William Hill World Championship Day 11

January 01 2015

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN reached the semi-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship for the third straight year after a 5-2 win over Robert Thornton on New Year's Day, as Gary Anderson defeated Peter Wright 5-1 with a superb display in the night's other quarter-final.

Defending champion van Gerwen played out a high-octane match with Thornton where both men averaged over 100 and combined for 27 180s, which was finished off in the best possible style with a maximum 170 finish capping a memorable victory for the Dutchman.

The draw throws up a rematch of last year’s third round epic between the two, when Anderson led 3-1 but lost out 4-3 in the end, and with the two men having the best averages so far in this year’s event it could also be one to light the blue touch paper.

Van Gerwen stormed into the lead against Thornton after hitting a 180 in all five legs of the opening set, and he quickly marched into a 3-0 lead and looked like making easy progress into the last four, before Scotsman Thornton launched a dogged fightback.

The former UK Open champion was averaging around 100 himself and brought the game back to 3-2 as all of a sudden van Gerwen faced a huge obstacle in the road to defending his title.

As the two men went toe-to-toe, van Gerwen edged the sixth and seventh sets to move through to the last four with a brilliant 105.26 average - his best average in the tournament as he set up a semi-final showdown Anderson.

Thornton averaged 101.49 himself in what was a match of superb quality that saw the pair's peppering of the treble 20 bed accompanied by some fine finishing, including checkouts of 90, 110 and 121 from Thornton and a 122 from van Gerwen before he fittingly finished the match in the manner it deserved - with a maximum 170 checkout on the bull.

"At one point I was 3-0 up and playing well but Robert never gave up and he was fighting right to the end and he deserves a lot of credit for that,”  said van Gerwen, who is now the 7/4 second favourite with sponsors William Hill.

“I needed to make sure I kept my head as I was a bit nervous. When I hit the 170 at the end I was delighted and it was a huge relief - there’s no better way to finish a match here than that and I didn’t want to put myself in a bad position.

“It’s great to average 105 but I was still not totally happy with my performance and there are areas I can improve on going into the next match because you need to improve as the tournament goes on if you want to win the World Championship.

“When you’re 3-0 up like that and playing so well it’s important you don’t lose your focus because you can think it’s easy.

"It’s good to be tested, he made me play well, it was one of the best games of the tournament and I had to fight hard but I’ve got a lot left in the tank.”


Gary Anderson produced more of a powerful all-round display, but he was equally as comfortable as he beat fellow Scot Peter Wright 5-1 to book a rematch with van Gerwen on the Alexandra Palace stage on Saturday.

Anderson was the better player throughout as he averaged 102.12 and landed 11 180s against Wright's three maximums and 95.66 average, with the 2014 runner-up getting back into the match at 2-1 but unable to make any further inroads into the deficit.

Although he claimed only one set, Wright's superb finishing had kept him in the game as he landed 11 of 26 doubles and checkouts of 84, 96, 100, 118 and 121 just to keep his hopes alive.

The win puts Anderson into the last four where he will face van Gerwen for a place in the final, as well as having the chance to avenge last year's agonising defeat to the Dutchman - when the 2011 finalist led 3-1 only to lose 4-3 in the third round.

"I seemed to be in control for most of the match, but I missed a few doubles and let Peter back into the game a bit," said Anderson. "It seemed like I was giving legs away at times so I was pleased to get over the line in the end.

"I'll need to play well against Michael to beat him but he'll need to play well to beat me as well. He's the World Champion so all the pressure will be on him, and I'll just go up there and play my game.

"He'd better be ready to play because I'll be right behind him!"


The remaining two quarter-finals will take place on Friday, as 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor plays Holland's Vincent van der Voort before reigning Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting meets Premier League Darts champion Raymond van Barneveld.

On The Wire - Episode 11, Thursday January 1
Dan Dawson with Rod Harrington
Featuring a review of the opening quarter-finals, match reaction from Michael van Gerwen & Gary Anderson, Rod's Betting Tips, Exclusive Michael van Gerwen Interview & Worst Dressed Darts Players with Gok OneDart!



GET INVOLVED
Join in the conversation online during the William hill World Darts Championship with the PDC's Social Media channels:
www.twitter.com/OfficialPDC - using the tournament hashtag #WHDarts
www.facebook.com/OfficialPDC
www.youtube.com/OfficialPDC

WATCH LIVE
Coverage of the William Hill World Darts Championship will be live through the following broadcasters
Sky Sports Darts - UK & Ireland
RTL7 - Netherlands
Sport1 - Germany
OSN - Middle East & North Africa
Fox Sports - Australia
Sky New Zealand
Fox Sports - Italy
Viasat - Scandinavia, Bulgaria & the Baltic States
Sport TV - Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary

PLUS every session is live through LIVEPDC.TV for International Pass Subscribers (outside of UK, Ireland & Holland), with highlights available for all subscribers worldwide on a 24-hour delay.

LIVE SCORES
If you can't watch the William Hill World Darts Championship, follow the latest scores at the PDC Live Scores Website - http://live.dartsdata.com

EVENT PROGRAMME
The William World Darts Championship programme is available from sellers in the Fans Village at Alexandra Palace, costing £5.

