Liu.

Dolan won the first two sets without allowing Liu any darts at doubles before a fabulous 141 finish saw the Northern Irishman take a seventh successive leg.

"I think my experience pulled me through," said Dolan, who is making his 11th consecutive World Championship appearance.

"It was all new to him and I made sure I started well and didn't let him in. I've been practising hard this year and I feel like it is starting to pay off."

Liu landed double 16 to get his only leg on the board before Dolan claimed the next two legs to wrap up a comfortable win.

Darius Labanauskas recovered from losing the first set to defeat Matthew Edgar on his Alexandra Palace debut.

Labanauskas, the first Lithuanian to compete in the World Championship, put 15 missed darts at doubles in set one behind him to take the second set 3-0 before winning the next two sets to set up a second round tie with Raymond Van Barneveld.

Germany's Gabriel Clemens was Sunday's first winner after he eased to a straight sets victory over Aden Kirk.

Clemens will meet Scottish ace John Henderson in round two Friday.

Irishman William O'Connor moved into the second round at Ally Pally for the first time with a 3-0 win over Yordi Meeuwisse.

O'Connor took the first set 3-1 despite a brilliant 133 checkout from his Dutch opponent, before going on to win sets two and three in last-leg deciders to set up a last 64 meeting with James Wilson.

Ross Smith became the fifth player of the day to reach round two for the first time after defeating veteran star Paul Lim 3-1.

The action continues on Monday evening with three further first round ties, including Anastasia Dobromyslova's return to Ally Pally, before Van Barneveld's second round meeting with Labanauskas.

The £2.5 million tournament is being broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Sunday December 16
Afternoon Session
Gabriel Clemens 3-0 Aden Kirk (R1)
William O’Connor 3-0 Yordi Meeuwisse (R1)
Brendan Dolan 3-0 Yuanjun Liu (R1)
Dave Chisnall 3-2 Josh Payne (R2)

Evening Session
Luke Humphries 3-0 Adam Hunt (R1)
Darius Labanauskas 3-1 Matthew Edgar (R1)
Ross Smith 3-1 Paul Lim (R1)
Toni Alcinas 3-1 Peter Wright (R2)

Monday December 17 (1900)
Vincent van der Voort v Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Wayne Jones v Devon Petersen (R1)
Ryan Joyce v Anastasia Dobromyslova (R1)
Raymond van Barneveld v Edgar/Labanauskas (R2)

Best of five sets. No tie-break in the first round.

SOLID START FOR ANDERSON

TWO-TIME William Hill World Darts Champion Gary Anderson got his 2018/19 campaign off to a solid start with a 3-1 victory against Kevin Burness on Friday, as last year's semi-finalist Jamie Lewis also progressed to round three at Alexandra Palace, London.

Anderson hit seven 180s in a convincing win against Northern Ireland's Burness, who had seen off Paul Nicholson earlier in the day.

Burness kicked off with a 12 darter to break the Scotsman, who edged the first set 3-2, before losing set two 3-1 despite a brilliant 130 finish on the bull.

Anderson refused to become embroiled in an early battle, however, and reeled off six straight legs to seal the success.

"It wasn't my best performance but it was enough to get through," said Anderson, who has won the UK Open, World Matchplay and Champions League in 2018.

"I knew he could be a tough opponent and he proved that from the start but luckily the 180s started going in and I got over the line without any dramas."

Burness had landed five 180s and dropped just four legs in his earlier 3-0 triumph over Nicholson in round one.

Lewis moved into the third round after fending off a fightback from Cody Harris, who had defeated Martin Schindler in the first round on Thursday.

The Welshman, who reached the last four 12 months ago, raced into a two set lead but was pegged back to two apiece, before hitting a 180 in three consecutive legs in the decider to progress.

"I started off well, went two sets up and felt like I was cruising but then things started to go wrong for me," said Lewis, who fired in nine 180s.

"I was just happy to get over the line in the end. I just need to be more consistent now and there's no reason I can't go on another big run here."

