World Cup companions Gerwyn Worth and Jonny Clayton poised for World Matchplay showdown



Worth and Clayton headline Tuesday’s second spherical motion, with a captivating all-Welsh affair

It began again in November, when Gerwyn Worth and Jonny Clayton mixed to information Wales to their maiden World Cup of Darts title, but few would have envisaged the dominance loved by the Welshmen since that well-known evening in Salzburg – nonetheless on Tuesday evening one man’s title dream shall be over.

Worth arrived in Blackpool as world champion and world No 1, whereas Clayton is among the sport’s kind gamers, having clinched Masters and Premier League titles in a blistering begin to 2021.

‘The Iceman’ was already a confirmed winner previous to that World Cup triumph, though it has performed an instrumental position in Clayton’s meteoric rise. Now the journey continues with the pair locking horns as main champions, for a spot within the World Matchplay quarter-finals.

‘The Ferret’ wasn’t even within the Premier League image previous to his Masters success, however now he boasts one of many sport’s largest prizes, and he concedes that he is largely indebted to Worth for his emergence as a significant champion.

“We received to the World Cup and to be honest to Gezzy [Price], he was good. He carried me all the best way; I assumed I performed properly within the last, however thank god for Gezzy,” he informed Sky Sports activities.

“His again will need to have been aching carrying me by these rounds, however we received over that line and I used to be a unique individual afterwards.

Premier League champion Clayton had never won a game at the Matchplay prior to his clash against Van Duijvenbode

Premier League champion Clayton had by no means gained a sport on the Matchplay previous to his conflict in opposition to Van Duijvenbode

“My confidence is excessive. Earlier than I used to be simply Jonny Clayton who would give someone a great sport. I’ve confirmed to myself that I can do higher than that, and I feel I’ve received one other step, so let’s have a look at what occurs.”

Clayton defeated World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode to register his first ever Matchplay win on the fourth try, whereas Worth eased previous one other Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena to keep away from a fifth consecutive first-round Winter Gardens exit.

There are many parallels between the pair – Worth loved a well-documented profession in rugby previous to turning into a darting skilled, whereas Clayton additionally captained his native aspect Pontyberem.

Mockingly, lots of The Ferret’s landmarks within the PDC are inextricably linked to ‘The Iceman’.

Even in case you low cost November’s World Cup, Clayton marked his World Championship bow with victory over Worth in 2017, earlier than defeating his compatriot to clinch his maiden European Tour title, additionally in Austria, in 2018.

World Matchplay Darts: Tuesday’s Order of Play

Rob Cross vs Callan Rydz
Luke Humphries vs Krzysztof Ratajski
Gerwyn Worth vs Jonny Clayton
Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Dave Chisnall

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July 20, 2021, 7:00pm

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It’s refreshing to see the camaraderie between the pair, and whereas neither man will give an inch after they lock horns on Tuesday, away from the board they continue to be nice buddies, who’re thrilled to see one another thriving.

“I get on rather well with Jonny, I like him to bits. He’s a unbelievable participant and much more so, an excellent bloke,” Worth informed Sky Sports activities.

“If I’m not successful tournaments, then he’s most likely the one which I need to win most, so I am happy to bits for what he is finished.”

That view is reciprocated by Clayton, who added: “We’re massive mates. We at all times have banter. We cellphone one another, not each day, but it surely’s at all times banter and I discover if in case you have received that team-mate, it helps.

“No matter Gezzy does, if I am going out early in a contest, I at all times want him all the most effective and he does the identical to me.”

Jonny Clayton was pleased to get his first win at the World Matchplay as he beat Dirk van Duijvenbode in the first round

Sky Sports 1:27
Jonny Clayton was happy to get his first win on the World Matchplay as he beat Dirk van Duijvenbode within the first spherical

Jonny Clayton was happy to get his first win on the World Matchplay as he beat Dirk van Duijvenbode within the first spherical

Regardless of this, their approaches to this 12 months’s Matchplay couldn’t be extra contrasting. The Winter Gardens showpiece has at all times offered an excellent alternative for Worth to take his spouse and younger daughters alongside for the experience, however not this time round.

“I’ve at all times taken my household away to Blackpool and it should be a bit totally different this 12 months, I will be up there to play darts and it is work solely, no leisure for me this 12 months,” he mentioned.

“The Matchplay is the one occasion the place my two daughters, my spouse and my dad and my household comes, and it may well take your thoughts away from the job you’ve got received in hand and that is why I am doing issues a bit totally different this 12 months.

“The youngsters are off faculty from Friday so they may properly come up there with me, however I simply must give attention to what I am doing…I simply must cease mixing skilled life with my leisure life.”

Gerwyn Price was critical of his first round display against Jermaine Wattimena, but admitted he was just pleased to progress

Sky Sports 1:31
Gerwyn Worth was crucial of his first spherical show in opposition to Jermaine Wattimena, however admitted he was simply happy to progress

Gerwyn Worth was crucial of his first spherical show in opposition to Jermaine Wattimena, however admitted he was simply happy to progress

Nevertheless, having been disadvantaged of the possibility to carry the Premier League trophy in entrance of his household in Milton Keynes, Clayton is hoping they will share in his success on the seaside.

“My household are with me. Principally there are two tournaments of the 12 months that we are able to all go collectively – that is one, and the World Championship is the opposite.

“I’m proud as hell, I am a household man. I used to be wanting up there and I used to be considering: ‘I can see my household there, I need to do that for them.

“I at all times need to do it for them, but it surely’s a proud second once you lookup and they’re there cheering you on. It’s unbelievable.

“After I gained that Premier League – my household weren’t there. I used to be gutted. I might have beloved to have lifted that trophy and have a photograph with the spouse and children, but it surely wasn’t to be.

Clayton's family were not in attendance to see him clinch Premier League glory

Clayton’s household weren’t in attendance to see him clinch Premier League glory

“Hopefully I can choose this trophy up and that picture goes to occur on this stage. I might adore it!”

It appears extraordinary that the pair are assembly as early because the second spherical, however that is courtesy of Clayton’s present rating, which most would agree doesn’t present an correct reflection of his pedigree.

The 46-year-old stays sixteenth on this planet after his three televised titles got here in non-ranking occasions, but he’s undeterred, insisting it is about prizes, not positions.

“I take a look at it in two alternative ways – Jonny Clayton may very well be world No 16, 32, world No 1. It’s only a quantity subsequent to my identify.

“No person might ever take away from me that I’m a Premier League champion. No person might ever take away from me that I’m a Masters champion, World Cup champion.”

“We can have a great sport. If I’m not on my A-game then he can flip me over, however I feel if I carry my A-game, I am going to win.”

Worth excited forward of Clayton conflict…

‘The Ferret’ is an undisputed contender to scoop a 3rd main title of 2021, however he is up in opposition to a person on a mission in Worth, who’s concentrating on a primary televised crown since his Alexandra Palace exploits in January.

“The primary spherical is at all times powerful, even on Professional Excursions. As soon as I get by the primary spherical, I feel I’m going to win the occasion, however the first one is at all times powerful,” the world No 1 continued.

“With the gang again, I assumed they might give me a greater reception than they did, however hopefully Tuesday is a bit of bit higher.

“I smashed Jonny up 7-1 the final time I performed him, which I feel he’ll bear in mind! We can have a great sport. If I’m not on my A-game then he can flip me over, however I feel if I carry my A-game, I am going to win.”

Watch the World Matchplay from the long-lasting Winter Gardens during till Sunday, July 25. Try each day Darts information on skysports.com/darts, our app for cellular units and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts





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