PDC World Darts Championship: Semi-finals take place with Lewis facing Van Gerwen
Last Updated: 30/12/13 3:02pm
Michael van Gerwen takes on Adrian Lewis in Monday night's second semi-final
The PDC World Darts Championship semi-finals take place on Monday evening with the two tournaments favourites, Adrian Lewis and Michael Van Gerwen, going head-to-head in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.
In the other clash, 2010 runner-up Simon Whitlock takes on semi-final debutant Peter Wright who has been particularly impressive on his run to the last four at Alexandra Palace.
It will be Whitlock and Wright who take to the stage first on Monday with both men having required final-set tie-breaks to come through their respective quarter-final match-ups.
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Wright produced an excellent fightback to ensure his progress against Wes Newton, rousing himself from 2-0 down to eventually edge his rival five legs to three in the deciding set courtesy of a superb 121 checkout.
The Scot, who now resides in Lowestoft, had already proved his mettle with a hard-fought victory over Phil Taylor's conqueror Michael Smith in the third round and could well have been given confidence by Whitlock's performance in the last round.
The Australian headed into his quarter-final having not dropped a set in his previous three outings at the event.
That record looked like continuing as he raced into a 3-0 lead against Ian White, but the Australian then went off the boil as his opponent launched a thrilling comeback to take the contest right down to the wire.
In the end Whitlock showed commendable character to come through, but Wright will fancy his chances if things get tight once again having already demonstrated his ability to come through pressure situations.
Favourites face off
The Van Gerwen-Lewis clash is a repeat of last year's quarter-final between the two and a match of similar quality would certainly go down well with the crowd in London, the Dutchman edging that encounter 4-3 twelve months ago.
Evening session (7pm)
Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
Both men have shown flashes of their trademark brilliance in this year's tournament although neither has quite hit the heights on a consistent basis.
Van Gerwen was simply awesome in the early stages of his quarter-final with Mark Webster, blowing the Welshman away with some relentlessly heavy scoring and a series of spectacular three-figure checkouts.
But he rather took his eye off the ball, later admitting to a touch of over-confidence, and was ultimately pleased to come through by a 5-3 scoreline.
He will know there is no room for any complacency against two-time world champion Lewis who was, whilst perhaps not at his most fluent, very clinical in beating James Wade 5-1 in their quarter-final.
Despite the fact he has twice previously tasted glory at Ally Pally, Lewis heads in as a slight underdog with the layers, Sky Bet making the Stoke thrower an 11/10 shot, with Van Gerwen the favourite at 8/11.