Day seven at the Betfred World Matchplay saw Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen come through their last eight ties to set up a semi final against each other.
Now, with just four players remaining, the Phil Taylor Trophy is in sight, and by the end of Sunday, we’ll know who will be lifting it.
To get to Sunday though, you need to get through semi final Saturday. Both last four ties take place today, and now players must win at least 17 legs to reach the final.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the semi finals at the Betfred World Matchplay.
Van den Bergh and Ratajski do battle
Dimitri van den Bergh and Krzyzstof Ratajski will meet for the first ever time on a TV stage in the first semi final this evening.
Van den Bergh beat Devon Petersen, Dave Chisnall and Gerwyn Price to reach the last four of this event for the second straight year. Ratajski came through Brendan Dolan, Luke Humphries and Callan Rydz to make his first ever PDC TV semi final.
The Dream Maker has been in sensational form. Many wondered if he would be burdened by being defending champion, but he has relished it. He hit 14 maximums in his second round match against Chisnall, a tournament record for a game before the quarter finals. He also won six of the last seven legs against world number one Price in a fantastic game.
By contrast, The Polish Eagle has been quietly going about his business in Blackpool. Despite being booed by the crowd, he’s finally put together a deep run in a major TV event. He’s dropped just 17 legs, and will be relishing the prospect of reaching his first TV final in the PDC.
Can he do it? Or will Van den Bergh, a fan favourite at the Winter Gardens, reach back to back World Matchplay finals?
Wright and Van Gerwen renew epic rivalry
The second semi final is a game between two old foes, as Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen meet for the third time on the World Matchplay stage. This is the first time they’ve met on a ranked TV stage since Snakebite beat MvG in the 2020 World Darts Championship Final.
Wright won against Danny Noppert, Joe Cullen and Michael Smith to make the last four. Van Gerwen overcame Damon Heta, Ian White and Nathan Aspinall to meet him there.
After beating MvG in the final of the last event at the recent PDC Super Series, Snakebite has continued his impressive form. He hit the highest average of the tournament in his round two win against Cullen, and has barely looked troubled throughout the tournament.
By contrast, The Green Machine has battled to victories. He came from behind against Heta, and eventually came past White, before taking advantage of missed doubles to see off Aspinall. However, he does have the knowledge that he’s beaten Wright in their two previous meetings here, in the last 16 in 2013, and at this stage in 2015, when he came through Snakebite en route to his first Matchplay crown.
Will it be third time lucky for an imperious looking Wright? Or will Van Gerwen make his fourth Betfred World Matchplay Final?
Betfred World Matchplay Day Eight Schedule of Play
Saturday 24 July (19.00 BST)
Semi finals x2
Dimitri van den Bergh v Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
How can I follow the Betfred World Matchplay?
The Betfred World Matchplay will be live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also watch it outside the UK via the PDC’s broadcast partners, such as RTL or DAZN.
You can also live stream the event. Find out more here.
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