Dutchman Danny Noppert enjoyed a comfortable debut victory, reeling off nine consecutive legs to defeat Hong Kong's Royden Lam.

A recent semi-finalist at the Players Championship Finals, Noppert only dropped the first leg before racing into the second round, where he will meet Max Hopp on Saturday.

"I didn't feel much pressure in that game and I'm really glad about that," said Noppert, a winner on the PDC ProTour in 2018.

"It's a crazy atmosphere here. I got goosebumps on the stage an really enjoyed it. It makes me feel confident and not nervous at all so we will see what happens in the next round."

Chris Dobey also secured a 3-0 victory as he moved into the second round at the expense of Russia's Boris Koltsov.

Two-time TV quarter-finalist Dobey dropped just two legs in an impressive opening display.

"I felt much more relaxed than last year," said Dobey, who was beaten by 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor in the first round 12 months ago.

"When you've played the best in his last ever World Championship, you're not going to get nervous again and I think that helped me this year."

Emerging prospect Ted Evetts clinched his first Alexandra Palace victory with a straight sets success over Simon Stevenson.

Stevenson missed darts to win each of the first two sets and was punished by Evetts, who went on to win the third set 3-1, teeing up a second round meeting with two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis.

Michael Barnard was Friday's first winner, as he survived five missed match darts from Portugal's Jose de Sousa before progressing in a sudden-death leg.

2018 PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner Barnard led by two sets before De Sousa hit back to level and then put himself in a winning position, before the Englishman progressed to a meeting with Jermaine Wattimena.

Alan Tabern also overcame a scare against Australia's Raymond Smith before securing a second round date with world number one Michael van Gerwen following a five-set contest.

Tabern led 2-0 before seeing the 2018 DPA Order of Merit winner hit back to level, but the St Helens ace took the deciding set 3-0 to progress.

The £2.5 million event continues over two sessions on Saturday when each session again includes three first round matches and one second round match, with the 32 seeded players joining the action in round two - including the start of tournament favourite Van Gerwen's campaign for a third World Championship title.

Watch live on the Sky Sports Darts channel in the UK & Ireland, worldwide through the PDC's broadcast partners or through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship

Schedule of Play

Friday December 14

Afternoon Session

Michael Barnard 3-2 Jose De Sousa (R1)

Alan Tabern 3-2 Raymond Smith (R1)

Kevin Burness 3-0 Paul Nicholson (R1)

Jamie Lewis 3-2 Cody Harris (R2)

Evening Session

Danny Noppert 3-0 Royden Lam (R1)

Ted Evetts 3-0 Simon Stevenson (R1)

Chris Dobey 3-0 Boris Koltsov (R1)

Gary Anderson 3-1 Kevin Burness (R2)

Saturday December 15

Afternoon Session (1230)

Richard North v Robert Marijanovic (R1)

Mickey Mansell v Jim Long (R1)

Josh Payne v Jeff Smith (R1)

Max Hopp v Danny Noppert (R2)

Evening Session (1900)

Toni Alcinas v Craig Ross (R1)

Ryan Searle v Stephen Burton (R1)

Keegan Brown v Karel Sedlacek (R1)

Michael van Gerwen v Alan Tabern (R2)

Reigning Champion Cross Off To Winning Start

REIGNING William Hill World Champion Rob Cross got his title defence off to winning start in a brilliant match against Jeffrey de Zwaan on Thursday as the 2018/19 tournament began at Alexandra Palace, London.

Day One of the £2.5 million event saw world number two Cross progress to the third round, as Jan Dekker and Cody Harris moved into round two.

Cross defied an average of 106.09 - the second highest losing average in the tournament's history - to seal a 3-1 win against the Dutch youngster, who won the first three legs to take the first set.

Cross, who averaged 102.93, produced crucial set-winning checkouts of 96 and 121 to move ahead before winning the third set 3-1.

"I thought that my finishing got me through," said Cross, who famously won the Sid Waddell Trophy on his debut in January.

"I think I had been written off on social media but that goes with the territory and Jeffrey was fantastic so I'm really pleased.

"He is one of the best players in the world in my opinion but you can't buy the grit I showed in that match.

