World Darts Championship: Can 16-year-old Luke Littler make shock title bid after stunning debut win?

Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster believe it is not out of the question that “incredible” Luke Littler could be in the mix to win the title after a stunning debut match win; Teenager straight back in action on Thursday against Andrew Gilding live from 7pm on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 21/12/23 6:22am


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Luke Littler showed skills and composure far beyond his years as he demolished Christian Kist and looks a genuine contender to win the World Darts Championship

Luke Littler showed skills and composure far beyond his years as he demolished Christian Kist and looks a genuine contender to win the World Darts Championship

Sky Sports’ Wayne Mardle has hailed teenage sensation Luke Littler as “probably the most naturally gifted player I have ever seen in my life” and believes the 16-year-old could go all the way and win his debut World Darts Championship.

Littler, the reigning world youth champion, announced himself on the biggest stage in darts in the most extraordinary fashion at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.

The third-youngest player to appear at the tournament, Littler stunned 37-year-old Dutchman Christian Kist, the 2012 BDO champion, with a stunning 3-0 victory which featured seven 180s and a blistering three-dart average of 106.12.

Littler fired a 106 average and posted seven 180s during his impressive win

Littler fired a 106 average and posted seven 180s during his impressive win

Having excelled at youth level and secured his PDC Tour Card for 2024-25, Littler’s debut on the senior stage had been highly anticipated. The emphatic nature of his maiden success is only likely to heighten the hype around the teenager from Warrington, who now faces 53-year-old compatriot Andrew Gilding in Round Two on Thursday evening.

“I can’t remember a better [debut] than that,” declared an impressed Mardle on Sky Sports Darts.

“I can’t remember someone going up there with such a swagger and just banging in 180s and hitting 11 and 12-darters like they are going out of fashion.

A look back the best of the action from day six of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

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A look back the best of the action from day six of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

A look back the best of the action from day six of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

“I’m a darts fan first and foremost, I was watching it and I had goosebumps watching him. I love people achieving and that was a boy achieving something on the world stage.

“We may never see the like again. We saw it with Phil Taylor and then we saw it with Michael van Gerwen. This may be the third coming of that. I don’t know, but I’m a little bit carried away.”

Mardle, the 2001 World Championship semi-finalist, then added: “I think he’s probably the most naturally gifted player I have ever seen in my life.

“I have seen Adrian Lewis in full swing, Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen, I have seen them all.

“I don’t think I have ever seen the like.”

‘Why can’t he win it?’ Webster and Mardle agree Littler in title contention

Wayne Mardle is convinced 16 year-old Luke Littler is going to the very top and says everyone talks about his age apart from him

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Wayne Mardle is convinced 16 year-old Luke Littler is going to the very top and says everyone talks about his age apart from him

Wayne Mardle is convinced 16 year-old Luke Littler is going to the very top and says everyone talks about his age apart from him

Darts’ new young star will be back on the Ally Pally stage as early as Thursday night when he takes on No 23 seed Gilding, this year’s UK Open champion, as part of an evening session which starts at 7pm live on Sky Sports Darts.

So how deep into this tournament can Littler now possibly go? Sky Sports’ Mark Webster believes repeats of his “incredible” opening-match form could conceivably take him all the way to the January 3 final in a side of the draw that has unexpectedly been opened up by the surprise early exits of seeds Peter Wright and James Wade.

“That isn’t just a statement performance, that’s title-winning form, and he’s a serious threat in this competition now,” said Webster, the 2008 BDO champion and two-time PDC World Championship semi-finalist.

Asked how far he thought the teenager could go in this tournament, Webster then replied: “I’m going to get carried away with it: I think he can win the whole thing!

“You play like that on your debut, there’s no nerves. Look, there’s going to be a lot more coming at him, particularly in the next round. Andrew Gilding will make it difficult.

“Christian played okay but he wasn’t allowed to play and if he [Littler] does that to Gilding, that’ll send out another message. Then it’s the possibility of Matt Campbell next…if you play like that, you can win the title.”

Fellow pundit Mardle agreed.

“I loved what Mark Webster said [while] sitting here that he can win it.

“Why can’t he win it? Why can’t he win the world championship? Who has been better in their first game?

“He was pushed for a set and a bit there, he dismantled a very, very good player.

“I am just so excited because it’s the way he plays the game, it’s how good he is, it’s the fact that he shows you how good he is. He wants the crowd to be involved. There is absolutely nothing to dislike about the way [he plays]. He’s just such a natural.”

Littler on debut win: ‘That’s for you, Phil’

Littler fired a 106 average and posted seven 180s during his impressive win

Littler fired a 106 average and posted seven 180s during his impressive win

The man of the moment, meanwhile, had a message for 16-time world champion Phil Taylor after delivering arguably the performance of the tournament so far at the very first attempt.

“My debut, my first game, and I can’t believe how quickly I settled into the game,” a delighted Littler told Sky Sports.

“When I was walking on I felt a bit nervous but as soon as I found the rhythm, I was in.”

Asked where the win ranked in his short career so far, the 16-year-old replied: “[Tonight has] got to be at the top. I’ve been playing since I was 18 months old, obviously looking up to Phil Taylor. I know he’s watching – that’s for you, Phil!

“Absolutely over the moon.”

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



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World Darts Championship: Gerwyn Price breezes into third round with 3-0 whitewash of Connor Scutt

Hong Kong’s Man Lok Leung hit 11 maximums in a scintillating 3-2 comeback win over Dutch prodigy Gian van Veen in the first round; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Tuesday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 18/12/23 11:49pm


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A look back at some of the best action from Day Four of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

A look back at some of the best action from Day Four of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.

Gerwyn Price dropped only two legs on his way to an emphatic 3-0 whitewash of Connor Scutt in their second-round clash at the World Darts Championship on Monday night.

Price averaged 98.01, wrapping up victory in less than 30 minutes to book his place in the third round, with only a mini wobble in the third set to perturb him

Welcomed on stage with the smattering of boos that traditionally greet his Alexandra Palace appearances, the 2021 champion played along with the reception, smirking away as he clapped the crowd.

World Darts Championship: Monday Results

Mario Vandenbogaerde 1-3 Thibault Tricole (R1)
Gian van Veen 2-3 Man Lok Leung (R1)
Martin Lukeman 3-1 Haupai Puha (R1)
Gerwyn Price 3-0 Connor Scutt (R2)

Behind Price’s calm exterior though was a steely determination to get the job done and he romped through the first two sets without dropping a leg.

Scutt finally got on the board to open the third set and he might have had Price briefly worried when breaking the Welshman as he threw for the match, forcing a final-leg decider.

But it merely sparked another gear in Price as he produced a 12-dart leg to break straight back, taking out 96 to clinch a most comfortable of victories.

Gerwyn Price eases to a 3-0 victory over Connor Scutt that will the Welshman playing again after Christmas in the third round.

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Gerwyn Price eases to a 3-0 victory over Connor Scutt that will the Welshman playing again after Christmas in the third round.

Gerwyn Price eases to a 3-0 victory over Connor Scutt that will the Welshman playing again after Christmas in the third round.

Price: Crowd were brilliant | ‘I wasn’t going to play’

After his win, Price praised the crowd while also commenting that that he pondered perhaps not playing in the tournament.

Gerwyn Price reacts to his 3-0 second round win over Connor Scutt in the 2024 World Darts Championship.

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Gerwyn Price reacts to his 3-0 second round win over Connor Scutt in the 2024 World Darts Championship.

Gerwyn Price reacts to his 3-0 second round win over Connor Scutt in the 2024 World Darts Championship.

He told Sky Sports: “I was sat in my house at 6 o’clock yesterday and probably wasn’t going to play the tournament. I wasn’t even on my way to London.

“It is really difficult to come here with crowds on your back but credit to the crowd. If they keep on like this, there is no reason I can’t win it.”

Price added: “It wasn’t my A-game – first-round jitters – but I am happy to get through… I played pretty decent.

“The crowd were brilliant. Last year they got on my back but this year they were brilliant. I was a bit apprehensive but fair play to them.”

Leung announces himself with epic comeback win

Hong Kong’s Man Lok Leung had earlier stolen the show with his scintillating 3-2 comeback victory over 21-year-old Dutch prodigy Gian van Veen, Leung throwing as many as 11 maximums in the match!

