World Matchplay Darts: Peter Wright and Dimitri Van den Bergh win but Jonny Clayton is eliminated | Arrow news

Peter Wright begins the defense of his World Matchplay title with victory over Madars Razm as debutant Rowby-John Rodriguez shuts out eighth seed Jonny Clayton in a thrilling opening night at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool; watch every dart live on Sky Sports

Last update: 17.07.22 0:23


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A look back at the best cashes from the first day of the World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool

A look back at the best cashes from the first day of the World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool

Defending champions Peter Wright and Dimitri Van den Bergh eased up on the opening night of the World Matchplay in Blackpool, but Jonny Clayton became the first major victim to fall.

Wright began his defense of the Phil Taylor Trophy with a comfortable victory against Latvian debutant Madars Razma before declaring to retain his title.

Meanwhile, 2020 champion Van den Bergh enjoyed an emphatic win against Callan Rydz, while ‘The Polish Eagle’ Krzysztof Ratajski defeated Stephen Bunting.

But five-time TV title winner Clayton saw his Blackpool dreams washed ashore for another year when enigmatic Austrian debutant Rowby-John Rodriguez defeated ‘The Ferret’ with an impressive performance on the Winter Gardens stage.

Saturday 16 July – Results

First round Krzysztof Ratajski 10-6 Stephen Bunting
Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-2 Callan Rydz
Peter Wright 10-4 Madars Razma
Jonny Clayton 7-10 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Rowby-John Rodriguez says he is confident he can beat anyone on his current form at this year's World Matchplay.

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Rowby-John Rodriguez says he is confident he can beat anyone on his current form at this year’s World Matchplay.

Rowby-John Rodriguez says he is confident he can beat anyone on his current form at this year’s World Matchplay.

Rodriguez turned in the performance of the night, averaging 99, capping off a 10-7 success against Clayton, who became the first seed to exit the tournament in the first round for the fourth time in five appearances.

Rodriguez, ranked 73rd in the world, rallied after a great start to open up a 5-3 lead.

Clayton stopped the rot with a brilliant score of 130 in the ninth stage, but moments later it was usurped by a stunning 156 from Rodriguez, who then held the roll in the 11th stage to create a three-stage buffer.

Rodriguez received this incredible 156 treasure on his way to a famous victory

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Rodriguez received this incredible 156 treasure on his way to a famous victory

Rodriguez received this incredible 156 treasure on his way to a famous victory

The Welshman continued to put up a valiant fight and although Rodriguez dismissed two darts, the former World Cup runner-up hit a clean 13-dart hold to seal the deal.

“I’m confident. I’m in really good shape at the moment and I think I can beat anyone,” said Rodriguez, who will face Van den Bergh in an intriguing round of 16 tie.

“Dimitri is one of my best friends. We will have a great game and the better player will win on the day.”

Peter Wright sent a strong message to his competitors after defeating Madars Razm

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Peter Wright sent a strong message to his competitors after defeating Madars Razm

Peter Wright sent a strong message to his competitors after defeating Madars Razm

Wright, who is looking to become just the fourth player in World Matchplay history to retain the coveted Phil Taylor Trophy, advanced to the second round with a routine 10-4 win over debutant Razm.

The world number one punished the Latvian’s slow start as he raced to a 5-0 lead, landing thirteen arrows and turning a clinical tone during the opening session.

Wright, who averaged 97.42 and fired seven 180s, extended his lead to 8-2 before Razma hit 14 consecutive darts, but a stunning 157 in the penultimate leg catapulted him into the last 16.

Wright came close to winning with his huge cash of 157

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Wright came close to winning with his huge cash of 157

Wright came close to winning with his huge cash of 157

“The crowd were fantastic and it’s great to be back at the Winter Gardens,” said Wright, who now plays Krzysztof Ratajski for a place in the quarter-finals.

“We still have a lot of 180s, maybe even nines. I believe I will win it again.

“Krzysztof is a fantastic player but it doesn’t matter which player comes in, they have to be consistent from the first game to the last game and there aren’t many players who can do that in this tournament.”

Van den Bergh sent out a statement to his title rivals at the Winter Gardens, overcoming Rydz to kick-start his quest for a second World Matchplay crown.

The 2020 champion – runner-up 12 months ago – won the World Series of Darts double in Copenhagen and Amsterdam last month and continued that sparkling form with an emphatic 10-2 win over last year’s quarter-finalists Rydzh.

Dimitri Van den Bergh completes a 10-2 against Callan Rydz with this beautiful 137 checkout

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Dimitri Van den Bergh completes a 10-2 against Callan Rydz with this beautiful 137 checkout

Dimitri Van den Bergh completes a 10-2 against Callan Rydz with this beautiful 137 checkout

Van den Bergh’s finish of 116 in the seventh stage sparked a run of six straight before the ninth seed sealed his progress with a magnificent 137.

“I’m very proud of the way I played today, especially the level of the opponent I was up against,” said the Belgian, who averaged 100 and converted 71 percent of his attempts into doubles.

“The crowd is amazing. Every time I hear them sing my name, I’m so happy. I’m here to do a job, I’m here to follow my dream and I can’t wait for my next fight.”

Sunday, July 17 – Matches of the first round

Afternoon session Dirk van Duijvenbode vs Ryan Searle
Danny Noppert vs Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson vs Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith vs Andrew Gilding

A look back at some of the most memorable moments in the career of legendary darts commentator John Gwynn, who sadly passed away last week aged 77.

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A look back at some of the most memorable moments in the career of legendary darts commentator John Gwynn, who sadly passed away last week aged 77.

A look back at some of the most memorable moments in the career of legendary darts commentator John Gwynn, who sadly passed away last week aged 77.

Sunday, July 17 – Matches of the first round

Evening session Joe Cullen vs Damon Heta
James Wade vs Martin Lukeman
Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis
Luke Humphries vs Nathan Aspinall

In Saturday’s opener, Ratajski, who reached the semi-finals last year, opened this year’s tournament with an impressive 10-6 win over former Lakeside champion Stephen Bunting.

“It was a good match. Stephen put me under pressure the whole match but I’m really happy,” said Ratajski, who averaged 98.43 and continued his impressive record at the Winter Gardens.

“I feel really good and now I’m playing at a high level. I believe I can play much better and I expect to produce that in the next matches.”

Check out our daily darts news at skysports.com/darts, our mobile app and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. You can watch the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool – live on Sky Sports over the next nine days.

Ferdinand Medina

"Internet evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Hardcore entrepreneur. Incurable analyst. Extreme food junkie. Unapologetic tv maven. Reader."

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