"If someone is going to beat me here they are going to have to play really well because I can play better and I believe I can win it again."

World Matchplay semi-finalist De Zwaan had earlier defeated Indian qualifier Nitin Kumar in straight sets in the tournament opener.

Dekker fought back to defeat Lisa Ashton, who won the first three legs in 42 darts to take the first set.

The Lakeside Women's Champion also hit back from two legs behind to force a deciding leg in set two, but Dekker won what proved to be a pivotal leg as he went on to close out a 3-1 success.

"I had to work really hard for that," said Dekker.

"Lisa played awesome in the first set but I felt a lot better after winning the second set and was very happy to go all the way and win from there.

"There was a lot of media attention around this match, which made it harder so I was very relieved at the end."

Dekker will take on Mervyn King next Thursday in round two.

Ashton, whose average in the first set was over 107, said: "I feel good but also a little bit gutted. I'm pleased with how I played but felt I could have taken a few more chances. I think I've done the Ladies proud."

New Zealand’s Cody Harris sealed his place in the second round after winning a five-set thriller against Martin Schindler.

Harris, who moved over to the UK at the beginning of the year, won the deciding set 3-1 with finishes of 85 and 104 to triumph.

“I’m really happy to get the win,” said 33-year-old Harris, a winner on the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour in 2018.

“I’m over here chasing the dream, while my partner and children are back home in New Zealand and this is all for them.

“Anything is possible. You dream it first and then you achieve it. We all saw that from Rob Cross winning last year.”

Harris will face Jamie Lewis, a semi-finalist at Alexandra Palace 12 months ago, in the second round on Friday afternoon.

The tournament will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship

Schedule of Play

Thursday December 13 (1900)

Jeffrey de Zwaan 3-0 Nitin Kumar (R1)

Cody Harris 3-2 Martin Schindler (R1)

Jan Dekker 3-1 Lisa Ashton (R1)

Rob Cross 3-1 Jeffrey De Zwaan (R2)

Friday December 14

Afternoon Session (1230)

Michael Barnard v Jose De Sousa (R1)

Alan Tabern v Raymond Smith (R1)

Paul Nicholson v Kevin Burness (R1)

Jamie Lewis v Cody Harris (R2)

Evening Session (1900)

Danny Noppert v Royden Lam (R1)

Simon Stevenson v Ted Evetts (R1)

Chris Dobey v Boris Koltsov (R1)

Gary Anderson v Nicholson/Burness (R2)

Preview of the William Hill World Darts Championship

DARTS' biggest-ever event begins on Thursday, with Rob Cross beginning his William Hill World Darts Championship title defence at Alexandra Palace.

A field of 96 players from 28 countries will compete across the Christmas and New Year period live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel, with a record £2.5m prize money on offer.

Cross, who famously defeated Phil Taylor in the final 12 months ago, will take on the winner of the tournament's opening fixture between World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan and Indian Qualifier Nitin Kumar, as he aims to repeat last year's incredible success.

"I've been working hard in practice to make sure I'm ready and I can't wait to get out there," said Cross, who is priced at 22/1 with sponsors William Hill to win back-to-back titles.

"It's the biggest tournament in the world so you've got to be ready.

"I might be a little bit edgy in the first game but I was last year too and it went well for me then, and coming back to Alexandra Palace might bring out the best in me.

"Last year was completely different because there was no pressure on me, but I'm really looking forward to it. I love the set play format."

Reigning Lakeside Women's Champion Ashton will make her Alexandra Palace debut against Dutchman Jan Dekker in another high-profile fixture on the opening night.

"I'm going to enjoy the experience and for me it's great to be playing on the first night so I can get straight into it," said Ashton.

"I've had some great support and a lot of respected people in the game have said nice things about me, but there's also a bit of pressure that comes with that.

"But I'll turn any nerves into positivity and adrenaline that will have a good effect on my game and hopefully I will do ladies' darts proud."

Ashton joined Anastasia Dobromyslova in qualifying for the event, with the Russian ace set to take on Ryan Joyce in her opening tie on Monday December 17.

