Thursday, 3 December 2020

Draw - quick thoughts

Will start writing up and going into more detail later, but quick five second thoughts:

- That's about as good a draw as van Gerwen could have hoped to get. Murray or Ilagan aren't the easiest, but there's nobody else in the other four games in his sector that are a real threat, so it ought to be smooth sailing through to either Clayton or Cullen. Wouldn't be surprised if at least three of the international pool get through to their seeds, but I don't see any of the seeds having real problems in their opening games.

- Interesting tie for Chizzy. Brown seems a bit off the pace but can clearly be dangerous when he wants to be, but Meikle would certainly be a threat and I'd think he'd go off as the favourite against Keegan. Noppert/Kleermaker (can't see the South African troubling Martijn) ought to be decent, Humphries against Lim should be a highlight and then, if Luke wins, we get a clash of world youth champions in a pick of round two. Wattimena can be reasonably happy, getting a card holder from the international pool isn't ideal but Kenny or Telnekes ought not to be that threatening.

- Smith gets another huge potential banana skin in Jason Lowe after losing out to a similar dangerous player off the Pro Tour list last year. Lennon against Petersen could be surprisingly close, if Madars turns up against Anderson that could be exciting, and Matt Edgar's got a winnable tie after Maik's really not shown his early year form. Odd section with Anderson and Suljovic, with both not playing much.

- Cross against van Duijvenbode or Brooks could easily see him go out. Would take Dirk to beat Bradley, and be extremely live against Rob in that one. Hughes can't be too displeased, Hunt's been dangerous of late and ought to beat Lisa, but Jamie has that bit of extra class, just needs to show it. Durrant against Beaton or Portela isn't too bad, I'd love to see Steve come through that one (and he should), clash of Lakeside champions is always tempting, then we've got three players who've been hosed - Heta and Baggish are at or near the top of worst possible draws, and Adie, while he's not been top tier for ages, certainly isn't a walkover seed for anyone. Heta v Baggish is the clear best tie of round one.

- Not a bad draw for Wright. Steve West's too inconsistent to trouble him over a set play match, although he'll probably look consistent in round one after getting the best possible draw. Clemens against Kurz, if Nico can get past Andy Hamilton which I think you have to favour him to do so, will be real intriguing. Ratajski getting another tricky draw - Ryan Joyce has course and distance here, that's if he can get past Sedlacek who just beat Krzysztof last week. Not easy at all. Whitlock's probably going to face up against Labanauskas, would think Simon gets through that one given his recent uptick in form, Darius has been lacking a few results in my opinion.

- Wade's got a tough one. Callan Rydz is right up there in terms of who people want to avoid, Rydz won't have it all his own way against James Bailey, the Aussie qualifiers are never mugs, but assuming Callan can clear the first hurdle he should be very capable of pushing James hard. Bunting could be in a bit of bother - assuming Andy Boulton deals with Deta Hedman, this second round game is going to be close. Andy's an extremely competent player and Stephen will need to play well to win. White's not got a brilliant draw - Kim Huybrechts should have no trouble advancing, and certainly has enough to give Ian some problems, while it's a great draw for Searle, not too sure how good Lauby is but would think Ryan's somewhat stronger, and de Zwaan's definitely beatable.

- Price could have got an easier draw. Luke Woodhouse is still good, assuming he doesn't run into Jamie Lewis' once every two or three years good run in an event. Not a bad draw for Dolan, de Decker's yet to really do anything on a senior stage and ought to deal with the Japanese qualifier, Brendan ought to be pretty live in that one. Real tough draw for Jose - Ross Smith against David Evans is going to be a cracker and either will fancy their chances. Then you've got Mervyn King - in form, but we know if Max Hopp turns up he'll be a threat, and Gordon Mathers isn't exactly weak either.

- Aspinall's got a potential tricky game first up again. Scott Waites should have beaten him just last week, but if it's not Waites, it's a North American for a second straight year in Matt Campbell, who has looked much improved this year and seemed tricky enough in the World Cup. Vincent's game will go two ways - I think he deals with Ron Meulenkamp, but if Boris Krcmar wins the first round tie, van der Voort will have his hands full, Boris has looked legit at steel tip after taking a little bit of time to get used to the tour. Gurney against O'Connor ought to be a close tussle, although Niels Zonneveld will be very much in the equation, I wouldn't like to pick who's going to win either game in that one. Finally we have Chris Dobey, who's got maybe the worst draw of anyone apart from Lewis - he'll play either Jeff Smith or Keane Barry. Wouldn't want to call that first round game, but Chris, who's been lacking a bit of form, is very much in danger whoever comes through.

Just got a little bit more stat compilation to finish, then I'll start with the writeups per section.

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