Live Darts on Saturday July 28: World Matchplay 2018 Semi-Finals preview and order of play

Suljovic celebrates against Wright (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Semi-Final Saturday at the 2018 World Matchplay sees two Scottish stars, an Austrian ace and a Dutch debutant aiming to remain on course for a maiden triumph at the Winter Gardens.

Thirty-two came a week ago, now just four remain in the running for the prestigious Phil Taylor Trophy and £115,000 top prize. 

Despite unfolding as one of the most unpredictable World Matchplays ever staged, three of the world's top six have made it through to the penultimate stage, all with televised titles to their name in the last 12 months.

The opening Semi-Final sees world number two Peter Wright up against fellow Premier League star Mensur Suljovic.

Wright is appearing in his second successive Blackpool Semi-Final after finishing runner-up to Taylor 12 months ago and will be determined to go one step further this time around.

The world number two is vying for his second major title to add to the 2017 UK Open and finds himself in a first major Semi-Final since last November's Grand Slam of Darts.

The flamboyant Scot produced a masterclass of finishing in his Quarter-Final rout of Simon Whitlock on Friday, thrashing the Australian 16-5 and setting a new tournament record of 76 per cent on the doubles, hitting his last eleven on the spin.

Suljovic, meanwhile, has progressed to his first BetVictor World Matchplay Semi-Final, eclipsing his two previous runs to the Last Eight in 2015 and 2017.

The reigning Champions League of Darts and German Masters winner remains in hot pursuit of a third televised title in the space of ten months, having seen off Steve Lennon, Ian White and Darren Webster en route, steadily increasing his average as each round progresses.

Interestingly, Suljovic has won five of his last six meetings with 'Snakebite', including a 7-1 rout in this season's Premier League and a 6-4 triumph in the Danish Open en route to claiming the title.

The second Semi-Final features a fascinating clash of youth versus experience as 22-year-old debutant Jeffrey de Zwaan takes on two-time World Champion Gary Anderson.

Anderson was immediately installed as the tournament favourite following the opening night exit of Michael van Gerwen and has stepped up the mark in supreme style to move within touching distance of an elusive first Matchplay crown.

The decorated Scot is looking to add this iconic trophy to complete a career 'Triple Crown', having claimed two world titles and two Premier League titles and would become the first Scotsman to triumph at the Winter Gardens in the process.

It has not all been plain sailing for Anderson so far, however, having been forced to battle back from 5-3 down against Stephen Bunting in Round One and 5-1 down against Raymond van Barneveld in the Last 16 before coming through an epic tie break against Joe Cullen in the Quarter-Finals.

Anderson landed a roof-raising nine-darter in the fourth leg to scoop a £45,000 bonus but went on to survive two missed match darts from Cullen before eventually edging through 19-17 in a Matchplay classic.

The world number four was quick to turn his attention to De Zwaan - whom he regards as a "dark horse" for glory this weekend.

De Zwaan has enjoyed one of the most memorable debuts in the 25-year history of this competition, coming in as the lowest ranked player in the field (68th) to reach his first televised Semi-Final.

The rapid Dutchman, who won back his Tour Card at Qualifying School in January, proved his First Round scalp of MVG was no flash in the pan by knocking out Adrian Lewis in the Last 16 before thrashing Dave Chisnall 16-8 with a 103.2 average on Thursday.

He is bidding to become the youngest ever winner of this title and the biggest pre-tournament outsider (500/1) to reach a major final since Kirk Shepherd (750/1) at the 2008 World Championship.

The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with matches to be contested over the best of 33 legs.

Matches will proceed for a maximum of five additional legs before a tie-break leg is required. For example, in a Quarter-Final match, if the score reaches 15–15 then the 39th leg will be the decider.


BetVictor World Matchplay 2018 Schedule


Saturday July 28

Semi-Finals

7.15pm Mensur Suljovic v Peter Wright
8.30pm Gary Anderson v Jeffrey De Zwaan



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Live Darts on Saturday July 28: World Matchplay 2018 Semi-Finals preview and order of play

Semi-Final Saturday at the 2018 World Matchplay sees two Scottish stars, an Austrian ace and a Dutch debutant aiming to remain on course for a maiden triumph at the Winter Gardens.

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