PDC World Darts Championship results: Wins for Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Gary Anderson and Nathan Aspinall

Michael van Gerwen celebrates his victory
Michael van Gerwen celebrates his victory

A review of Saturday's PDC World Darts Championship quarter-finals, where eight became four as Michael van Gerwen set up a semi-final showdown with Gary Anderson.

Subdued MVG eases past Joyce

Michael van Gerwen turned in a subdued display but ultimately ran out an authoritative 5-1 winner against Ryan Joyce to set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Gary Anderson.

Van Gerwen won the first set in the blink of an eye, averaging close to 110, twice breaking the Joyce throw and hitting all three attempts at double as his star-struck opponent failed to create an opening.

And when he took out 121 in style to win the second set, hitting bullseye, treble 13 and double 16, it looked as though van Gerwen might run riot and respond to Anderson's imperious performance against Dave Chisnall earlier in the day.

Joyce, though, had other ideas, hitting double 16 for an 86 finish to make it 1-1 in the third, then winning the following leg in 13 darts and bravely hitting bullseye for a 66 finish and the set under great pressure.

Briefly, a remarkable comeback was on the cards as he led 2-0 in the fourth set, but van Gerwen took out 70, then threw an 11-dart finish before holding throw to win the set and restore his cushion.

Such was the dip in van Gerwen's level - by his own high standards - that Joyce could win the first leg of the fifth set in 20 darts but van Gerwen levelled before a 13-dart leg followed by a run of big scores helped him move 4-1 in front.

Joyce was now beaten and while able to conjure one last moment of magic, a 122 finish to hold his throw, van Gerwen ensured that would be his final flourish as he won the following two legs to seal victory.

Despite being disappointed with his performance, it's the 17th time in a row on the World Championship stage that he's posted an average of over 100 - with his mark at 101 tonight being boosted by five 180s and a checkout percentage of 50%.

"I think I played well overall tonight, but I had a terrible spell because I put too much pressure on myself," said van Gerwen, who has won 18 titles in 2018 including the Premier League, Masters and the World Grand Prix.

"I wanted to show everyone what I can do and I dipped down a bit but I can't really complain with a 5-1 win.

"Tomorrow night I will be expecting something special from myself, I can't let myself down and I need to make sure I'm sharp."

Joyce can return home with his head held high having reached the last eight in his maiden World Championship and the £50,000 he's pocketed from defeating Anastasia Dobromyslova, Simon Whitlock, Alan Norris and James Wade is more than he's earned from his entire debut season on the PDC circuit.

Smith through to first semi-final

Michael Smith earned a semi-final place for the first time in his career with a 5-1 dismissal of Luke Humphries.

The pair are good friends but Smith's 13-dart opening leg, against the throw, confirmed that it would be all business as he spies a place in the final on New Year's Day.

Humphries broke back, but Smith then won five legs in succession to open up a 2-0 lead, winning the first set with a 117 checkout and the second in less than five minutes.

Smith then missed a dart at bullseye to steal the first leg of the third set, and in stepped Humphries to hit double 16 before a sensational 170 finish in the following leg followed by another ruthless finish saw him take the set.

At this stage, Humphries had hit with all four darts at double but two misses at the start of the fourth set allowed Smith to get away with some shoddy work on double five.

He went on to wrap up the set to lead 3-1, but Humphries threw a counter-punch with a 151 finish to kick off the fifth.

Smith cooly responded to being 2-1 down with 13- and 11-dart legs to win the set and that broke the back of his opponent, who had been clinging on for dear life as his fairytale run came to an end.

An extra gear from Smith was always there, and when he set up a chance to win the match it was taken immediately, double 18 sending him through to a clash with Nathan Aspinall - one he'll be a warm favourite to win.

Anderson lays down marker

Gary Anderson produced his best darts of the World Darts Championship to beat Dave Chisnall 5-2.

The Flying Scotsman was in irrepressible form from the off, blasting into a 3-0 lead, and while Chisnall rallied admirably the damage had already been done.

Anderson had previously emerged from epic tussles with Jermaine Wattimena and Chris Dobey - both of whom he had been expected to beat convincingly - but hopes of a first semi-final for Chisnall were soon dashed.

This year's UK Open, World Matchplay and Champions League of Darts winner opened with a 140 and took out 64 to win the first leg, before the first of a dozen maximums followed by an 81 finish saw him win the second in just 11 darts.

He went on to wrap up the set having allowed Chisnall just one dart at double before doubling his lead by dominating the second.

Chisnall fired in back-to-back checkouts of 121 and 112 to send the third set to a deciding leg, but again Anderson had all the answers as he hit double 10 to move into a 3-0 lead.

To his immense credit, Chisnall fought back from 2-0 down in the fourth to steal the set when Anderson missed a dart for a 138 finish, but the Scot took out 115 and 130 in back-to-back legs to restore his advantage by taking the fifth.

By now there was little in it and Chisnall produced excellent darts under pressure to hold and reduce the deficit to 4-2, but with the darts in the seventh set Anderson was in no mood to extend the contest.

Chisnall took out 140 to hold his throw and then hit double 16 under pressure to force his opponent to throw for the match, which is exactly what Anderson did thanks to a 171 set-up which left a straightforward 48 finish.

"Dave always gives you a tough game so I'm glad to make it through, and the 180s are back which is pleasing," said Anderson.

"My back was still a bit sore, so it was good that I could get the job done in fairly quick time and now I'm looking forward to tomorrow." 

Aspinall too good for Dolan

Nathan Aspinall continued his remarkable run by booking a place in the semi-finals of the World Darts Championship with a 5-1 thrashing of Brendan Dolan.

The 27-year-old had previously come back from the dead on more than one occasion, but this time produced a superb front-running performance to power into a 4-0 lead as Dolan had no answer.

Sets three and four in particular saw Aspinall raise his game with averages of over 100 and three-figure checkouts of 132 and 122 doing all the damage.

Dolan restored a degree of credibility by taking the fifth set without dropping a leg, but it proved a mere stay of execution as his younger opponent got back on track to seal a comfortable win.

Stockport thrower Aspinall finished with an average of 99.72 and threw five 180s as he took another step towards the final, having started the tournament as a totally unconsidered outsider.

Aspinall said after the match that he is living the dream as his life-changing run at Alexandra Palace continued.

"It feels unreal, this is a life-changing win for me and my family," he said.

"I felt really relaxed and I enjoyed it up there today, it's probably the most calm and confident I've felt up there even though that was the biggest game of my life.

"The dream isn't over yet, I feel there's more to come from me and I can't wait to play my semi-final. I'm just loving every minute of this!"

Remaining tournament results & schedule

Saturday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Nathan Aspinall 5-1 Brendan Dolan
  • Dave Chisnall 2-5 Gary Anderson

Evening Session (1900)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Luke Humphries 1-5 Michael Smith
  • Michael van Gerwen 5-1 Ryan Joyce

Sunday December 30
Evening Session
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts
Semi-Finals (Best of 11 sets)

  • Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
  • Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Tuesday January 1
Evening Session (1900)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts

  • Final (Best of 13 sets)

Full World Championship results and round-ups

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