Sunday sees the return of double session darts. Six delicious ties to look forward to including the re-emergence of the Green Machine after the Christmas interval.
The former World Champion and current number one survived an heart-stopping scare against German qualifier Rene Eidams. Relatively unknown before the contest Eidams quickly became a crowd favourite and pushed van Gerwen to final set. MVG will once again have to shift into fifth gear if he is to get past Darren Webster.
Fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld will also make an appearance in the evening session. If ‘Barney’ can squeeze his way past his opponent Stephen Bunting, there is to be a showdown between the two Dutch favourites. The final match of the evening session sees James Wade pitched against the tournaments lowest winning average scorer, Wes Newton. Despite averaging just a shade over 76 the Warrior will take confidence from his victory over Cristo Reyes.
Youthful exuberance is the order of the afternoon with four of Europe’s top shooters taking the Alexandra Palace stage for their second round matches. Benito van de Pas survived a scare against Max Hopp. Averaging just 88 won’t buy you a third round spot, especially if Dimitri van den Bergh can reproduce the scintillating darts that swept a lacklustre Ian White away a week ago. Michael Smith then takes the baton for the English, but Steve Beaton has the ability to surprise one of darts’ most prestigious talents.
In arguably the most mouth-watering match of the session Kyle Anderson faces Vincent van der Voort. The Aussie has made huge strides this year, his 3-0 destruction of Brendan Dolan underlines his tremendous potential. Anderson’s power scoring partnered with the Destroyers rapid throwing and you have yourself a classic in the making. I expect the match to go down to the wire, with every missed double and bellow par score being punished. However this match is played out, the afternoon session could really serve up some cracking matches.