Thursday's opening night also features the tie between Germany's Martin Schindler and New Zealand's Cody Harris, with the winner progressing to face last year's semi-finalist Jamie Lewis on Friday afternoon.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson headlines the second day of action as he meets Paul Nicholson or Kevin Burness, while world number one Michael van Gerwen enters the event on Saturday December 15 where he will play either Alan Tabern or Raymond Smith.

"It feels amazing to win the World Championship title, you work so hard for it all year and it's a phenomenal moment of completion," said two-time World Champion Van Gerwen, the 11/8 pre-tournament favourite.

"I've won two but I want to win more and to do that I have to make sure that I'm ready. I know I'll be a big favourite and there will be pressure on me, so I have to perform.

"People always play better against me than other players, maybe because there's no pressure on them so I have to play well and make sure I prepare well."

Former World Championship finalist Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall and the legendary Paul Lim are amongst the stars in action on Sunday December 16.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld begins his penultimate Ally Pally challenge - ahead of his retirement at the end of next year - on Monday December 17 against either Matthew Edgar or Darius Labanauskas.

The second round concludes on Friday December 21, the third round is split either side of the Christmas break, with the fourth round being played on December 27-28 ahead of the quarter-finals across two sessions on December 29.

The semi-finals on Sunday December 30 will be followed on Tuesday January 1 by the final as sport's first World Champion of 2019 hoists the Sid Waddell Trophy.

Tickets for the William Hill World Darts Championship are still available, with very limited availability for some sessions. Group Bookings are still available in the tiered seating areas for the afternoon sessions on December 19 and 20.

The William Hill World Darts Championship will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1 and worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Thursday December 13 (1900)
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Nitin Kumar (R1)
Martin Schindler v Cody Harris (R1)
Jan Dekker v Lisa Ashton (R1)
Rob Cross v De Zwaan/Kumar (R2)

Friday December 14
Afternoon Session (1230)
Michael Barnard v Jose De Sousa (R1)
Alan Tabern v Raymond Smith (R1)
Paul Nicholson v Kevin Burness (R1)
Jamie Lewis v Schindler/Harris (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Danny Noppert v Royden Lam (R1)
Simon Stevenson v Ted Evetts (R1)
Chris Dobey v Boris Koltsov (R1)
Gary Anderson v Nicholson/Burness (R2)

Saturday December 15
Afternoon Session (1230)
Richard North v Robert Marijanovic (R1)
Mickey Mansell v Jim Long (R1)
Josh Payne v Jeff Smith (R1)
Max Hopp v Noppert/Lam (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Toni Alcinas v Craig Ross (R1)
Ryan Searle v Stephen Burton (R1)
Keegan Brown v Karel Sedlacek (R1)
Michael van Gerwen v Tabern/Ray Smith (R2)

Sunday December 16
Afternoon Session (1230)
Gabriel Clemens v Aden Kirk (R1)
William O’Connor v Yordi Meeuwisse (R1)
Brendan Dolan v Yuanjun Liu (R1)
Dave Chisnall v Payne/J Smith (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Luke Humphries v Adam Hunt (R1)
Matthew Edgar v Darius Labanauskas (R1)
Ross Smith v Paul Lim (R1)
Peter Wright v Alcinas/Ross (R2)

Monday December 17 (1900)
Vincent van der Voort v Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Wayne Jones v Devon Petersen (R1)
Ryan Joyce v Anastasia Dobromyslova (R1)
Raymond van Barneveld v Edgar/Labanauskas (R2)

Tuesday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230)
Robert Thornton v Daniel Larsson (R1)
Ricky Evans v Rowby-John Rodriguez (R1)
Krzysztof Ratajski v Seigo Asada (R1)
Darren Webster v Van der Voort/Ilagan (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Steve Lennon v James Bailey (R1)
Ron Meulenkamp v Diogo Portela (R1)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Chuck Puleo (R1)
Daryl Gurney v Ross Smith/Lim (R2)