Despite missing a staggering 22 darts at double, struggles which dug him an early 2-0 hole in sets, Leung’s sensational scoring – averaging 96.26 – eventually saw him get the better of his opponent.

Man Lok Leung claims the victory over Gian Van Veen in a closely thought battle between the pair in the first round of the World Darts Championship.

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Man Lok Leung claims the victory over Gian Van Veen in a closely thought battle between the pair in the first round of the World Darts Championship.

Man Lok Leung claims the victory over Gian Van Veen in a closely thought battle between the pair in the first round of the World Darts Championship.

Van Veen, a European Championship semi-finalist this year – beating Damon Heta, Daryl Gurney and Michael van Gerwen during his run – wrestled the first two sets away from Leung thanks to superb checkouts of 116 and 112 in the fourth legs of both.

But, despite the deficit, Leung was never disheartened and he eventually made his superior scoring count, claiming each of the next three sets 3-1 to book a matchup with 22nd seed Gabriel Clemens in the next round.

Thibault Tricole made history when beating Mario Vandenbogaerde 3-1 to open the evening, the first Frenchman to compete on the Ally Pally stage winning on his World Darts Championship debut.

Tricole, a beaten finalist in the 2022 WDF world final, came back from a set down to defeat Vandenbogaerde in a real back-and-forth contest in which all four sets went into a final-leg decider.

In the first two sets, both Tricole and Vandenbogaerde let a break advantage slip, wasting opportunities when throwing for the set, with the latter taking out the first of two ton-plus checkouts on his way to claiming the first set.

Thibault Tricole throws his last dart to the floor despite winning the second set to level up the game against Mario Vandenbogaerde.

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Thibault Tricole throws his last dart to the floor despite winning the second set to level up the game against Mario Vandenbogaerde.

Thibault Tricole throws his last dart to the floor despite winning the second set to level up the game against Mario Vandenbogaerde.

But Tricole fought back, angrily celebrating winning the second set by throwing one of his darts on the floor, and he eventually battled through to beat the Belgian and book a second-round clash with 2018 Worlds winner Rob Cross.

Martin Lukeman made relative light work of New Zealand’s Haupai Puha in the remaining first-round clash of the night, triumphing 3-1.

Martin Lukeman cruises to a 3-1 first round victory over Haupai Puha as he finished up with 50% on the doubles and will meet Damon Heta in the second round.

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Martin Lukeman cruises to a 3-1 first round victory over Haupai Puha as he finished up with 50% on the doubles and will meet Damon Heta in the second round.

Martin Lukeman cruises to a 3-1 first round victory over Haupai Puha as he finished up with 50% on the doubles and will meet Damon Heta in the second round.

The Englishman quickly raced out into a 2-0 lead in sets, claiming six of the opening seven legs, thanks to his superior work on the doubles.

Puha battled hard to edge the third set 3-2, but it merely inspired Lukeman to take his game up another level as he swept the fourth to confirm his passage through to the second round where he’ll play Damon Heta.

Live World Darts Championship

December 19, 2023, 12:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

Live World Darts Championship

December 19, 2023, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

What’s happening on Tuesday at the World Darts Championship?

Michael van Gerwen will be aiming to win a fourth World title

Michael van Gerwen will be aiming to win a fourth World title

Three-time champion Michael van Gerwen enters the fray on Tuesday, while Steve Beaton – making a record-extending 33rd consecutive World Championship appearance – plays Dutch debutant Wessel Nijman in round one.

World Darts Championship: Tuesday Afternoon Fixtures

Ian White vs Tomoya Goto (R1)
Ritchie Edhouse vs Jeffrey de Graaf (R1)
Keegan Brown vs Boris Krcmar (R1)
James Wade vs Matt Campbell (R2)

Four-time semi-finalist James Wade will headline the afternoon session, before Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki makes her World Championship return against Germany’s emerging star Ricardo Pietreczko in the evening session.

World Darts Championship: Tuesday Evening Fixtures

Steve Beaton vs Wessel Nijman (R1)
Mike De Decker vs Dragutin Horvat (R1)
Ricardo Pietreczko vs Mikuru Suzuki (R1)
Michael van Gerwen vs Keane Barry (R2)

The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



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World Darts Championship: Fallon Sherrock suffers opening round defeat as Luke Humphries cruises through

Fallon Sherrock makes costly error in defeat as Luke Humphries surges through in style; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Monday at 7pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 18/12/23 1:34am


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A look back at some of the best action from Night Three of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

A look back at some of the best action from Night Three of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

Fallon Sherrock suffered a gut-wrenching opening round defeat at the World Darts Championship as red-hot Luke Humphries looked cool as a cucumber as he progressed in style on the Alexandra Palace stage.

Sherrock’s opponent Jermaine Wattimena won nine out of the last 12 legs to send ‘The Queen of the Palace’ crashing out in the first round.

Humphries, who has been on an incredible run of form which has seen him win three televised titles in two months at the World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals, defeated Lee Evans in straight sets.

World Darts Championship: Sunday Evening Results

Dylan Slevin 1-3 Florian Hempel (R1)
Niels Zonneveld 3-1 Darren Webster (R1)
Jermaine Wattimena 3-1 Fallon Sherrock (R1)
Luke Humphries 3-0 Lee Evans (R2)

Sherrock was delighted after winning the first set against Wattimena

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Sherrock was delighted after winning the first set against Wattimena

Sherrock was delighted after winning the first set against Wattimena

Sherrock made a dream start by edging the opening set in a deciding leg with a cool 50 finish in two darts having levelled up the set at 2-2 with an 80 checkout on tops.

The Dutchman recovered well to seal the second set 3-1 and restore parity much to the annoyance of Sherrock, who missed two darts at tops which would have sent it into a deciding leg.

It was agony for Sherrock who made a costly error at a crucial moment of her clash against Wattimena

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It was agony for Sherrock who made a costly error at a crucial moment of her clash against Wattimena

It was agony for Sherrock who made a costly error at a crucial moment of her clash against Wattimena

Wattimena soon silenced the rowdy Ally Pally crowd when he blasted his way through the third set without reply to move ahead.

Sherrock’s hopes of causing another shock at the Worlds went up in smoke when she bust aiming for double 8 with Wattimena sinking a magnificent 110 skin-saver to level the fourth set at 2-2. He nailed double 5 in the deciding leg to claim victory.

“Obviously, I’m gutted with the result,” said Sherrock. “I had spells when I played well tonight but I missed chances at key moments and they cost me.

“Full credit to Jermaine, he was the better player on the night and he punished me when I missed chances.

“The Ally Pally stage is a special place for me and I will be back to hopefully make more positive memories here in the future.”

Wattimena ended Sherrock's hopes when he nailed double 5 to claim a fine win

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Wattimena ended Sherrock’s hopes when he nailed double 5 to claim a fine win

Wattimena ended Sherrock’s hopes when he nailed double 5 to claim a fine win

Three-time quarter-finalist Humphries bossed the opening set of his match against Lee Evans, who hit back with the first 170 checkout of the tournament to narrow the gap in set two before the tournament favourite won the deciding leg to stretch his advantage.

Evans pinned a whopping 116 finish to take a 2-0 lead in the third set but he was punished for a total of 19 missed doubles with ‘Cool Hand Luke’ making it through thanks to a neat 70 checkout.

Humphries admitted he wasn't at his best during his win over Evans

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Humphries admitted he wasn’t at his best during his win over Evans

Humphries admitted he wasn’t at his best during his win over Evans

“I was not at my best today, the most important thing for me is it felt good,” said the 28-year-old Newbury thrower. “I said in my previous interviews, just get through the first game, it’s always the toughest.

“There will be nothing in that game where I look back and say I’m disappointed in myself because I won the game 3-0 and that’s what I wanted.

“The next game will be tough but I feel I will be a lot lot better than that.

“It’s hard not to get frustrated but this is darts. You can’t always be fantastic and that’s the way it is.”

Evans reeled in 'The Big Fish' during his second round match against Humphries

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Evans reeled in ‘The Big Fish’ during his second round match against Humphries

Evans reeled in ‘The Big Fish’ during his second round match against Humphries

Dutchman Niels Zonneveld halted ‘The Demolition man’ Darren Webster’s revival to land his very first victory on the World stage.

