The schedule looks likes this: (starting 19:00 GMT)
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Nitin Kumar (Round One)
Martin Schindler v Cody Harris (Round One)
Jan Dekker v Lisa Ashton (Round One)
Rob Cross v De Zwaan/Kumar (Round Two)
The first match, on paper, looks like a fairly straight forward opening match for Jeffrey de Zwaan. He has had a good season. He won the first European Qualifying school tournament in January 2018 and also won the Players Championship 10 tournament in April. He is also rnked in the World' top 50 and is on the way up. Nitin Kumar has obviously done well to qualify, but a lack of big stage experience and consistency may go against him. He is India's number two player and the first round experience will be great for him, but I don't see him getting past this stage this year.
Second up, is an intriguing match. Martin Schindler (pic) has had a fantastic year and is battling Max Hopp as Germany's number one player. Darts is definitely on the up in Germany and in time, we will surely see more German players in the World's top 50. He has had lots of TV experience this year and was runner up to Dimitri van den Bergh at the World Junior Championship last month. He made the quarter finals at the World Cup of Darts and the European Championship and has also won a couple of Development Tour events. His opponent is New Zealand's number one player, Cody Harris. Harris has hadsome TV experience and also has been winning tournaments in his native country. He is a quality player and ranked in the top 100, but I feel Schindler is that little step ahead. It may be close, but Schindler should triumph
The third game, is perhaps the biggest match of the night. Women's qualifier and multiple Women's World Champion Lisa Ashton, makes her debut playing Dutchman Jan Dekker. Dekker is an experienced player and played at several World Championships, both PDC and BDO. On his day, he is a tough plyer to beat, but he can be quite inconsistent and Lisa Ashton will definitely be wanting to put the pressure on. Ashton is a very experienced player and been at the top of the Women's game for a long time. She is thought to be the best female player in the world and few will argue.She will be wanting to take her chance and although the adrenaline will be pumping, I don't think she will be too nervous. It will be an exciting match, but based on averages (I know, they don't always tell the whole story), I think Dekker will take it, perhaps 3-2. My heart wants Ashton and I would love to be proved wrong on this one.
Final game of the evening will be the second round tie between the current World Champion, Rob Cross (pic) against the winner of the de Zwaan/ Kumar tie. I'm confident it will be de Zwaan who will face Cross, so will base the preview on that. Now Rob Cross, hasn't had the best of seasons, but he still one of the best players in the World. He also has the confidence of being the current World Champion. I am sure he has been putting in the hours recently, ready for this match. I think if he wins the first set, he will win comfortably, however if he loses it, the match could get quite tight. However, Cross is certainly a step or two ahead of de Zwaan (and several more ahead of Kumar) and I think even a mediocre Cross performance will see him win. Don't be surprised however if Cross comes out withall guns blazing and grabs a 100 average.
BDO News- Zuiderduin Masters
The last major BDO tournament prior to the BDO World Championship in January was the Zuiderduin Masters.
A round robin group format began the tournament, with the group winners progressing to the Quarter Finals. The big names all made it through, including Jim Williams, Glen Durrant (pic), Mark McGeeney and the in form Richard Veenstra
All the quarter final matches were close affairs and the most notable match was Mark McGeeney against Scott Mitchell. McGeeneey progressed but only after a hard fought 3-2 win. His 94 average made the difference in the end.
Durrant, Veenstra and Williams also progressed to the semi finals, and all four would have believed they had a chance to win.
McGeeney versus Durrant was the most intriguing of the two semi finals. McGeeney kept consistent and had a 94 average for his second match in a row, however Durrant was in no mood to be beaten and had a 99 average, which gave him that extra margin and ensuring a 3-1 win.
In the other semi final, Richard Veenstra overcame Jim Williams 3-1. Veenstra has now made the quarter finals or better in his last 3 tournaments and look to be coming into form at just the right time.
So to the final, where Durrant knew he needed to be at the top of his game to win. And he played at just that level. Scoring a 100 average. Veenstra ran him close and just needed that extra power scoring ability, but Durrant reamined dominant claiming a 5-3 win. I will be very interested to see how both play at the World Championships. Durrant is understandably the favourite,but Veenstra has shown form recently and may just surprise some.
Finally, Darts Tips for PDC World Championship Day One.
I am going for Martin Schindler to beat Cody Harris at 4/7.