Tuesday 1 March 2022

UK Open preview 1/8

So the UK Open draw was made yesterday, some fairly exciting matchups in the pipeline, I'll post up each round 3 matchup in order of the highest ranked player that's involved downwards. Will post four at a time. All numbers in brackets were FRH rankings after the draw, with mincashes applied as needed.

(32) Ross Smith v (99) Krzysztof Kciuk/(150) Brett Claydon

This seems like one of the easier ones to call. Kciuk's been a fairly competent operator for a couple of years now, and should easily handle Claydon, who is seemingly just into round two on account of being around for a while, only getting a first round bye on account of the number of new card holders with nothing in their account. Kcuik looks like around a 70-75% favourite, but Smith is a different class again, right on the top 32 boundary, Kcuik's got enough that he ought to take just over one time in three, but Ross should advance here.

(33) Kim Huybrechts v (119) Geert de Vos/(140) Luc Peters or (UR) Paul Marsh

We've got a bit of a gauntlet set up here. Peters has been around on our radar for just over a year, not quite getting a card in 2021 but getting one in 2022 clocking in at a competent 87 scoring clip over the last twelve months which should be enough to handle Marsh, our first Riley's qualifier coming through Norwich, can't see a great deal about him, if it's the same guy he had some BDO appearances about five-seven years ago but that's it. Luc should have enough here. Think Luc's slightly favoured to get past de Vos who hasn't really set the world on fire since moving to the PDC, call it just over a 55/45. Kim though ought to move through, looking real solid as he tried to get back towards the top 32, this looks around a 70/30 so not a foregone conclusion, but Peters will have his work cut out here.

(34) Ryan Joyce v (64) Mike de Decker

First all-double bye matchup, Joyce takes on de Decker, and while Mike's had occasional flashes of brilliance, Ryan appears to be more solid all round, scoring a couple of points per turn higher over the course of the last year which gives de Decker a fighting chance in the low 40% range, but Joyce ought to back himself to make the evening session here.

(35) Martijn Kleermaker v (71) Jason Heaver/(213) Toni Alcinas or (UR) Prakash Jiwa

Couple of older names first up. Prakash has been around on and off the PDC scene for years now, having appeared here on a few occasions, latest form we can see outside of his qualification in Cov was a high-70's average on the Challenge Tour, which is a good 5-6 points lower than Alcinas, who's here from the Euro Challenge Tour last season and has a pretty decent record but has struggled to get his card back, not really pushing on after that last 16 worlds appearance in 2018. Would think the Spaniard gets through at least two times out of three, and will then go on to face Heaver, who should be a tough test after a good first season on the tour. Would weigh this around 60/40 in Heaver's favour given our data on Alcinas is a little bit limited. A potential third round tie with Kleermaker rates to be fairly close, Martijn's the bigger name but statistically they're fairly similar and this only looks 55/45, although Kleermaker probably has the greater experience in this sort of pressure situation so maybe it's a little bit more in the big Dutchman's favour than that. Should be an interesting section one way or another.

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