Wednesday December 19
Afternoon Session (1230)
Nathan Aspinall v Geert Nentjes (R1)
Jeffrey de Graaf v Noel Malicdem (R1)
Joe Cullen v Dolan/Liu (R2)
Kim Huybrechts v Thornton/Larsson (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
James Wilson v O’Connor/Meuwisse (R2)
Simon Whitlock v Joyce/Dobromyslova (R2)
Michael Smith v Meulenkamp/Portela (R2)
James Wade v Ratajski/Asada (R2)

Thursday December 20
Afternoon Session (1230)
Jermaine Wattimena v Barnard/De Sousa (R2)
Alan Norris v Lennon/Bailey (R2)
Stephen Bunting v Humphries/Hunt (R2)
Steve Beaton v Dobey/Koltsov (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Cristo Reyes v Evans/Rodriguez (R2)
Mervyn King v Dekker/Ashton (R2)
Adrian Lewis v Stevenson/Evetts (R2)
Mensur Suljovic v Searle/Burton (R2)

Friday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230)
Benito van de Pas v Mansell/Long (R2)
John Henderson v Clemens/Kirk (R2)
Steve West v North/Marijanovic (R2)
Kyle Anderson v De Graaf/Malicdem (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Ian White v Jones/Petersen (R2)
Jelle Klaasen v Brown/Sedlacek (R2)
Gerwyn Price v Aspinall/Nentjes (R2)
Jonny Clayton v Van den Bergh/Puleo (R2)

Saturday December 22
Afternoon Session (1230)
Whitlock/Joyce/Dobromyslova v Norris/Lennon/Bailey (R3)
Chisnall/Payne/J Smith v Huybrechts/Thornton/Larsson (R3)
Gurney/Ross Smith/Lim v J Lewis/Schindler/Harris (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
Suljovic/Searle/Burton v Wilson/O’Connor/Meeuwisse (R3)
G Anderson/Nicholson/Burness v Wattimena/Barnard/De Sousa (R3)
Van Gerwen/Tabern/Ray Smith v Hopp/Noppert/Lam (R3)

Sunday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230)
Webster/Van der Voort/Ilagan v Beaton/Dobey/Koltsov (R3)
Cullen/Dolan/Liu v King/Dekker/Ashton (R3)
Wade/Ratajski/Asada v Klaasen/Brown/Sedlacek (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
A Lewis/Stevenson/Evetts v Van Barneveld/Edgar/Labanauskas (R3)
Price/Aspinall/Nentjes v K Anderson/De Graaf/Malicdem (R3)
Cross/De Zwaan/Kumar v Reyes/Evans/Rodriguez (R3)

Thursday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230)
White/Jones/Petersen v West/North/Marijanovic (R3)
Clayton/Van den Bergh/Puleo v Bunting/Humphries/Hunt (R3)
M Smith/Meulenkamp/Portela v Henderson/Clemens/Kirk (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
Wright/Alcinas/Ross v Van de Pas/Mansell/Long (R3)
Fourth Round x2

Friday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230)
Fourth Round x3

Evening Session (1900)
Fourth Round x3

Saturday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230)
Quarter-Finals x2

Evening Session (1900)
Quarter-Finals x2

Sunday December 30 (1900)
Semi-Finals

Tuesday January 1 (2000)
Final

Format
First Round - Best of five sets (no tie-break)
Second Round - Best of five sets
Third Round - Best of seven sets
Fourth Round - Best of seven sets
Quarter-Finals - Best of nine sets
Semi-Finals - Best of 11 sets
Final - Best of 13 sets
A tie-break will be in operation in all round from the second round onwards, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches five-all, the 11th leg will be a sudden-death leg

5 former/current DPA players in the Worlds

MORE countries than ever before will be represented at the 2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship.
The tournament's biggest development since its move to London's Alexandra Palace a decade ago saw the field of players expanded to 96, offering more opportunities than ever before for international players.
Darts' biggest-ever event will see 28 nationalities represented, meaning the continental flavour will be stronger than ever at this year's festival of darts across the Christmas and New Year period.
Among the International Qualifiers is Nordic and Baltic Qualfier Darius Labanauskas, who will become the first player to represent Lithuania at the PDC World Championship.