After easing through the opening two sets, Norfolk ace Webster bounced back by edging the third set in a decider to keep his hopes alive despite 16 missed darts at doubles and an 84 average.

Niels Zonneveld eventually got over the line against Darren Webster, despite EIGHT missed match darts

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Niels Zonneveld eventually got over the line against Darren Webster, despite EIGHT missed match darts

Niels Zonneveld eventually got over the line against Darren Webster, despite EIGHT missed match darts

However, ‘Triple Z’, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2021 World Series of Darts, booked his spot in the second round against former European Champion Ross Smith thanks to his ninth match dart.

In the opening match of the night, Florian Hempel recovered from a set down to defeat Ireland’s Dylan Slevin 3-1 with five 180s along the way.

Young Irishman Slevin piled in a 167 but former handball star Hempel showed all his experience to make a winning start to his campaign.

Dylan Slevin hit this sensational 167 checkout during his first round defeat at the Worlds

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Dylan Slevin hit this sensational 167 checkout during his first round defeat at the Worlds

Dylan Slevin hit this sensational 167 checkout during his first round defeat at the Worlds

The German will now renew his rivalry with Dimitri Van den Bergh in a fascinating second round tie on Friday, two years after stunning the Belgian.

World Darts Championship: Sunday Afternoon Results

Ricky Evans 3-0 Simon Adams (R1)
Jim Williams 3-0 Norman Madhoo (R1)
Matt Campbell 3-2 Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Joe Cullen 3-0 Darren Penhall (R2)

‘The Rockstar’ lays down marker in afternoon session

Joe Cullen was happy with his victory over Darren Penhall

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Joe Cullen was happy with his victory over Darren Penhall

Joe Cullen was happy with his victory over Darren Penhall

Joe Cullen raced into the third round after easing to a straight-sets victory over Darren Penhall on Sunday afternoon.

Cullen smashed in this 160 checkout against Penhall

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Cullen smashed in this 160 checkout against Penhall

Cullen smashed in this 160 checkout against Penhall

Cullen fired a 93.41 average and posted six maximums during a comfortable 3-0 win over Penhall, with a 160 checkout also helping set up a last-32 meeting with Ryan Searle, Ian White or Tomoya Goto.

'Rapid' Ricky Evans summons the spirit of Christmas for his walk-on against Simon Adams

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‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans summons the spirit of Christmas for his walk-on against Simon Adams

‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans summons the spirit of Christmas for his walk-on against Simon Adams

Ricky Evans brushed aside Simon Adams in straight sets earlier in the session to book a second-round clash with Nathan Aspinall, while Wales’ Jim Williams didn’t drop a leg on his way to defeating qualifier Norman Madhoo by the same scoreline.

The contest of the session came when ‘Ginja Ninja’ Matt Campbell battled back from squandering five match darts in the third set and a two-set lead to defeat Lourence Ilagan in a final-set decider.

Matt Campbell missed the chance to finish the match before Lourence Ilagan hits tops-tops to win the set

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Matt Campbell missed the chance to finish the match before Lourence Ilagan hits tops-tops to win the set

Matt Campbell missed the chance to finish the match before Lourence Ilagan hits tops-tops to win the set

Live World Darts Championship

December 18, 2023, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

What’s happening on Monday at the World Darts Championship?

Gerwyn Price will be aiming to land a second World title at Ally Pally

Gerwyn Price will be aiming to land a second World title at Ally Pally

Welshman Gerwyn Price begins his bid to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for a second time on Monday.

The night will also see World Youth Championship finalist Gian van Veen make his World Championship debut, while Thibault Tricole will make history as the first French player to compete in the sport’s showpiece event.

World Darts Championship: Monday Fixtures

Mario Vandenbogaerde vs Thibault Tricole (R1)
Gian van Veen vs Man Lok Leung (R1)
Martin Lukeman vs Haupai Puha (R1)
Gerwyn Price vs Connor Scutt (R2)

The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



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World Darts Championship: Michael Smith, Simon Whitlock and Cameron Menzies all win on opening night

Michael Smith survives opening-round scare to make it through at Ally Pally; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Saturday afternoon at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts

Last Updated: 16/12/23 2:24am


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A look back at some of the best action for the opening night of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

A look back at some of the best action for the opening night of the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace

Reigning champion Michael Smith began his World Darts Championship title defence with victory but only after surviving a huge scare to defeat Dutch debutant Kevin Doets on opening night at Alexandra Palace.

Smith created global headlines with his sensational triumph in January, producing an incredible nine-darter in a leg dubbed ‘the greatest of all-time’ on his way to a 7-4 success against Michael van Gerwen.

The world No 1 was facing the prospect of becoming the first defending champion to lose their opening match in the sport’s showpiece event since 2009, before he fought back magnificently to keep his hopes alive.

World Darts Championship: Friday’s Results

Kevin Doets 3-0 Stowe Buntz (R1)
Cameron Menzies 3-0 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez (R1)
Simon Whitlock 3-2 Paolo Nebrida (R1)
Michael Smith 3-2 Kevin Doets (R2)

Michael Smith dug out this huge 142 in the final set to leave his opponent Kevin Doets shaking his head in disbelief

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Michael Smith dug out this huge 142 in the final set to leave his opponent Kevin Doets shaking his head in disbelief

Michael Smith dug out this huge 142 in the final set to leave his opponent Kevin Doets shaking his head in disbelief

Doets, who reached the fifth round of this year’s UK Open after winning his PDC Tour Card for the first time in January 2022, dumped out Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finalist Stowe Buntz in the opening match of the tournament.

The world No 66 came into the meeting with St Helens star Smith on a high, but it was the reigning champion who made a strong start by sealing the opening set 3-1 with 60 per cent on the doubles.

The talented Dutchman responded by claiming the second set in a deciding leg against the darts for parity with a 100.3 average after Smith failed to hit tops to move clear of his opponent.

Smith pinned this superb 150 during his 3-2 victory over the Dutchman

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Smith pinned this superb 150 during his 3-2 victory over the Dutchman

Smith pinned this superb 150 during his 3-2 victory over the Dutchman

Doets, nicknamed ‘Hawk Eye’, continued to find the target and he despite a huge 150 checkout from Smith, he produced winning legs in 12, 14 and 13 darts to move within a set of causing a almighty upset.

However, Smith wrapped up set four 3-1, including a whopping 121 checkout to send the match all the way.

Smith landed a majestic 142 checkout under immense pressure to regain the lead in the decider and despite missing five darts at a double, he eventually claimed victory with a neat 67 finish on tops.

Wayne Mardle heaped praise on Smith after his close opening win at Ally Pally

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Wayne Mardle heaped praise on Smith after his close opening win at Ally Pally

Wayne Mardle heaped praise on Smith after his close opening win at Ally Pally

“It’s one of them, I managed to fall over the line, no nerves, no pressure, I’ll have a good Christmas now,” Smith told Sky Sports.

Simon Whitlock, the 2010 runner-up, missed five darts before winning a slow-burner of a contest against former PDC Asian Championship finalist Paolo Nebrida to set up a showdown with two-time champion Gary Anderson on Saturday evening.

Paolo Nebrida found checkouts of 116 and 121 but eventually lost out to Simon Whitlock in a nervy contest

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Paolo Nebrida found checkouts of 116 and 121 but eventually lost out to Simon Whitlock in a nervy contest

Paolo Nebrida found checkouts of 116 and 121 but eventually lost out to Simon Whitlock in a nervy contest

‘The Wizard’ was forced to dig deep to battle past Nebrida, using all of his experience to avoid a shock exit.

“I’ve just been messing around with my darts too much. I’ve been like Peter Wright,” Whitlock admitted.

And on facing Anderson next, he replied: “I’m a big 180 hitter and they weren’t there today, but tomorrow is a different day. Maybe they will turn, maybe I will turn up and me and Gary will have a great game.”

Whitlock credited his experience for getting him through a razor-thin opening-round contest

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Whitlock credited his experience for getting him through a razor-thin opening-round contest

Whitlock credited his experience for getting him through a razor-thin opening-round contest

Cameron Menzies came through a fiery encounter against Rusty-Jake Rodriguez to reach the second round.

The Scot, who is the partner of Fallon Sherrock, closed out a 3-0 success over Austria’s Rodriguez with four 180s and 50 per cent on the doubles to move through.

