Wednesday 27 December 2023

Day 10 thoughts

An extremely frustrating day at the office - let's go through things:

Williams/Schindler - This was all going so unbelievably well. Open up with two sets where you were basically unplayable, alright Scott picks things up in the third, but the fourth is where things get concerning- first leg is a dumpster fire, Scott holds, then we get two very good back to back legs where we bring things back on throw, just need to hold for a 3-1 lead in sets, then throw 15 darts and not even leave yourself on a finish. Then you wake up, cruise set five, have Scott in fairness play extremely well to give himself a chance, then after leaving yourself on 36 after 9, you miss three clear to throw for the match. Then in the deciding set, you get the break, miss a dart to go 2-0 up, miss a dart to go 2-1 up, miss a dart to go 3-2 up, then hit one big treble in fifteen darts. Will give credit to Scott where it's due, he played some excellent stuff and hit the scores and the outshots where he needed to, but this was a choke, pure and simple.

Chisnall/Clemens - Pretty much just need to look at the doubling percentages to understand this one. Clemens had 60 visits in the legs he lost and averaged 96. That is extremely good for a losing leg stat - he just needed to convert those into winning legs. Chances were missed, Dave played a very good game himself, and Clemens had no answers - or he had the answers and fluffed his lines. This should be a nice confidence boosting game for Dave as we enter the last sixteen stage.

Cross/de Graaf - Jeffrey did a good job in sticking around, but Rob was much improved from the opening game and was playing well enough to deny de Graaf any real chance on paper. Still, it wouldn't have taken a great deal from Jeffrey to make this one really interesting - one steady leg at the end of set one gives him a break, he nicks set three, then in set four he just needed a fifteen on throw in the decider to take it. That would have made it 3-1 in sets to de Graaf, then he won set five with a good display. Narrow margins, and I don't think that it was unreasonable to suggest de Graaf could have nicked this one. But he didn't, and it would have overturned Rob averaging 100+ in the most opportunistic way possible.

Campbell/Littler - The Littler hype train continues. First set was a bit of a cluster but once that was done Luke put his foot down, I think pretty much any player in the world loses set two there, he was maybe fortunate in set three to get it (should certainly have made the last leg easier given five perfect to start the leg), but the fifth set was solid enough. Matt didn't do a great deal wrong - Luke was just better.

van Gerwen/Veenstra - Richard just seemed a bit off his game here, whether he was intimidated by his opponent, I don't know, but he had one off leg in the third of set one, then van Gerwen put the foot to the floor, four visit break, unplayable in set two, steady in set three and the game is done. Don't think Veenstra will be overly disappointed with his returns, as I think he would probably have expected to lose this one, just a bit on an unfortunate draw.

Smith/Razma - Alright, this one was a bit annoying. Madars took the first set, looking comfortable, second set Smith was certainly better (although getting that 103 out in the fourth would have made things fun), third set Razma was poor, but the fourth set was an annoyance - immediately gets the break back, holds in five visits, then on throw in leg four for the set, can't finish 60 and with a half chance in the fifth, wanting 207 with Smith on 146, doesn't try for a 171 to leave 26 and instead doesn't even get down to a finish and the terminal damage is done.

All in all, I think I'd take both bets again, it is extremely easy to just look at a lost bet and assume you've made a mistake, but I don't think I was on the wrong side of either of them. We'll reload tomorrow, I'm especially looking forward to the afternoon session which looks a beauty. Will be back when they can be arsed to announce which round four games are played on the Friday and not the Saturday.

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