There will also be 24 debutants in this year's event, the joint-second highest number since the first World Championship in 1994.
Among the new kids on the block are rising Dutch star Danny Noppert,UK & Ireland Women's Qualifier Lisa Ashton and American Chuck Puleo.
World Championship Competitors By Country
England (34) - Rob Cross, James Wade, Michael Smith, Ian White, Dave Chisnall, Darren Webster, Joe Cullen, Adrian Lewis, Stephen Bunting, Mervyn King, Steve Beaton, Steve West, Alan Norris, James Wilson, Ricky Evans, Chris Dobey, Josh Payne, Ryan Joyce, Richard North, Keegan Brown, Nathan Aspinall, Michael Barnard, Simon Stevenson, Luke Humphries, Alan Tabern, Wayne Jones, Ross Smith, Ryan Searle, Matthew Edgar, Lisa Ashton, Stephen Burton, Ted Evetts, Adam Hunt, Aden Kirk

Netherlands (13) - Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld, Jelle Klaasen, Jermaine Wattimena, Benito van de Pas, Danny Noppert, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Jan Dekker, Ron Meulenkamp, Vincent van der Voort, Jeffrey de Graaf, Yordi Meeuwisse, Geert Nentjes
Australia (5) - Simon Whitlock, Kyle Anderson, Paul Nicholson, James Bailey, Raymond Smith
Scotland (4) - Peter Wright, Gary Anderson, John Henderson, Robert Thornton
Germany (4) - Max Hopp, Martin Schindler, Gabriel Clemens, Robert Marijanovic
Northern Ireland (4) - Daryl Gurney, Mickey Mansell, Brendan Dolan, Kevin Burness
Wales (3) - Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton, Jamie Lewis
Austria (2) - Mensur Suljovic, Rowby-John Rodriguez
Belgium (2) - Kim Huybrechts, Dimitri Van den Bergh
Spain (2) - Cristo Reyes, Toni Alcinas

Canada (2) - Jim Long, Jeff Smith
Republic of Ireland (2) - Steve Lennon, William O'Connor
New Zealand (2) - Cody Harris, Craig Ross
Philippines (2) - Lourence Ilagan, Noel Malicdem
Russia (2) - Boris Koltsov, Anastasia Dobromyslova
Brazil (1) - Diogo Portela
China (1) - Yuanjun Liu
Czech Republic (1) - Karel Sedlacek
Hong Kong (1) - Royden Lam
India (1) - Nitin Kumar
Japan (1) - Seigo Asada
Lithuania (1) - Darius Labanauskas
Poland (1) - Krzysztof Ratajski
Portugal (1) - Jose De Sousa
South Africa (1) - Devon Petersen
Singapore (1) - Paul Lim
Sweden (1) - Daniel Larsson
USA (1) - Chuck Puleo

World Championship Debutants
Raymond Smith
Danny Noppert
Matthew Edgar
Darius Labanauskus
Lisa Ashton
Ryan Searle
Ryan Joyce
James Bailey
Karel Sedlacek
Daniel Larsson
Kevin Burness
Nitin Kumar
Chuck Puleo
Adam Hunt
Stephen Burton
Yordi Meeuwise
Gabriel Clemens
Aden Kirk
Geert Nentjes
Nathan Aspinall
Noel Malicdem
Craig Ross
Jim Long
Yuanjun Liu

William Hill World Championship Schedule

ROB CROSS and Lisa Ashton will headline the opening night of the 2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship, with the schedule for darts' biggest event now confirmed.

The £2.5 million event's first of 16 days of action on Thursday December 13 at London's Alexandra Palace will see reigning World Champion Cross open his title defence.

The Hastings ace will take on the winner of the tournament's opening fixture, between World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan and Indian Qualifier Nitin Kumar, as he aims to repeat last year's incredible success.

Reigning Lakeside Women's Champion Ashton will make her Alexandra Palace debut against Dutchman Jan Dekker in another high-profile fixture on the opening night.