“I was so nervous today, because I knew that game meant a lot,” revealed Menzies, who prepared for his opening round clash with a plumbing shift this morning.

“Winning that game meant the world to me, and I think going to work today helped me relax, because it made me realise that darts is a hobby for me.

“Obviously I would like to be in a situation in the future where I can give up work, because I know in spells I can score as well as the best, but it’s still my finishing that separates the top ten from a player like me.”

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez threw his darts off the table after going down two sets to Cameron Menzies

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Rusty-Jake Rodriguez threw his darts off the table after going down two sets to Cameron Menzies

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez threw his darts off the table after going down two sets to Cameron Menzies

Live World Darts Championship

December 16, 2023, 12:30pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

Live World Darts Championship

December 16, 2023, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

What’s happening on Saturday at the World Darts Championship?

Dave 'Chizzy' Chisnall headlines he action on Saturday afternoon at Alexandra Palace

Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall headlines he action on Saturday afternoon at Alexandra Palace

The first double session at this year’s tournament will take place, as two-time world champion Gary Anderson opens his title challenge with a clash against Simon Whitlock.

World Darts Championship: Saturday Afternoon Fixtures

Lee Evans vs Sandro Eric Sosing (R1)
Connor Scutt vs Krzysztof Kciuk (R1)
Jules van Dongen vs Darren Penhall (R1)
Dave Chisnall vs Cameron Menzies (R2)

World Darts Championship: Saturday Evening Fixtures

Jamie Hughes vs David Cameron (R1)
Keane Barry vs Reynaldo Rivera (R1)
Scott Williams vs Haruki Muramatsu (R1)
Gary Anderson vs Simon Whitlock (R2)

Dave Chisnall, a 2021 semi-finalist, takes centre stage in the afternoon when he faces Cameron Menzies, while American No 1 Jules van Dongen makes his debut against DPA qualifier Darren Penhall.

The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months



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World Darts Championship: Everything you need to know about the event at Alexandra Palace

Nigel Chiu

Sports Journalist

Michael Smith will defend his world title against the greatest darts players in the world as the Alexandra Palace is ready to provide drama, fun and entertainment; we’re back for the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 07/12/23 3:04pm


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Take a look at how the world watched on as Michael Smith hit a nine-darter in the 2023 World Championship Final and Wayne Mardle lost his voice!

Take a look at how the world watched on as Michael Smith hit a nine-darter in the 2023 World Championship Final and Wayne Mardle lost his voice!

Sit back, put your feet up and switch on the darts. It’s that time of year when the sporting world turns their attention to the Alexandra Palace in London for the World Darts Championship.

It’s been 30 years since the PDC’s first World Championship began and we have seen pretty much everything over the last three decades.

From iconic walk-ons, arguments on the oche, huge upsets and nine-darters, including a certain “I can’t spake” – the World Championship always delivers.

When is the World Darts Championship 2024?

The 31st World Darts Championship takes place from Friday December 15 to Wednesday January 3.

There is action every day apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.

Where is the World Darts Championship 2024?

The World Darts Championship is held at the Alexandra Palace in London, which has been the case since 2008.

Previously, the Circus Tavern in Essex hosted the biggest darts event of the year from 1994 to 2007.

The most outrageous moments from the World Darts Championship. Includes Peter Wright dressing up as The Grinch and William Borland's memorable nine-darter!

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The most outrageous moments from the World Darts Championship. Includes Peter Wright dressing up as The Grinch and William Borland’s memorable nine-darter!

The most outrageous moments from the World Darts Championship. Includes Peter Wright dressing up as The Grinch and William Borland’s memorable nine-darter!

Why is the Alexandra Palace so special?

There’s no definitive answers for this but hosting a renowned tournament each year which sells out every time probably helps.

‘Ally Pally’ also hosts the Masters snooker tournament in January and Pool’s Mosconi cup biannually during the winter too, so it feels like the home of cue sports in this period.

How to watch the World Darts Championship

You won’t miss an arrow in the World Championship on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel, with the best of the action also on Sky Sports Main Event.

Coverage begins on Friday December 15 at 7pm, with afternoon sessions at 12.30pm and evening sessions at 7pm taking place for the rest of the tournament up to the quarter-finals on Monday January 1.

The semi-finals are on Tuesday January 2 from 7.30pm and the final is on Wednesday January 3 at 7pm.

Wayne Mardle breaks down the World Darts Championship draw and picks out the tough games for the seeded players.

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Wayne Mardle breaks down the World Darts Championship draw and picks out the tough games for the seeded players.

Wayne Mardle breaks down the World Darts Championship draw and picks out the tough games for the seeded players.

World Darts Championship format

The World Championship uses the sets format, with each set being the first to three legs. The deciding set must be won by at least two legs, so if it’s 2-2 in the final set, a player must win 4-2 or 5-3. If it’s 5-5, a sudden-death leg will take place with no throw for the bull, so the alteration of whoever throws first simply continues.

World Darts Championship format

Round First to (sets)
1 and 2 3
3 and 4 4
Quarter-finals 5
Semi-finals 6
Final 7

Is Fallon Sherrock playing?

Fallon Sherrock is one of two female players in the World Championship, along with two-time BDO Women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki.

Sherrock has a historic run to the third round in 2020 when she beat Ted Evetts to become the first female player to win a match at a PDC World Championship. The ‘Queen of the Palace’ then defeated Mensur Suljovic before losing in the last 32 to Chris Dobey.

Sherrock faces Jermaine Wattimena on December 17 with the winner progressing to a round two date with Martin Schindler.

Suzuki played in the 2020 tournament but lost in the first round to James Richardson and is making her second appearance at the Ally Pally this year. She plays Ricardo Pietreczko on December 19.

Watch Fallon Sherrock become the first female to hit a televised nine-darter earlier this year

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Watch Fallon Sherrock become the first female to hit a televised nine-darter earlier this year

Watch Fallon Sherrock become the first female to hit a televised nine-darter earlier this year

Who is the defending champion?

Michael Smith is the defending champion, therefore seeded first, after beating Michael van Gerwen in a final which is remember for THAT nine-darter. No player has defended their title since Gary Anderson in 2015 and 2016.

Van Gerwen will be among the big favourites but the form player is Luke Humphries, who has won three of the four tournaments.

Throw in the likes of Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and fan favourites such as Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld and the ingredients are all there for a spectacular tournament.

PDC World Darts Championship winners

PDC World Champions

Year Player
1994 Dennis Priestley
1995 Phil Taylor
1996 Phil Taylor
1997 Phil Taylor
1998 Phil Taylor
1999 Phil Taylor
2000 Phil Taylor
2001 Phil Taylor
2002 Phil Taylor
2003 John Part
2004 Phil Taylor
2005 Phil Taylor
2006 Phil Taylor
2007 Raymond van Barneveld
2008 John Part
2009 Phil Taylor
2010 Phil Taylor
2011 Adrian Lewis
2012 Adrian Lewis
2013 Phil Taylor
2014 Michael van Gerwen
2015 Gary Anderson
2016 Gary Anderson
2017 Michael van Gerwen
2018 Rob Cross
2019 Michael van Gerwen
2020 Peter Wright
2021 Gerwyn Price
2022 Peter Wright
2023 Michael Smith

How many world titles has Phil Taylor won?

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor won 14 PDC world titles but also became world champion twice before the PDC era.

It’s a record which many think will be impossible to beat. Van Gerwen has won three titles, with John Part, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright the only other multiple winners.

How many nine-darters have there been?

It’s fair to say nine-darters have become more common in the sport but there have only been 14 in the history of the PDC World Championship.

The first only came in 2009 when Raymond van Barneveld nailed the perfect leg. Barney did it again a year later, then Adrian Lewis made the first nine-darter in a final in 2011.

Watch every nine-darter hit at the PDC World Championship.

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Watch every nine-darter hit at the PDC World Championship.

Watch every nine-darter hit at the PDC World Championship.

Two nines were done in 2013 thanks to Dean Winstanley and Van Gerwen. Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson joined the illustrious nine-dart list in 2014, with Lewis making a second nine in 2015.

In 2016, Gary Anderson made a nine in the semi-finals and there was a five-year gap until the next perfect leg.

The player who’s faced so many nine-darters against him, James Wade, became the eighth player to do a nine, then there were three in 2022 from William Borland, Darius Labanauskas and Gerwyn Price.

