Live Darts on Wednesday December 19: World Championship 2018/19 Day Seven Evening Session preview and order of play


James Wade makes his entrance (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Three televised title winners kick off their 2018/19 World Championship campaigns in Round Two at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday evening.

The First Round drew to a conclusion in the afternoon session and four of the top 32 seeds have already been sent packing in Round Two of the £2.5 million show-piece.

A clutch of big names enter the fray in the evening session, with the stand-out tie featuring multiple major champion James Wade against Japanese star Seigo Asada.

Wade has enjoyed an unforgettable year both on and off the oche, picking up two televised titles - the European Championship and World Series Finals - and welcoming the birth of his first child Arthur.

The decorated left-hander is now a force to be reckoned with at the highest level once again and will harbour genuine hopes of challenging for an elusive first world title in the next fortnight.

Wade, a three-time semi-finalist at Ally Pally, faces a tricky opener against a player producing his best form in the steel-tip format to date after predominantly competing on the soft-tip circuit in Asia.

Asada produced a sensational comeback from two sets down to dispatch in-form Krzysztof Ratajski in Round One, building on the promise he showed during Japan's run to the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup of Darts.

Premier League finalist Michael Smith has been widely tipped as the key threat from the bottom half of the draw, and the world number ten looks to hit the ground running by overcoming Dutch left-hander Ron Meulenkamp.

Smith, the reigning Shanghai Masters champion, sent shock-waves through the sport when he toppled Phil Taylor at Ally Pally in 2013 as a raw 23-year-old, and while the natural talent remains at the forefront of his game, 'Bully Boy' is now very much a man in darting terms.

The St Helens ace has also reached the final of the German Open, Melbourne Masters and World Series Finals this year, as well as claiming two ProTour titles.

Meulenkamp staged a remarkable recovery from two sets behind to knock out Brazil's Diogo Portela and record his first win on the World Championship stage.

Meulenkamp has won his last two meetings with 'Bully Boy' and will be eyeing a major scalp to put a further dent in an already open section of the draw.

Former European Champion Simon Whitlock gets his tenth World Championship campaign off and running with a clash against debutant Ryan Joyce.

Whitlock, who reached the final on his Ally Pally debut in 2010 and the final at Lakeside in 2008, has enjoyed an impressive year on the circuit, finishing runner-up in the European Championship and reaching two European Tour finals.

The Australian ace was a semi-finalist at the Worlds in 2012 and 2014 but has not made it beyond the Last 32 stage in his last four appearances.

Joyce made light work of a potential banana skin tie in Round One as he swept aside three-time Women's World Champion Anastasia Dobromyslova in straight sets and will now be looking to kick on and topple 'The Wizard'.

The opening tie of the evening sees two of this season's European Tour finalists collide as James Wilson takes on William O'Connor.

Wilson, the world number 26, was runner-up in the German Darts Championship and is making his third appearance in a PDC World Championship.

Quarter-finalist in the World Grand Prix, the Huddersfield ace has climbed to a career-high ranking since switching from the BDO and will have his sights set on a strong run at Ally Pally.

O'Connor, Republic of Ireland's number two, was runner-up in the European Matchplay and recorded his first win on the sport's greatest stage by dispatching Yordi Meeuwisse in straight sets earlier in the week.

The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of five sets.

All sets are the best of five legs. There are no tie breaks in First Round matches, while a tie-break will be in operation from Round Two onwards, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches five-all, the 11th leg will be a sudden-death leg.


World Darts Championship 2018/19 Schedule


Wednesday December 19

Evening Session

7.15pm James Wilson v William O'Connor (R2)
8.15pm Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce (R2)
9.15pm Michael Smith v Ron Meulenkamp (R2)
10.15pm James Wade v Seigo Asada (R2)


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Live Darts on Wednesday December 19: World Championship 2018/19 Day Seven Evening Session preview and order of play

Three televised title winners kick off their 2018/19 World Championship campaigns in Round Two at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday evening.

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