Ashton joined Anastasia Dobromyslova in qualifying for the event, with the Russian ace set to take on Ryan Joyce in her opening tie on Monday December 17.

Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson headlines the second day of action as he meets Paul Nicholson or Kevin Burness, with 2018 semi-finalist Jamie Lewis also in action as he plays Martin Schindler or Cody Harris.

World number one Michael van Gerwen enters the event on Saturday December 15 to play either Alan Tabern or Raymond Smith, with former World Youth Champions Max Hopp and Keegan Brown taking to the stage across the double session.

Former World Championship finalist Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall and the legendary Paul Lim are amongst the stars in action on Sunday December 16.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld begins his penultimate Ally Pally challenge - ahead of his retirement at the end of next year - on Monday December 17 against either Matthew Edgar or Darius Labanauskas.

New Players Championship Finals winner Daryl Gurney takes to the stage alongside World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh and former UK Open and World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton on Tuesday December 18.

European Championship and World Series of Darts Finals winner James Wade is joined by Shanghai Darts Masters champion Michael Smith and 2010 World Championship finalist Simon Whitlock on Wednesday December 19.

Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis opens his bid for a third Ally Pally title on Thursday December 20, with former Lakeside Champions Steve Beaton and Stephen Bunting and former Champions League winner Mensur Suljovic also in action.

The second round concludes on Friday December 21, with new Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price and 2018 European Tour event winners Ian White and Jonny Clayton taking to the stage.

The third round is split either side of the Christmas break, with the fourth round being played on December 27-28 ahead of the quarter-finals across two sessions on December 29.

The semi-finals on Sunday December 30 will be followed on Tuesday January 1 by the final as sport's first World Champion of 2019 hoists the Sid Waddell Trophy.

Tickets for the William Hill World Darts Championship are still available, with very limited availability for some sessions. Information for tickets and Hospitality Packages can be seen at THIS LINK or CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SEETICKETS WEBSITE.

The William Hill World Darts Championship will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel from December 13-January 1.

2018/2019 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Thursday December 13 (1900)
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Nitin Kumar (R1)
Martin Schindler v Cody Harris (R1)
Jan Dekker v Lisa Ashton (R1)
Rob Cross v De Zwaan/Kumar (R2)

Friday December 14
Afternoon Session (1230)
Michael Barnard v Jose De Sousa (R1)
Alan Tabern v Raymond Smith (R1)
Paul Nicholson v Kevin Burness (R1)
Jamie Lewis v Schindler/Harris (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Danny Noppert v Royden Lam (R1)
Simon Stevenson v Ted Evetts (R1)
Chris Dobey v Boris Koltsov (R1)
Gary Anderson v Nicholson/Burness (R2)

Saturday December 15
Afternoon Session (1230)
Richard North v Robert Marijanovic (R1)
Mickey Mansell v Jim Long (R1)
Josh Payne v Jeff Smith (R1)
Max Hopp v Noppert/Lam (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Toni Alcinas v Craig Ross (R1)
Ryan Searle v Stephen Burton (R1)
Keegan Brown v Karel Sedlacek (R1)
Michael van Gerwen v Tabern/Ray Smith (R2)

Sunday December 16
Afternoon Session (1230)
Gabriel Clemens v Aden Kirk (R1)
William O’Connor v Yordi Meeuwisse (R1)
Brendan Dolan v Yuanjun Liu (R1)
Dave Chisnall v Payne/J Smith (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Luke Humphries v Adam Hunt (R1)
Matthew Edgar v Darius Labanauskas (R1)
Ross Smith v Paul Lim (R1)
Peter Wright v Alcinas/Ross (R2)

Monday December 17 (1900)
Vincent van der Voort v Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Wayne Jones v Devon Petersen (R1)
Ryan Joyce v Anastasia Dobromyslova (R1)
Raymond van Barneveld v Edgar/Labanauskas (R2)