And, of course, Michael Smith’s nine-darter in the 2023 final against Van Gerwen has been etched in darting folklore in what has to be the best leg of darts ever.

Watch how Wayne Mardle and Stuart Pyke reacted to the sensational leg between Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith in the World Championship Final that culminated in a nine-darter for Bully Boy.

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Watch how Wayne Mardle and Stuart Pyke reacted to the sensational leg between Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith in the World Championship Final that culminated in a nine-darter for Bully Boy.

Watch how Wayne Mardle and Stuart Pyke reacted to the sensational leg between Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith in the World Championship Final that culminated in a nine-darter for Bully Boy.

How much beer is drunk at the World Championship?

Around 90,000 darts fans will flock the Ally Pally from the middle of December to early January. As the crowd stand up to love the darts, they may have a pint in their hand too.

How many pints are drunk you ask? Around half a million across the event apparently.

What’s the song they play at the darts in between breaks?

Ever had that annoying feeling when you know how a song goes but don’t know what it’s called? You may think that about the song which is played during breaks in the match at the end of a leg during the World Championship.

It’s called Chase the Sun by Planet Funk and you just have to join in when it comes on.

Watch the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW



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Inexperienced Matildas fall to Canada 5-0 in opening friendly

The Matildas have recorded their heaviest defeat in 17 months, with an inexperienced line-up thrashed 5-0 by Canada.

Nichelle Prince scored a first-half brace to send Canada on its way, with Cloé Lacasse, Simi Awujo and Adriana Leon completing the rout inside 62 minutes on Saturday AEDT.

It was the Matildas’ biggest defeat and poorest performance since a similarly inexperienced line-up posted a 7-0 humiliation to Spain in 2022.

Coach Tony Gustavsson had promised an experimental squad and no players from the 4-0 Women’s World Cup win over Canada were named in the starting line-up.

Sam Kerr and Mackenzie Arnold were out injured, while Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley, Mary Fowler and Kyra Cooney-Cross were among those benched amid heavy workloads at club level.

The starting line-up in Langford had a combined 429 caps, with 281 of those between Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Yallop.

Charlize Rule and Sarah Hunter debuted at right-back and holding midfield and were among six players with fewer than 20 caps.

On a sodden artificial pitch at Starlight Stadium, the disjointed Matildas struggled to get to grips with the surface, or a brilliant Canada.

The Matildas were overrun in midfield and had no first-half shots to Canada’s 13 and it took just 10 minutes for the hosts to take the lead.

A heavy back-pass from Rule sold Polkinghorne into trouble and, as the centre-back got the ball caught under her feet, Prince pounced.

The striker pinched the ball away and coolly finished into the bottom corner.

Teagan Micah made three brilliant saves, denying Leon in the 24th and 31st minutes and Vanessa Gilles in the 27th.

But in the 43rd minute, Ashley Lawrence burst down the right and cut back to Prince, whose first-time shot beat a disappointed Micah at the near post.

Four minutes into the second half, the defending Olympic champions all but sealed victory when Hunter dawdled on the ball and Lacasse pinched it off her, before bursting to score.

In the 55th minute, Rule’s clearing header fell to Awujo, who had time to take a touch and fire home from distance.

Seven minutes later, Leon completed the rout when she drifted unmarked between a scattered defence to score.

Gustavsson turned to more experience in Fowler, Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry and Alanna Kennedy for the final half-hour.

The Matildas had their first shot through Fowler in the 74th minute, with Kailen Sheridan making a comfortable save.

In her second-last match, retiring Canada great Christine Sinclair entered the fray in the 62nd minute.

The second friendly is in Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon AEDT.

AAP

Look back at how the action unfolded in our blog.

Key events

Final thoughts

Football is a cycle, and just as we saw the Matildas go through some growing pains in their early days under Tony Gustavsson, this was another moment in which we were reminded of what the next generation of players coming through the ranks looks like.

Commentator Andy Harper isn’t as forgiving of this result, though, the biggest loss Australia have copped since that 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Spain last year.

But just like that game, this was an experimental team: Five players with 15 or fewer caps, and with a number of key senior players benched until the hour mark.

“When you make bulk changes, bulk experiments, with so many young debutants, it makes it really difficult for them to shine,” Amy Chapman says on the broadcast.

She reckons a better balance needed to be struck by drip-feeding young players into the senior starting side, citing Kyra Cooney-Cross’s partnership with Katrina Gorry on the field as a big reason why she’s come such a long way so quickly. Maybe we’ll see that in the next game on Tuesday.

That’s not to say Canada weren’t excellent. They were a team who have clearly played a lot of football together, and who will be thrilled to put five past the team that defeated them at the World Cup six months ago.

The field itself was tough; a slick artificial surface in the frosty rain made it really difficult for both sides, and you could see the Matildas’ confidence wane as the game wore on.

They registered just two shots all game — both coming through Mary Fowler when she came on — which, you’d hope, will be a focus for the side in their final match of the year next week.

All in all, given the gulf in experience and quality between the two sides, it’s perhaps no surprise that it ended the way it did.

How they bounce back and what changes they make before the rematch on Tuesday will determine whether the Matildas can finish their remarkable 2023 with a bang or a whimper.

Until then, thanks for joining me. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Full-time: Canada 5 – 0 Australia

What’s next?

Is there much to be gained by serving up another experimental line up on Wednesday Sam? Surely we field our strongest line up to see if we can spoil the Christine Sinclair farewell party. A big crowd deserves a competitive game.

– stumcin

It’s a good question. I think it depends on a few things: 1) how the younger players pull up after this game, 2) how the more experienced players are feeling, and 3) what Tony Gustavsson wants to work on.

I can see a situation where there’s a combination of the “two” teams we saw tonight. Where, say, a Sarah Hunter plays alongside a Katrina Gorry, or a Remy Siemsen starts up front alongside a Hayley Raso or Mary Fowler.

Seeing how some of the individuals slot into the regular starting team would be the way I approach it, personally. But I’m not Tony. So we’ll have to wait and see.

90′ 2 minutes of added time

89′ The game is winding down now

Both teams have mostly cancelled each other out in the last 15 minutes. In terms of the scoreline, it’s well out of sight, and you feel that the substitutions Gustavsson made were partly made to save the confidence of the younger players. Those on the field now didn’t really need minutes, and they’re not playing with the kind of hunger that they may have had the scores been a little closer. That’s OK though. So long as nobody gets injured, that’s what matters.

84′ Canada try the counterattack

Christine Sinclair picks up the ball in midfield and turns before charging forward after Australia’s midfielders over-committed.

Young winger Bianca St. George is tearing down the right wing, and is spotted by Sinc, who delivers a delightful outside-of-the-foot through-ball into her teammate’s path.

She tears into the box, but Alanna Kennedy is in lockstep with her. The towering centre-back throws herself across the grass as she anticipates the cross, but St. Georges loses control of the ball and it trickles out for a goal kick.

80′ Canada 5 – 0 Australia

The Matildas have looked much more composed since those substitutions were made just after the hour, but Canada aren’t letting them back into the game.

While they’re not charging forward with quite the same energy or savagery as they did early on, they still don’t look super fazed by Australia’s fresh bodies, passing the ball calmly around the back and out onto the wings before recycling it back again.

The Matildas aren’t giving up – Mary Fowler had another penalty-box entry about a minute ago – but this seems to mostly be about damage control now.

77′ Tekkers Buchanan

The Chelsea centre-back looks to be at sea, on the ball with her back to goal as Amy Sayer pressures her from behind, but the veteran does a couple of lovely step-overs and wiggles away from the young Matilda, taking on three other Aussies and jinking a lovely pass through them all.

They’re just toying with us now …

76′ Substitution Australia

Hayley Raso comes on in place of Tameka Yallop.

73′ And just as I say that!

Mary Fowler receives an incisive pass from the right wing, turning into the D at the top of the box and rocketing her foot through the rubber.

It’s almost too straight a shot, though, and it slams right into the chest of goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan for her first save of the night.

That’s something, I guess…

71′ Canada 5 – 0 Australia

With 20 minutes left, the Matildas have a mountain to climb.

They’re not going to get back into this game, you’d think, but a start would be actually having some shots at goal.

I don’t remember the last time Australia went for so long in a game without registering a single shot.