The programme will also be available to purchase online through Programme Master at this link .

WILLIAM HILL WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP
Thursday January 1
Quarter-Finals

Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Robert Thornton
Peter Wright 1-5 Gary Anderson
Best of nine sets, best five legs per set

MATCH INFORMATION
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN 5-2 ROBERT THORNTON

(3-2, 3-1, 3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2, 3-2)

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN reached the semi-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship for the third straight year with a pulsating 5-2 victory over Robert Thornton in a match packed with 180s, big averages, and a stunning 170 checkout at Alexandra Palace.

Defending champion van Gerwen stormed into the lead against Thornton after hitting a 180 in all five legs of the opening set, and he quickly marched into a 3-0 lead and looked like making easy progress into the last four, before Scotsman Thornton launched a dogged fightback.

The former UK Open champion was averaging around 100 himself and brought the game back to 3-2 as all of a sudden van Gerwen faced a huge obstacle in the road to defending his title.

As the two men went toe-to-toe, van Gerwen edged the sixth and seventh sets to move through to the last four with a brilliant 105.26 average - his best average in the tournament as he set up a semi-final showdown Anderson.

Thornton averaged 101.49 himself in what was a match of superb quality that saw the pair's peppering of the treble 20 bed accompanied by some fine finishing, including checkouts of 90, 110 and 121 from Thornton and a 122 from van Gerwen before he fittingly finished the match in the manner it deserved - with a maximum 170 checkout on the bull.

"At one point I was 3-0 up and playing well but Robert never gave up and he was fighting right to the end and he deserves a lot of credit for that,” said van Gerwen.

“I needed to make sure I kept my head as I was a bit nervous. When I hit the 170 at the end I was delighted and it was a huge relief - there’s no better way to finish a match here than that and I didn’t want to put myself in a bad position.

“It’s great to average 105 but I was still not totally happy with my performance and there are areas I can improve on going into the next match because you need to improve as the tournament goes on if you want to win the World Championship.

“When you’re 3-0 up like that and playing so well it’s important you don’t lose your focus because you can think it’s easy.

"It’s good to be tested, he made me play well, it was one of the best games of the tournament and I had to fight hard but I’ve got a lot left in the tank.”


Van Gerwen hit 180s in every leg of the first set, but only edged it 3-2 with a ten-dart leg after a 121 from Thornton and a 180 from the Scot own saw him keep pace, and the theme continued in the second as Thornton took out 110 for what turned out to be his only leg of the set as the Dutchman doubled his lead.

The third also went the number one seed's way 3-1, but when the game looked like being a procession Thornton showed immense heart to get back into the contest by winning an enthralling fourth set when both men hit three 180s each.

Van Gerwen took out 122 to lead 2-0, but when he missed the bull for a 170 finish for the set Thornton took leg three before powering in legs of 12 and 11 darts to claim his first set and begin his resurgence, averaging 117 for the set.

Thornton hit four more 180s in the fifth set, including in an 11-darter in the decider, and he had a dart to level the game in the fifth leg of set six, but a miss allowed van Gerwen to nail double eight for a key 4-2 advantage.

Thornton kept on fighting and forced the seventh set all the way with two more 180s - including one in a 14-darter - but after leaving 81 in the deciding leg he could only watch on as van Gerwen stepped up to finish 170 to seal a fine victory.

Match Information
First Set 3-2 - Incredible first set of darts with van Gerwen hitting a 180 in all five legs! Thornton does brilliantly to win two legs, with a 121 finish in the opener and then a 180 himself and a double five to make it 2-2. Van Gerwen takes the decider after hitting six perfect darts - he doesn't get the nine-darter but a ten-darter is not too bad.  
Second Set 3-1 -
Van Gerwen lands two further 180s in set two as he doubles his lead. Thornton takes out 110 for the opener, but van Gerwen lands a 180 to level and finishes a 14-darter to break throw in leg three, despite a maximum from Thornton, before adding another 180 and an 82 finish for the set.
Third Set 3-1 - Thornton hits a 180 and breaks in the opener with a 13-darter to lead for the third successive set, but is punished for missed doubles in leg two as van Gerwen levels in 13 darts, before the Dutchman takes out 70 for a 14-darter and 68 for the set.
Fourth Set 2-3 - Another 68 finish puts van Gerwen ahead, and both men start with 180 as the Dutchman takes out 122 for 2-0 lead. Thorrnton fights back with tops, after van Gerwen narrowly missed 170 for the set, the Scot then takes out 90 on the bull to level before trading maximums with his opponent in an 11-darter in the decider, which gets the former UK Open champion off the mark.
Fifth Set 2-3 - Thornton's comeback continues as he edges a second successive set. Van Gerwen defies a 180 from his opponent to win the opener before Thornton lands further maximums in legs of 13 and 11 darts to move 2-1 up. Van Gerwen gets an 11th maximum to level but Thornton produces another storming 11-dart finish to claim a second set.
Sixth Set 3-2 - Thornton lands a 180 and tops to take the opener, and after van Gerwen levels in 11 darts the Scot fires in a 13-darter for a 2-1 lead. Van Gerwen, though, levels with a 64 finish and edges the decider on double eight, punishing Thornton for one miss at the bullseye for the set.
Seventh Set 3-2 - A fifth set of the game goes all the way as van Gerwen takes out 170 for the victory! Thornton twice hit back from behind to level, with legs of 14 and 15 darts, and was waiting on 81 for the set in the decider when the Dutchman stepped in to take out the maximum finish.

