After a small Christmas-break, the third round will resume today.
It has been about Christmas, gifts and good food the last couple of days. Now it is once again abput the darts, and there are six games on today’s program.
The first four are matches are from the third round, and the last two, involving Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson, are the first two games of the fourth round.
Devon Petersen v Steve West
Not many had thought that Devon Petersen would beat Ian White in the second round. Especially not when the Englishman was ahead by 2-0. Devon Petersen won the next two sets by 3-1, before winning the fifth and crucial set 5-3. On paper, Steve West is probably not as good a player as Ian White, but he is a player who should be better than Devon Petersen. Despite the fact that Richard North played with a somewhat higher average, Steve West still got a 3-1 win in the second round. So it is a player with rutine, who knows to how to take advantages of his opportunities.
Dimitri van den Bergh v Luke Humphries
The biggest youth match you will be able to find this season. It is the Youth World Champion against number one on the Development Order of Merit. Dimitri van den Bergh won by 3-1 against Jonny Clayton in the second round, where he impressed with an average of 104.45. An average that Humphries was a bit away from when he beat Stephen Bunting by 3-1 in the second round. Here the Englishman thus averaged 95.91. The two have never met before on the big stage, but have met each other seven times. Six times on the Development Tour, and in the semifinal at the Youth World Championship in 2017. Dimitri van den Bergh has won four of the seven matches.
Michael Smith v John Henderson
Michael Smith won relatively easy against Ron Meulenkamp in the second round. He thus won 3-1, while at the same time playing with an average of 94.07. He has to meet John Henderson today, who had a hard time in the second round. He thus won 3-2 against Gabriel Clemens, despite the fact that Clemens was ahead by 2-1 along the way in the match. Michael Smith and John Henderson have met each other ten times over time, however, Michael Smith has won the last five meetings. We have to go back to 2016 to find the latest victory for Henderson.
Toni Alcinas v Benito van de Pas
Toni Alcinas surprised the whole dart world when he beat Peter Wright by 3-1 in the second round. Although Wright never really found the rhythm, the Englishman played with an average higher than Alcinas. The Spaniard thus proved that under pressure he can keep his head cool and take advantage of the opportunities he gets. He is to meet Benito van de Pas today, who did not impress very much in the second round, beating Jim Long by 3-2. Toni Alcinas has thus got a really good opportunity to reach the fourth round.
Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey
Gary Anderson found it difficult to find his top level in the third round, even though he won 4-3 in what is so far called the best match of the tournament, against Jermaine Wattimena. He is today up against Chris Dobey, who has played a really nice tournament so far. His match in the third round also offered a 4-3 victory. It was against Vincent van der Voort. Here Chris Dobey played with a nice average of 97.87. The two have met five times before, and Chris Dobey has only won one single time. It will be a great challenge for the Englishman tonight.
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
The absolute headline match of today’s program. Two former world champions, both of whom have played a really nice season when you look at the starting point for each of them. Michael van Gerwen has not yet played with an average below 100 in the tournament. Most recently Max Hopp felt it in the third round, where the Dutchman won by 4-1. Thus, it becomes a very difficult match for Adrian Lewis, who, however, averaged impressing 97.43 in his match against Darius Labanauskas. They have met each other 55 times, and it is clear that the Dutchman has the upper hand. He has thus won 38 of the matches, where three of them have also ended in a draw. Adrian Lewis’ latest victory was back in 2017.