Their possession has improved since the substitutions were made, but with Mary Fowler the only recognised senior attacker on the field – with Emily Van Egmond and Tameka Yallop supporting her – you wonder whether they’ll get close enough to register even one.

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Michael van Gerwen produces highest average in Players Championship Finals history

Michael van Gerwen averages a remarkable 118.52 in 6-1 demolition of Ross Smith at Players Championship Finals; we’re back for the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 26/11/23 8:17am


Michael van Gerwen produced a staggering 118.52 average during his demolition of Ross Smith in Minehead on Saturday

Michael van Gerwen produced the highest average in Players Championship Finals history en route to a showdown with Stephen Bunting in the quarter-finals.

The reigning champion struck a staggering 118.52 average thanks to legs of 10, 18, 12, 11, 12 and 12 darts in his 6-1 second-round demolition of former European Champion Ross Smith.

Van Gerwen was less spectacular in his third-round victory against Mario Vandenbogaerde, despite winning six of the last eight legs to run out a 10-6 winner against the Belgian.

Six weeks after winning his first major darts title, Luke Humphries secured another with victory in the Grand Slam of Darts - could he now go one step further with victory at the World Championships?

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Six weeks after winning his first major darts title, Luke Humphries secured another with victory in the Grand Slam of Darts – could he now go one step further with victory at the World Championships?

Six weeks after winning his first major darts title, Luke Humphries secured another with victory in the Grand Slam of Darts – could he now go one step further with victory at the World Championships?

“When things go well, I know how well I can play,” declared Van Gerwen, who is eyeing his first premier televised ranking title of 2023.

“It is nice to produce a game like this, because you know you’ve got that game in you. You want to show this [type of performance] time after time, but you also need a good opponent!

“It was a battle against Mario, but the most important thing is that I won, and going through to the quarter-finals gives me an extra boost, and I feel good about it.”

Van Gerwen’s last eight opponent will be Stephen Bunting, after the Grand Slam semi-finalist followed up his demolition of Gian van Veen with a 10-8 victory over 2012 runner-up Kim Huybrechts.

Bunting averaged almost 106 and landed a trio of ton-plus finishes to dispatch Dutch star Van Veen, before rallying from 8-7 down to deny the Belgian – aided by five maximums.

However, Van Gerwen remains on a potential collision course with Luke Humphries, who saw off Radek Szaganski and Ryan Searle to maintain his bid for a third televised triumph in seven weeks.

Humphries whitewashed a shell-shocked Szaganski in just nine minutes, averaging 107 and converting all six of his attempts at double.

Humphries and Gary Anderson both showed their finishing power as they hit SEVEN ton-plus checkouts between them in a Grand Slam of Darts quarter-final epic

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Humphries and Gary Anderson both showed their finishing power as they hit SEVEN ton-plus checkouts between them in a Grand Slam of Darts quarter-final epic

Humphries and Gary Anderson both showed their finishing power as they hit SEVEN ton-plus checkouts between them in a Grand Slam of Darts quarter-final epic

The newly crowned World Grand Prix and Grand Slam champion then delivered another ton-topping average against Searle, fending off a late rally from the Somerset star to triumph 10-7.

“Ryan is so underrated. He’s one of the toughest players to beat,” claimed Humphries, having raced into a 6-1 lead before sealing his progress with a 103 average.

“Ryan came back well, but I don’t panic any more. I’ve had a great couple of months, I’m relaxed and I believe in my own ability.

“These are tough days. They require a lot of energy and focus, but I’ve been able to draw on my experience from the European Tour, and I’m hoping I can go all the way again.”

Humphries will renew his rivalry with James Wade in the last eight, after the ten-time TV title winner overcame Steve Lennon and Dimitri Van den Bergh on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, top seed Gerwyn Price suffered a chastening 6-1 defeat to Huybrechts in round two, while 2014 champion Gary Anderson was edged out by Van den Bergh at the same stage of the event.

Leeds United fan Humphries combines his favourite sports by giving the players a darting masterclass

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Leeds United fan Humphries combines his favourite sports by giving the players a darting masterclass

Leeds United fan Humphries combines his favourite sports by giving the players a darting masterclass

The tournament will conclude on Sunday, with the afternoon’s quarter-finals followed by the semi-finals and final later in the evening.

The evening session will also see the PDC World Youth Championship final take place, as emerging Dutchman Gian van Veen takes on teenage sensation Luke Littler for the coveted title.

2023 Players Championship Finals
Saturday November 25
Afternoon Session
Second Round
Main Stage

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 Gary Anderson
Damon Heta 6-4 Kevin Doets
Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Ross Smith
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Chris Dobey
Luke Humphries 6-0 Radek Szaganski
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Richard Veenstra

Stage Two
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Gian van Veen
Ryan Searle 6-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-2 Matt Campbell
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Maik Kuivenhoven
Luke Woodhouse 6-3 Rob Cross
Gabriel Clemens 6-3 Josh Rock
Ryan Joyce 6-4 Joe Cullen
Niels Zonneveld 6-2 Jonny Clayton
James Wade 6-2 Steve Lennon

Evening Session
Third Round
Main Stage

Stephen Bunting 10-8 Kim Huybrechts
Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Luke Humphries 10-7 Ryan Searle
James Wade 10-6 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Stage Two
Damon Heta 10-8 Brendan Dolan
Luke Woodhouse 10-8 Dave Chisnall
Gabriel Clemens 10-1 Niels Zonneveld
Ryan Joyce 10-7 Jermaine Wattimena

Sunday November 26
Afternoon Session (1245-1700 GMT)
Quarter-Finals

Stephen Bunting vs Michael van Gerwen
Luke Woodhouse vs Gabriel Clemens
James Wade vs Luke Humphries
Damon Heta vs Ryan Joyce
Best of 19 legs

Evening Session (1900-2300 GMT)
Semi-Finals
Bunting/Van Gerwen vs Woodhouse/Clemens
Wade/Humphries vs Heta/Joyce
Best of 21 legs

PDC World Youth Championship Final
Gian van Veen v Luke Littler
Best of 11 legs

Final
Bunting/Van Gerwen/Woodhouse/Clemens vs Wade/Humphries/Heta/Joyce

When is the World Darts Championship?

The World Darts Championship starts on Friday, December 15 - live on Sky Sports!

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The World Darts Championship starts on Friday, December 15 – live on Sky Sports!

The World Darts Championship starts on Friday, December 15 – live on Sky Sports!

The sport’s biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.

You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the World Darts Championship from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW



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Grand Slam of Darts: Rob Cross sets up semi-final showdown with Stephen Bunting in Wolverhampton

Rob Cross wins 10 legs in a row to defeat Damon Heta while Stephen Bunting ends Stowe Buntz’s dreams in Wolverhampton; Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the WV Active Aldersley – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 18/11/23 11:10pm


Rob Cross defeated Damon Heta to reach the Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals in Wolverhampton on Saturday night

A classy performance from Rob Cross set up a semi-final showdown with Stephen Bunting at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

Cross, the 2018 World Champion, ran away with his quarter-final match with Australian No 1 Damon Heta after claiming 10 legs in a row from 6-6 to win, while an in-form Bunting defeated American newcomer Stowe Buntz 16-8.

Grand Slam of Darts: Saturday’s Quarter-Finals

Stowe Buntz 8-16 Stephen Bunting
Damon Heta 6-16 Rob Cross

Watch the moment Cross reached the Grand Slam semi-finals for first time in his career

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Watch the moment Cross reached the Grand Slam semi-finals for first time in his career

Watch the moment Cross reached the Grand Slam semi-finals for first time in his career

There will be a new name on the Eric Bristow Trophy in 2023, and Cross continued his bid for a fifth premier TV title with a comprehensive victory over Heta.

“Unfortunately Damon didn’t play how he could,” admitted Cross, who averaged 98 and pinned 46 per cent of his attempts at double to cap off another superb performance.

“I was averaging 97 at one stage and I didn’t even feel like I had turned up yet. In my head it was horrific! I couldn’t find that first dart.

“I wasn’t happy with my performance at the start, but I’ll take the win, wake up tomorrow and it’s a different day.

“Having the semi-finals and final in one day is going to be tough. I’ve never experienced it before so I can’t say I’ve had that luxury, but I feel in a really good place with my game.”

Cross extended his lead over Heta with this 116 finish

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Cross extended his lead over Heta with this 116 finish

Cross extended his lead over Heta with this 116 finish

Heta’s combination finishing was a feature of his last-16 victory against Michael van Gerwen on Thursday, and he continued from where he left off in the early exchanges against ‘Voltage’.

The former World Cup winner landed 120, 64 and 72 checkouts as the opening six legs were shared, although Cross seized the initiative at the second interval, producing a timely 12-darter to establish a 6-4 buffer.

When he wakes up in the morning and realises it's permanent marker.... Heta signs a fan's head during his walk-on

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When he wakes up in the morning and realises it’s permanent marker…. Heta signs a fan’s head during his walk-on

When he wakes up in the morning and realises it’s permanent marker…. Heta signs a fan’s head during his walk-on

Heta hit back to restore parity, but Cross punished a mid-game slump from the Australian to seize control, following a run of three straight legs with 116 and 89 checkouts to stretch his lead to 11-6.

Cross continued his relentless march towards victory as Heta’s game unravelled, and the Hastings thrower extended his winning run to 10 legs to ease through to his first Grand Slam semi-final.

The 2018 World Champion will now take on Bunting for a place in Sunday evening’s decider, after the Merseyside man produced a superb display of doubling to end Buntz’s remarkable campaign.

The American debutant won the pair’s Group E tussle last weekend, but Bunting avenged that result in some style, converting 62 per cent of his attempts at double to break new ground in Wolverhampton.

Bunting made it through to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam after beating Stowe Buntz

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Bunting made it through to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam after beating Stowe Buntz

Bunting made it through to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam after beating Stowe Buntz

“It means the world,” reflected the 38-year-old, who averaged 96 and crashed in six maximums to win through to his first premier televised semi-final since October 2021.

“There were some nerves tonight. I was a heavy favourite going into that game, and I still didn’t know what to expect from Stowe.

“I said to him at the end of the match, he’s a friend now. We’ve had two games on the stage, and I wish him all the best for the World Championship and the rest of his career.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of effort behind the scenes, but I couldn’t do it without the crowd cheering me on. I really appreciate the support and I cannot wait for the semi-finals now.”

Bunting turned on the style with finishes of 101 and 126

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Bunting turned on the style with finishes of 101 and 126

Bunting turned on the style with finishes of 101 and 126

Buntz missed darts at double for 147, 106 and 146 combinations in the early exchanges, and Bunting – aided by back-to-back 13-darters – capitalised to race into an early 4-1 lead.

The CDC Continental Cup champion responded to level at 6-6, but Bunting suddenly found his range midway through the contest, winning seven of the next eight legs to seize control at 13-7.

Bunting’s 12-dart break of throw in leg 14 provided the spark, and he converted clinical 93, 101, 126 and 97 finishes during a blistering spell to move to the cusp of a place in the semi-finals.

The former Lakeside champion fired in another 12-darter on the bull to extend his lead to 14-7, and he continued the procession to end Buntz’s record-breaking run.

Grand Slam of Darts: Sunday’s Semi-Final Fixtures

James Wade vs Luke Humphries
Stephen Bunting vs Rob Cross

What’s happening on Sunday at the Grand Slam?

Luke Humphries will take on James Wade in the first semi-final on Sunday afternoon

Luke Humphries will take on James Wade in the first semi-final on Sunday afternoon

Sunday at the Grand Slam of Darts sees the semi-finals and final taking place on a bumper day of action.

Three-time finalist James Wade and Luke Humphries, who lifted TV silverware for the first time at October’s World Grand Prix, will meet in the first semi-final.

Wade defeated Josh Rock 16-15 in dramatic fashion, while Humphries beat Gary Anderson 16-14 on an unforgettable night of action.

And then four-time major winner Cross meets former Lakeside champion Bunting for a place in the evening’s showpiece, with a £150,000 top prize on offer to the eventual champion.

Wayne Mardle previews Sunday's Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals

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Wayne Mardle previews Sunday’s Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals

Wayne Mardle previews Sunday’s Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals

When are the World Championships?

The World Championship starts on Friday December 15 - live on Sky Sports Darts

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The World Championship starts on Friday December 15 – live on Sky Sports Darts

The World Championship starts on Friday December 15 – live on Sky Sports Darts

The sport’s biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.

You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.

Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW



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Grand Slam of Darts: Luke Humphries edges Gary Anderson in a classic as James Wade beats Josh Rock

Luke Humphries edges out Gary Anderson while James Wade uses all his experience to defeat young Josh Rock in the quarter-finals; Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the WV Active Aldersley all this week – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 17/11/23 11:17pm


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The best of the action from the first two quarter-finals at the Grand Slam of Darts

The best of the action from the first two quarter-finals at the Grand Slam of Darts

Luke Humphries edged out Scottish legend Gary Anderson in a Grand Slam of Darts classic as James Wade ruined Josh Rock’s Wolverhampton dreams.

Humphries beat ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson 16-14, while Wade defeated Rock 16-15 in dramatic fashion on an unforgettable night of action in Wolverhampton.

Grand Slam of Darts: Friday’s Quarter-Finals

James Wade 16-15 Josh Rock
Luke Humphries 16-14 Gary Anderson

Humphries and Anderson both showed their finishing power as they hit SEVEN ton-plus checkouts between them

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Humphries and Anderson both showed their finishing power as they hit SEVEN ton-plus checkouts between them

Humphries and Anderson both showed their finishing power as they hit SEVEN ton-plus checkouts between them

Humphries hits this outrageous 170 checkout during his win

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Humphries hits this outrageous 170 checkout during his win

Humphries hits this outrageous 170 checkout during his win

An astonishing display from Humphries saw him average 103.56 to come out on top of a high-class encounter with Anderson.

Humphries, who lifted TV silverware for the first time at October’s World Grand Prix, came back from 1-5 and 4-8 down to reach the semi-finals for a second successive year.

“It was a pleasure to share the stage with one of the greats of the game at his best,” Humphries reflected. “It really meant a lot to me, we both played a fantastic game which was a privilege to be part of.

“I think I showed a lot of bottle at the end, Gary threw everything at me but I just kept digging in which is testament to the new temperament I’ve got.

“This has been a breakthrough year for me, it’s been the year I’ve always dreamed of, but I’m hungry for more.”

Humphries reacts to his victory over Anderson, saying he beat a 'legend' of the sport

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Humphries reacts to his victory over Anderson, saying he beat a ‘legend’ of the sport

Humphries reacts to his victory over Anderson, saying he beat a ‘legend’ of the sport

Despite a 170 checkout from Humphries in leg four, Anderson raced into a 5-1 lead as the two-time Grand Slam runner-up took control.

Back-to-back legs saw Humphries take a foothold in the contest, only for Anderson to respond with finishes of 150 and 128 to restore a four-leg cushion at 8-4.

Humphries took the next four legs, before taking the lead for the first time at 10-9.

A 132 checkout from Anderson saw him move back within a leg of Humphries at 11-12, and a 131 from the Scot saw him level the tie once again at 13-13.

Anderson then regained the lead at 14-13, before Humphries reeled off the last three legs to book his place in the final four.

James Wade shows grit and determination to made a stunning quarter-finals comeback against Josh Rock

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James Wade shows grit and determination to made a stunning quarter-finals comeback against Josh Rock

James Wade shows grit and determination to made a stunning quarter-finals comeback against Josh Rock

Wade produced a stunning fightback to defeat Rock, winning the last four legs to battle back from 12-15 down.

Rock missed his first match dart at double top to win 16-14, as Wade dig deep to take the contest the distance.

A nerve-wracking deciding leg saw Wade miss double 14 for a 121 checkout, which gave Rock the chance to win it on tops.

However, the Northern Irishman went high with all three darts, allowing Wade a look at 28.

The drama continued as Wade slipped into the double 11 bed to leave six and after seemingly blocking double three with his first dart, he found a way through to the target to seal a memorable win.

Wade reacts to his incredible comeback against Rock

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Wade reacts to his incredible comeback against Rock

Wade reacts to his incredible comeback against Rock

“To hit the doubles like I did at the end, there’s not many players who can do that,” said a jubilant Wade.

“I got a bit lucky, Josh was way better than me tonight. I’m still not at my best but I’ll always keep fighting.

“I don’t think there’s anyone better than me in those high-pressure situations, but I have to be good in those moments because other players score better than me.

