Michael van Gerwen tumbled out, Adrian Lewis floundered through and Daryl Gurney survived 11-match darts on a hugely exciting opening weekend at the World Matchplay.
The action continues tonight with four more exciting match-ups, including six-time Blackpool finalist James Wade against the dangerous Jermaine Wattimena.
We’ve tipped up all four matches ahead of this evening’s encounters…
Kim Huybrechts v John Henderson (7:10pm)
Six consecutive first round exits in Blackpool suggest that Kim Huybrechts is one of the few people who doesn’t like to be beside the seaside at this time of year.
The Belgian ace has been woefully out of form recently and looks ripe for an upset against 2017 World Grand Prix semi-finalist John Henderson. Big John has won nine of 12 clashes with the Hurricane and is 6/5 to triumph again tonight.
All but three matches so far at the Winter Gardens have produced 17 legs or less. It’s even-money for there to be Under 16.5 Legs this evening.
Simon Whitlock v Richard North (8pm)
On the face of it this could be a tough test for world no. seven Simon Whitlock against hungry Blackpool debutant Richard North.
His opponent has shown immense promise over the last 12 months, and did just enough to scrape a qualification spot here thanks to his performances on the PDC ProTour.
However, ten ProTour players have already been eliminated. And Whitlock showed in Dublin last year that he has the armoury to deal with North, eventually claiming a 3-0 victory in sets.
James Wade v Jermaine Wattimena (9pm)
Make no mistake, Wattimena is a tricky customer. Two recent semi-final appearances in the Players Championship is testament to that.
But the Fylde coast is Wade’s playground. The Machine has reached the final here on no fewer than six occasions since 2006 and boasts some stellar recent form.
The 2007 champion reached the final of the European Grand Prix in May and made the semi-finals of the US Darts Masters earlier this month. The signs are that the 35-year-old is rediscovering his old form, and he could be doing so at just the right time.
Peter Wright v Jesse Klaasen (10pm)
After van Gerwen exited the competition on Saturday at odds of 1/25, we’ve got our eyes firmly glued on 1/6 shot Peter Wright this evening.
The same fate shouldn’t befall the under-fire Scotsman against the out-of-form Jelle Klaasen (4/1), but stranger things have happened on the Blackpool stage.
Wright also finished third-bottom of the 180s table during the recent Premier League season. Regardless of the result, power-scorer Klaasen should hit the lipstick more times at 9/5.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing