Blackpool battle for global glory: World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh faces world number one Gerwyn Price in clash of darts titans

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is preparing for a seismic showdown tonight as Betfred World Matchplay title holder Dimitri Van den Bergh meets World Champion Gerwyn Price.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:30 pm

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This huge contest is one of two quarter-finals taking place at the World Matchplay this evening and follows the meeting of Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and 23-year-old debutant Callan Rydz.

Belgian ace Van den Bergh scored a second-round record of 14 180s as he dispatched Dave Chisnall on Tuesday, while world number one Price reeled off eight straight legs to seal an 11-3 defeat of Premier League winner Jonny Clayton.

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Dimitri Van den Bergh is making a brave fist of defending the title he won behind closed doors last year

Tonight’s clash is arguably the sport’s biggest showdown since Price overcame Gary Anderson in January’s World Championship final and Van den Bergh can’t wait.

“I’m loving every second. The crowd is behind me and I’m focused on my game,” he said. “I’m the defending champion and I think I’m handling this really well.

“Although I’m playing the world number one and World Champion, I’m the World Matchplay champion, so it’s going to be a fantastic game and I’m going to throw everything I can.

“I hope I can step up another level, especially with my finishing.

“I’m feeling good and the game against Dave has given me a lot of confidence.

“I’m going to give 100 per cent and I’ll never back down until the last double is hit.”

Price missed the Premier League after testing positive for Covid but a first World Matchplay title would certainly make amends.

The Welshman believes his ruthless defeat of World Cup team-mate Clayton has set him up to challenge for glory in Sunday’s final for the Phil Taylor Trophy

“There are no friends when you’re on stage and you’re up there to do a job,” he said. “I think I was a bit off on my scoring against Jonny but I was clinical on my doubles.

“I need to up my scoring game and if I hit my doubles nobody beats me. If I can do that and be clinical, then I’ll win this tournament.”

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