Match Stats

Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Robert Thornton
32 100+ 36
25 140+ 25
3 170+ 3
13 180 14
105.26 Average 101.49
170 High Finish 121
7 Breaks of Throw 4
19/40 - 47.5% Checkout % 14/29 48.28%

Michael van Gerwen Video Interview


PETER WRIGHT 1-5 GARY ANDERSON
(1-3, 2-3, 3-1, 1-3, 2-3, 2-3)
GARY ANDERSON produced a powerful all-round display to defeat fellow Scot Peter Wright 5-1 and book his place in the semi-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship against Michael van Gerwen.

Anderson was the better player throughout as he averaged 102.12 and landed 11 180s against Wright's three maximums and 95.66 average, with the 2014 runner-up getting back into the match at 2-1 but unable to make any further inroads into the deficit.

Although he claimed only one set, Wright's superb finishing had kept him in the game as he landed 11 of 26 doubles and checkouts of 84, 96, 100, 118 and 121 just to keep his hopes alive.

The win puts Anderson into the last four where he will face van Gerwen for a place in the final, as well as having the chance to avenge last year's agonising defeat to the Dutchman - when the 2011 finalist led 3-1 only to lose 4-3 in the third round.

"I seemed to be in control for most of the match, but I missed a few doubles and let Peter back into the game a bit," said Anderson. "It seemed like I was giving legs away at times so I was pleased to get over the line in the end.

"I'll need to play well against Michael to beat him but he'll need to play well to beat me as well. He's the World Champion so all the pressure will be on him, and I'll just go up there and play my game.

"He'd better be ready to play because I'll be right behind him!"


Anderson got off to a great start with a 110 finish winning the opening leg, and he hit a 180 in the next and a 76 finish to double his lead with a 12-darter. Wright got a leg on the board despite an Anderson 180 in leg three but a 14-darter in the next was enough to seal set for the 2011 runner-up.

A 180 and 13-darter gave Anderson the lead in the second before Wright answered with two legs, but the number four seed's response was a 121 on the bull for a 12-dart leg and a hold of throw for the set as he doubled his advantage. 

Wright claimed a set back in the third, taking the opening two legs before responding to a break from Anderson by taking out 96 for a 14-darter to get off the mark, but his rival replied in kind as he tok the fourth 3-1, despite the 2014 finalist taking out 100 with two double tops in a exhibition finish.

Both men hit 180s at the start of the fifth set as Wright went ahead, before Anderson replied with an 80 outshot followed by a 13-darter. A 180 and a 118 finish for Wright forced a deciding leg, but it went the way of Anderson thanks to another 13-darter, including his seventh 180 of the match.

A 13-darter put Anderson ahead in the sixth set, and although Wright levelled it was the Somerset-based thrower who hit back-to-back 180s to go within a leg of the match.

Wright took the fourth leg in 12 darts with a brilliant 121 checkout on the bull, but Anderson stepped up with a 13-darter with the throw in the decider to claim the match.

Match Information
First Set 1-3 - A 110 gets Anderson off to a great start, and a 180 with 76 finish doubles that lead. Another 180 can't save the third leg but he seals the set with a 177 helping him to a 59 checkout.
Second Set 2-3 - Another 180 and double top gives Anderson the lead, but Wright takes the next two, including an 84 finish in the third. A 121 on the bull levels for Anderson before he takes the decider. 
Third Set 3-1 - Wright begins his fightback, with his first 180 and tops putting him ahead and double eight making it 2-0. Anderson hits a 180.140 combination before breaking, but Wright breaks back with a 96 finish giving him the set. 
Fourth Set 1-3 - Anderson is back in business with a 180 to kick off the set and double top to finish the leg. Wright takes out 100 with two double tops, but Anderson wins the third and fourth legs to claim the set.
Fifth Set 2-3 - Wright pinches the first leg, but Anderson levels with an 80 checkout and moves ahead with tops. Wright levels with a 118 finish as Anderson misses two doubles for the set, but Anderson starts with 180 in the next and hits a 13-darter for the set.
Sixth Set 2-3 - Anderson moves ahead, but despite a 180 he loses leg two. Back-to-back 180s are enough for Anderson to take the third but Wright takes out a superb 121 on the bull to level. Anderson scores heavily in the decider though to leave tops, which he hits with first dart as he seals a semi-final place.

Match Stats
Peter Wright 1-5 Gary Anderson
52 100+ 32
18 140+ 24
0 170+ 1
3 180 11
95.66 Average 102.12
121 High Finish 121
4 Breaks of Throw 6
11/26 - 42.31% Checkout % 16/43 37.21%

Gary Anderson Video Interview


 

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