“When I got the chance at double 14 I thought Christmas had come early, then I hit double 11 and thought ‘you silly boy!’ Thankfully I hit probably the best double three of my life.

“I enjoyed the interaction with the crowd tonight, they were brilliant to me and I’m looking forward to coming back on Sunday.”

Wade was quickest out of the traps, racing into a 3-0 lead, before Rock warmed to his task and levelled at 4-4.

Rock pinned this magical 156 finish in defeat to Wade

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Rock pinned this magical 156 finish in defeat to Wade

Rock pinned this magical 156 finish in defeat to Wade

Rock, who averaged 101.31 and produced three ton-plus checkouts in his first televised quarter-final, took the lead for the first time at 11-10.

The World Youth Champion took four of the next six legs to lead 15-12 to seemingly take control of the tie, only for ‘The Machine’ Wade to show his trademark resilience in winning the final four legs.

What happens on Saturday at the Grand Slam?

Australian No 1 Damon Heta will take on former World Champion Rob Cross for a spot in the semi-finals

Australian No 1 Damon Heta will take on former World Champion Rob Cross for a spot in the semi-finals

Saturday at the Grand Slam of Darts sees the quarter-finals from the bottom half of the draw. Damon Heta’s reward for defeating Michael van Gerwen is a showdown against former World Champion Rob Cross.

Stephen Bunting, who is in the Grand Slam quarter-finals for the first time since 2014, will renew his rivalry with Stowe Buntz.

Debutant Buntz became the first American player to progress to the Grand Slam quarter-finals after defeating UK Open champion Andrew Gilding.

Grand Slam of Darts: Saturday’s Quarter-Final Fixtures

Stowe Buntz vs Stephen Bunting
Damon Heta vs Rob Cross

Live Grand Slam of Darts

November 18, 2023, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

When are the World Championships?

The World Championship starts on Friday December 15 - live on Sky Sports Darts

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The World Championship starts on Friday December 15 – live on Sky Sports Darts

The World Championship starts on Friday December 15 – live on Sky Sports Darts

The sport’s biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.

Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW



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Grand Slam of Darts: Gary Anderson delivers a vintage display to knock out Gerwyn Price

Gary Anderson upsets Gerwyn Price while there were wins for Josh Rock, James Wade and a red-hot Luke Humphries; Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the WV Active Aldersley all this week – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 16/11/23 7:35am


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The best of the action on Day Five of the Grand Slam of Darts

The best of the action on Day Five of the Grand Slam of Darts

Gary Anderson delivered a vintage performance to knock out three-time winner Gerwyn Price 10-6 and reach the last eight of the Grand Slam of Darts.

Anderson, a two-time runner-up at the Grand Slam, stole the headlines after prevailing in a repeat of the pair’s infamous 2018 final defying eight 180s and a 103 average from Price to continue his bid for an elusive Grand Slam crown on a high-quality night of action in Wolverhampton.

Grand Slam of Darts: Second Round

Josh Rock 10-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade 10-8 Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price 6-10 Gary Anderson
Luke Humphries 10-7 Ryan Searle

Gary Anderson said that's the most comfortable he's felt on a TV stage for a long time after beating Gerwyn Price

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Gary Anderson said that’s the most comfortable he’s felt on a TV stage for a long time after beating Gerwyn Price

Gary Anderson said that’s the most comfortable he’s felt on a TV stage for a long time after beating Gerwyn Price

Price – who registered consecutive 110 and 112 averages in the round-robin phase – drew first blood with a 14-dart hold, only for Anderson to seize the early initiative with a run of three straight legs.

The Welshman responded to restore parity at three apiece, only for ‘The Flying Scotsman’ to win four of the next five legs to regain control – sparked by a superb 12-dart break in leg seven.

Anderson maintained his charge by crashing in consecutive maximums to stretch his lead to 8-4, although Price refused to relent, registering back-to-back 13-darters to put himself back in contention.

Nevertheless, Anderson halted Price’s charge with a brilliant 11-darter in the penultimate leg, which he followed with a comfortable hold of throw via double six to cap off a virtuoso display.

“There’s life in the old dog yet,” quipped Anderson, who averaged 104.96 to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final showdown against Luke Humphries.

“Gerwyn has been playing very well. Hitting 110 and 112 averages is a hard job to do, but I’ve hit a 102 and now a 104, so we’re getting there.

“I’m playing well on the practice board, I’m playing well on the floor, and that was the most comfortable I’ve felt on the stage for a while.”

John Part says Anderson is going to relish taking on Humphries in the quarter-finals on Friday

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John Part says Anderson is going to relish taking on Humphries in the quarter-finals on Friday

John Part says Anderson is going to relish taking on Humphries in the quarter-finals on Friday

Humphries sealed his place in the last eight with a superb 10-7 victory against Ryan Searle, defying three ton-plus checkouts from the Somerset star to triumph with a 105 average and nine 180s.

Searle, who landed a sensational nine-darter to seal his last 16 berth on Monday, remarkably led 3-2 at the first interval, despite averaging 15 points less than Humphries in the opening session.

However, the World Grand Prix champion won six of the next seven legs to assume control at 8-4, with a magnificent ten-darter in leg 12 typifying his relentless scoring power.

Searle – featuring in the knockout stages at the Grand Slam for the first time – prolonged the contest with 115, 112 and 94 combinations in the closing stages, but Humphries kept his cool to prevail.

Luke Humphries described how his mentality has improved the last couple of years after beating best friend Ryan Searle

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Luke Humphries described how his mentality has improved the last couple of years after beating best friend Ryan Searle

Luke Humphries described how his mentality has improved the last couple of years after beating best friend Ryan Searle

“That was a really tough game to play,” reflected the world No 4, who is eyeing his second televised ranking title in as many months.

“I felt really good there. I probably could have been 8-2 up but I wasn’t, and that’s just testament to how good Ryan is, because he pushes you.

“Ryan is one of the elite players in my opinion. I know what he is capable of, so when he started coming back at me there, I started to get a little worried!”

James Wade and Chris Dobey put on a finishing masterclass, with five ton-plus finishes between them

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James Wade and Chris Dobey put on a finishing masterclass, with five ton-plus finishes between them

James Wade and Chris Dobey put on a finishing masterclass, with five ton-plus finishes between them

Earlier in the night, three-time runner-up James Wade continued his resurgence after fending off a late rally from Masters champion Chris Dobey to move through to his sixth Grand Slam quarter-final.

Wade will take on Josh Rock next after the Northern Irishman produced an impressive display to see off Krzysztof Ratajski and move through to his first premier televised ranking quarter-final.

Josh Rock described how he won on the 'Rock Double Five' and was thinking of his dad on the winning dart as he defeated Krzysztof Ratajski

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Josh Rock described how he won on the ‘Rock Double Five’ and was thinking of his dad on the winning dart as he defeated Krzysztof Ratajski

Josh Rock described how he won on the ‘Rock Double Five’ and was thinking of his dad on the winning dart as he defeated Krzysztof Ratajski

“I knew I hadn’t got through to a quarter-final on the major stage before, but I managed to control the nerves and get the win, so I’m happy,” said the 2022 World Youth Champion.

Live Grand Slam of Darts

November 16, 2023, 7:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

What happens on Thursday at the Grand Slam?

Michael van Gerwen is aiming to win his fourth Grand Slam of Darts title

Michael van Gerwen is aiming to win his fourth Grand Slam of Darts title

The second round action will conclude on Thursday, as three-time champion Michael van Gerwen takes on Australian No 1 Damon Heta for a place in the quarter-finals.

Elsewhere, World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall faces 2018 World Champion Rob Cross, world No 7 Danny Noppert plays a resurgent Stephen Bunting, while UK Open champion Andrew Gilding meets American newcomer Stowe Buntz.

Grand Slam of Darts: Thursday’s Second Round Matches

Stowe Buntz vs Andrew Gilding
Danny Noppert vs Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen vs Damon Heta
Nathan Aspinall vs Rob Cross

When are the World Championships?

The World Championship starts on Friday, December 15 - live on Sky Sports Darts

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The World Championship starts on Friday, December 15 – live on Sky Sports Darts

The World Championship starts on Friday, December 15 – live on Sky Sports Darts

The sport’s biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.

Watch the seventeenth staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from 11-19 November at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW



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