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World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News


Peter Wright eliminates Michael Smith 16-7 to set up a semi-final clash against Michael van Gerwen, who defeated Nathan Aspinall 16-9; watch the World Matchplay semi-finals starting at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sky Sports Arena.

Last update: 07/23/21 10:19 PM

Michael van Gerwen advanced to the semi-finals after a grueling clash with Nathan Aspinall (Image: Lawrence Lustig / PDC)

Michael van Gerwen was a far cry from his best record but didn’t need to be as he beat Nathan Aspinall in a lackluster contest to set up a World Matchplay semi-final showdown with Peter Wright.

A choppy clash was decided late when Van Gerwen spoke about his most assured fate of the game to complete the last three legs in 36 darts.

Michael Smith’s agonizing wait for a televised debut title continues in the meantime after he was outplayed in a 16-7 loss to Wright, who called his own below-par doubles effort in the middle of his search for a first Winter Gardens crown.

“Of course [the win] is the most important thing we all know i played a really bad performance and i can only be bored with myself i had so many early gates opportunities to make things even harder Said Van Gerwen. “What can you say? Look, I won it.

“Normally in the last few games or the year I probably would have lost because of when I was, but I never give up, I always give 100% and it’s not always pleasant but we have to fight, it doesn’t matter, you want to win.

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, I have to calm down first and analyze my game because I made a lot of mistakes here so I have to make sure I do it better tomorrow. To play Peter Wright in The I think the semi-final is a fantastic game for the public to watch. “

MVG defeats Aspinall in shoddy case

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News 0:46
Michael van Gerwen defeats Nathan Aspinall to stage semi-final against Peter Wright at World Matchplay

Michael van Gerwen defeats Nathan Aspinall to stage semi-final against Peter Wright at World Matchplay

Michael van Gerwen kept his hopes up of winning a third Matchplay title by beating Nathan Aspinall 16-9 in a game that had promised so much but fell short of expectations.

A plummeting averages game saw MVG recover a 94.72 over Aspinall’s 90.21, as both men missed 27 doubles each overnight.

Electricity on two famous walk-ons was fed by the pair’s 180 exchanges to open their accounts at night they didn’t know and a crowd waiting that performance levels would drop dramatically.

Van Gerwen took the lead early on when the highs gave him a 3-1 lead after Aspinall failed to knock out 66 for the break. The Dutchman then wasted three doubles 16 for 4-1 this time giving his opponent the initiative, amounting to highs to save the throwing hold.

The Green Machine eventually nabbed number four thanks to a 110, until the contest broke worryingly flat with both averaging around the 90 mark.

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News 2:08
Michael van Gerwen says he’s ‘over the moon’ that he won but was not happy with his game after beating Nathan Aspinall at World Matchplay

Michael van Gerwen says he’s ‘over the moon’ that he won but was not happy with his game after beating Nathan Aspinall at World Matchplay

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News 0:18
Nathan Aspinall hits 130 checkout in World Matchplay quarter-finals against Michael van Gerwen

Nathan Aspinall hits 130 checkout in World Matchplay quarter-finals against Michael van Gerwen

Double 16 escaped Van Gerwen three more times at 5-2 to help a third game for Aspinall, who followed by falling right on for a sublime 130 and a much-needed flare of emotion to reduce the deficit to 5- 4. The Englishman went through it all for a sustained change of fortune, but to no avail, as Van Gerwen kept his cool to shoot 68 and issue his first significant “boom” of the night, which he built on with a 13- darter for 7-4 Shortly after.

Another double-16 miss for Van Gerwen was tarnished by three in the double-eight, which Aspinall could find for a break in the pitch and an unlikely 7-5 with an average of just 89. Again, although ‘He couldn’t capitalize, with Van Gerwen snapping a straight back before doubling up for 9-5 after Aspinall missed nine darts, lowering his average to 85 in the process.

Van Gerwen punished three missed doubles from Aspinall to strengthen his grip at 12-6 without ever really approaching his best, until what seemed like a watershed moment came in Stage 23 when the Green Machine succeeded in his most clinical combination to date. 88.

The two-time champion finally concluded with an 81 pencil checkout in a rematch of the World Championship final two years ago against notorious foe Wright.

World Matchplay 2021: Friday Quarter-Finals

Peter Wright 16-7 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 16-9 Nathan Aspinall
best of 31 legs

Darts in Live World Match

July 24, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

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Wright beats Smith to advance to semi-finals

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News 0:35
Peter Wright comfortably beats Michael Smith to reach World Matchplay semi-finals

Peter Wright comfortably beats Michael Smith to reach World Matchplay semi-finals

Peter Wright’s mean and confidence bolstered as the former world champion worked his way to a 16-7 win over Michael Smith and a place in the bottom four.

Snakebite, who has now beaten Smith in nine of their last 14 encounters, averaged 100.37 to his opponent’s 99.23 but was disappointed with a 36% conversion rate in doubles (16/44 ) that he knows he has to improve if he wants to lift the Phil Taylor Trophy this weekend. His 25 more double darts than Smith, however, reflected his dominance.

“My doubles percentage was terrible, and obviously a 100 is not that good, but I was actually nervous,” said Wright. “I felt awesome coming on stage, I hit too many loose darts and too many 100s that should have been 140, 180 but it’s a W.”

Smith hampered himself with a slow start from the start, missing highs to give Wright a 2-0 cushion before coming back to 2-2 with an 11-darter he hoped would be a catalyst for a peak at his average . But he was caught again when a double-18 error cost him a 76 out and an invaluable break, prompting Wright to save the hold on the 3-2 highs.

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News

World Matchplay 2021: Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright set up successful semi-final clash |  Darts News 2:16
Peter Wright was still unhappy with his game even though he beat Michael Smith 16-7 to reach the World Matchplay semi-finals

Peter Wright was still unhappy with his game even though he beat Michael Smith 16-7 to reach the World Matchplay semi-finals

At 4-2, Bully Boy then missed the mark for a 121 break, seeing Wright instead come back to double nine for a three-legged advantage. He continued to stroll though, responding to a 14-darter by sending a 65 clutch at the top to make it 6-4, with both men playing at this point on nearly identical averages just above 100.

It was Wright who kicked it off, punishing Smith’s failure to knock out 72 by sending in 66 for a break and 8-4 before beating 91 immediately after while pushing his average to around 105.

From there, the game began to shy away from Smith when an 88-for-12-4 strikeout and a break was silenced by a 13-darter for 13-4.

Smith fought to stay alive with a resilient spell that saw him finish 84 for 13-6 and nail highs for 13-7, but the damage had been done, his failure on target for a spectacular 170 giving to Wright his eventual match darts.

Watch World Matchplay from the iconic Winter Gardens through Sunday July 25. Check out daily darts news at skysports.com/darts, our mobile app and Twitter account @skysportsdarts

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