Top 4 Advance to Semi-Finals

The four top seeded players advanced to the semi-final stage of the 2013 World Matchplay and after tonight four will become two. A tournament unfolding in accordance with the form book is a relatively unusual occurrence, but the last 4 lineup in Blackpool shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Notwithstanding the fact that the seeding lends itself to the outcome, the players in question are all multiple major winners and with the exception of James Wade, have had their name on the silverware in 2012/2013.

  • 2012 World Matchplay – Phil Taylor (runner-up James Wade)
  • 2012 World Grand Prix – Michael van Gerwen (runner-up Mervyn King)
  • 2012 Championship League Darts  – Phil Taylor (runner-up Simon Whitlock)
  • 2012 Players Championship Finals  – Phil Taylor (runner-up Kim Huybrechts)
  • 2013 World Darts Championship – Phil Taylor (runner-up Michael van Gerwen)
  • 2013 World Cup (Pairs) – Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis (runner-up Kim & Ronny Huybrechts)
  • 2013 Premier League Darts – Michael van Gerwen (runner-up Phil Taylor)
  • 2013 UK Open Finals – Phil Taylor (runner up Andy Hamilton)
  • 2013 European Championship - Adrian Lewis (runner-up Simon Whitlock)

Wade last got his hands on a major trophy back in 2011 in Bolton when he won the UK Open for a second time. A two year barren run which he will be keen to end. His first challenge is to topple a 16-times World Champion.

The Machine’s World Matchplay semi-final fixture against Taylor is a repeat of the 2012 final, one which he lost 18-15. The pair have met on 45 separate occasions over the years and Wade has taken just five of those matches.

Add to that a quintet of Premier League draws and this means he hasn’t lost 10 of them! Two of those draws were achieved in this years McCoy’s Premier League and account for their only two meetings in 2013 until now. Taylor therefore has not beaten Wade this year.

If Wade was taking on either of the other semi-finalists you’d have to fancy his chances of contesting the final on Sunday night. He can boast superior records against  both van Gerwen and Lewis. A win against Taylor in tonight’s semi is not beyond the realms of possibility for Wade, whose overall tournament average stands at 97.48.

The Machines average may be almost 6 points shy of Taylor’s which hasn’t dipped below 100 in his three Blackpool outings giving him a 103.4 tournament average so far, but Wade has been deadly on the doubles. He edged out Simon Whitlock 18-16 in a quarter-final performance which included over 58% double conversions.

Wade plays the player in front of him which means he can raise his game when faced with tougher opposition. If he bring his quarter-final consistency on doubles to the Taylor game and ups his scoring accordingly then he’s in with a shout. Taylor is unlikely to lower his standard so it’s all about Wade stepping up.

The other semi-final between Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis is guaranteed to be a quick fire affair with peaks and troughs a plenty. Both players have the ability to win the game of that you can be sure.

Michael van Gerwen claims a tournament high average so far of 105.58 which was achieved in his 13-3 demolition of Peter Wright. Lewis can put his hand up to one of the lowest, but 86.94 was enough to see off Ronny Huybrechts, and in fairness he’s pushed on from there.

Van Gerwen is the overwhelming favourite for this match but don’t write off a resurgent twice World Champion who rose to the top last time out at The European Championship.

The Dutchman’s passage into the semis may have looked more impressive, but Jackpot’s quarter-final battle with Andy Hamilton showed both his determination and ability and was a character building game. MvG leads the head to heads 9-5 but Lewis won their two most recent clashes including the European Championship semi-final.

The very fact Lewis had to struggle to earn his semi-final spot potentially gives him an edge. If things get messy tonight and it turns into a scrap he knows how to come out fighting. He can look back on and take confidence in how he turned the game round against The Hammer.

Of course there is another potential scenario, Mighty Mike comes hurtling out the blocks and Lewis can’t get close to him and the Dutchman wins be a decent margin.

Which two players will reach tomorrow night’s final? I’m swerving this question and leaving the decision making to our Tipster so look out for his semi-final darts betting tips later on today. The obvious choice is a Taylor v van Gerwen final – just look at the prices below, but we think there’s going to be a couple more twists in this seaside story.

BetVictor 2013 World Matchplay Semi-Final Betting Odds

Sat 27 Jul
Time Match Player 1 Player 2
19:20 Phil Taylor v James Wade 1/5 10/3 Head to Heads
21:00 Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis 2/7 5/2 Head to Heads

Before we sign off, check out the infographic below. It represents the current crop of Top 16 players in the PDC two year rolling Order of Merit and their respective records against Phil Taylor expressed as a percentage. Are you surprised to see who has the best record?

2013 World Matchplay Links

World Matchplay Draw | World Matchplay Schedule | World Matchplay Roll of Honour | World Matchplay History & Related News | World Matchplay 2012 Results | Darts Player Head to Heads | Beat The Tipster | The DartsMad Preview

About The Author