Once again the World Matchplay is upon us, and it is held in Blackpool. This is a very prestigious event, one that if you win can shoot you up the rankings very quickly. The players are the top 16 in the Order of Merit and the top 16 (who are not already in the Order of Merit Top 16) floor players.
There is always a chance of a shock or two. My prediction for the biggest upset this year is either:
1. World No. 4 Gary Anderson being put out in Round 1 by PDC New-be Dean Winstanley. Deano has been in the PDC for a short time but he is still making amazing progress for being here less than a year. He is a player to be feared and to watch in the future. He is only around 30 so he has a long future ahead of him if he can keep up what he is doing. Gary Anderson has also had eye surgery lately which may effect his playing ability at the World Matchplay. The Flying Scotsman has been having it rough lately through passing away of family members and injuries but still he is No. 4 in the World, and also a Major winner, but he has never done well at the World Matchplay with his best being going out in Round 2, could everything be to much for the Scot ? Maybe so, we will have to wait and see.
2. Robert Thornton vs Adrian Lewis in Round 1.
The Thorn is on good form now so this should be one match to watch closely. Robert Thornton is riding it high after his shock win over Phil Taylor in the UK Open. Since then he has been a Thorn in the side of every opponent which has had the pleasure to play him. Adrian Lewis has been getting a lot of abuse on Twitter lately as he doesn’t go to enough Pro-Tour events and he isn’t playing well they say. Adrian Lewis is playing fine, he knows how to win (he showed us that in the Worlds 2 years in a row). He also has a good record against Thronton beating him 8 times out of 10 matches between the two.
Other Interesting Matches
Simon Whitlock vs Michael Van Gerwin
This match is very hard to call. Simon has more experience and his higher ranked in the world but when MVG is playing well he is literally unstoppable. These two met in a a Pro Tour event final a few weeks ago where MVG was playing his amazing game and Simon lost. The whole match depends on who shows up. Will it be amazing MVG ? Or substandard MVG? That is the question!
Wes Newton vs James Hubbard
Wes Newton has hit a bad patch lately, going out of floor events in the first few rounds, unlike usual where he reaches the semis or quarters. James Hubbard, the young-gun (who doesn’t have a nickname yet), has won both the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship an the PDC Youth Tour England events. In the World Youth Championship he beat Michael Van Gerwin in the final (MVG’s last year in PDC Youth). Newton is from Blackpool, could this be the fact that spurs him on to find some form and win the whole event or will young Hubbard prevail over No 5 in the World ?
Every match should be interesting but these are the two which stand out in my mind as matches which we will be sitting on the edge of our seats anticipating the results.
Format of the Matchplay (Best of …)
Round 1 – 19
Round 2 – 25
Quarter Final – 31
Semi Final – 33
Final – 35
First Round Schedule
Saturday July 21
7.10pm Paul Nicholson v Andy Smith
8.00pm Terry Jenkins v Kim Huybrechts
9.00pm Adrian Lewis v Robert Thornton
10.00pm Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith
Sunday July 22
7.10pm Mark Walsh v Colin Osborne
8.00pm Kevin Painter v Steve Beaton
9.00pm James Wade v Richie Burnett
10.00pm Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen
Monday July 23
7.10pm Andy Hamilton v Brendan Dolan
8.00pm Vincent van der Voort v Ian White
9.00pm Phil Taylor v Mervyn King
10.00pm Mark Webster v Colin Lloyd
Tuesday July 24
7.10pm Justin Pipe v Joe Cullen
8.00pm Wes Newton v James Hubbard
9.00pm Gary Anderson v Dean Winstanley
10.00pm Dave Chisnall v Ronnie Baxter