Tuesday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230)
Robert Thornton v Daniel Larsson (R1)
Ricky Evans v Rowby-John Rodriguez (R1)
Krzysztof Ratajski v Seigo Asada (R1)
Darren Webster v Van der Voort/Ilagan (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Steve Lennon v James Bailey (R1)
Ron Meulenkamp v Diogo Portela (R1)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Chuck Puleo (R1)
Daryl Gurney v Ross Smith/Lim (R2)

Wednesday December 19
Afternoon Session (1230)
Nathan Aspinall v Geert Nentjes (R1)
Jeffrey de Graaf v Noel Malicdem (R1)
Joe Cullen v Dolan/Liu (R2)
Kim Huybrechts v Thornton/Larsson (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
James Wilson v O’Connor/Meuwisse (R2)
Simon Whitlock v Joyce/Dobromyslova (R2)
Michael Smith v Meulenkamp/Portela (R2)
James Wade v Ratajski/Asada (R2)

Thursday December 20
Afternoon Session (1230)
Jermaine Wattimena v Barnard/De Sousa (R2)
Alan Norris v Lennon/Bailey (R2)
Stephen Bunting v Humphries/Hunt (R2)
Steve Beaton v Dobey/Koltsov (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Cristo Reyes v Evans/Rodriguez (R2)
Mervyn King v Dekker/Ashton (R2)
Adrian Lewis v Stevenson/Evetts (R2)
Mensur Suljovic v Searle/Burton (R2)

Friday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230)
Benito van de Pas v Mansell/Long (R2)
John Henderson v Clemens/Kirk (R2)
Steve West v North/Marijanovic (R2)
Kyle Anderson v De Graaf/Malicdem (R2)

Evening Session (1900)
Ian White v Jones/Petersen (R2)
Jelle Klaasen v Brown/Sedlacek (R2)
Gerwyn Price v Aspinall/Nentjes (R2)
Jonny Clayton v Van den Bergh/Puleo (R2)

Saturday December 22
Afternoon Session (1230)
Whitlock/Joyce/Dobromyslova v Norris/Lennon/Bailey (R3)
Chisnall/Payne/J Smith v Huybrechts/Thornton/Larsson (R3)
Gurney/Ross Smith/Lim v J Lewis/Schindler/Harris (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
Suljovic/Searle/Burton v Wilson/O’Connor/Meeuwisse (R3)
G Anderson/Nicholson/Burness v Wattimena/Barnard/De Sousa (R3)
Van Gerwen/Tabern/Ray Smith v Hopp/Noppert/Lam (R3)

Sunday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230)
Webster/Van der Voort/Ilagan v Beaton/Dobey/Koltsov (R3)
Cullen/Dolan/Liu v King/Dekker/Ashton (R3)
Wade/Ratajski/Asada v Klaasen/Brown/Sedlacek (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
A Lewis/Stevenson/Evetts v Van Barneveld/Edgar/Labanauskas (R3)
Price/Aspinall/Nentjes v K Anderson/De Graaf/Malicdem (R3)
Cross/De Zwaan/Kumar v Reyes/Evans/Rodriguez (R3)

Thursday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230)
White/Jones/Petersen v West/North/Marijanovic (R3)
Clayton/Van den Bergh/Puleo v Bunting/Humphries/Hunt (R3)
M Smith/Meulenkamp/Portela v Henderson/Clemens/Kirk (R3)

Evening Session (1900)
Wright/Alcinas/Ross v Van de Pas/Mansell/Long (R3)
Fourth Round x2

Friday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230)
Fourth Round x3

Evening Session (1900)
Fourth Round x3

Saturday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230)
Quarter-Finals x2

Evening Session (1900)
Quarter-Finals x2

Sunday December 30 (1900)
Semi-Finals

Tuesday January 1 (2000)
Final

Format
First Round - Best of five sets (no tie-break)
Second Round - Best of five sets
Third Round - Best of seven sets
Fourth Round - Best of seven sets
Quarter-Finals - Best of nine sets
Semi-Finals - Best of 11 sets
Final - Best of 13 sets
A tie-break will be in operation in all round from the second round onwards, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches five-all, the 11th leg will be a sudden-death leg.

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