World champion Gerwyn Price says his friendship with Jonny Clayton will be put to one side when the two players meet in the second round of the Betfred World Matchplay on Tuesday (Price 4/7, Clayton 7/5 – Match Betting)
The Welsh duo were both victorious on Saturday’s opening night at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, with world number one Price advancing through to the second round of the tournament for the first time since 2016 thanks to a routine 10-4 victory over Jermaine Wattimena.
Premier League champion Clayton’s passage through to round two was less straightforward, but his class eventually shone through as he disposed of Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-7 to set up a meeting with Price.
The duo are close friends and teamed up to win the PDC World Cup of Darts last year, but Price insists that will all be put to one side when they take to the oche as opponents.
“Jonny’s a great friend of mine, but I know if I play my A-game then it doesn’t matter who I play,” Price told the PDC’s official website. “The only enemy I’ve got up there at the moment is myself.”
Defending champion Dimitri Van den Bergh also booked his place in the second round on Saturday, as he overcame South Africa’s Devon Petersen 10-5, with the Belgian now set to take on Dave Chisnall in round two following his 10-8 success against Vincent van der Voort (Van den Bergh 8/15, Chisnall 6/4 – Match Betting).
Sunday will see eight more first round matches take place, with the afternoon session set to get under way at 13:00 when Krzysztof Ratajski faces off against Brendan Dolan (Ratajski 4/6, Dolan 6/5 – Match Betting).
That will be followed by Glen Durrant’s clash with Callan Rydz (Durrant 23/10, Rydz 1/3 – Match Betting), while two former champions will round off the afternoon, with 2019 winner Rob Cross taking on Ross Smith (Cross 8/13, Smith 5/4 – Match Betting), while six-time finalist James Wade, whose sole victory came in 2007, will be up against Luke Humphries (Wade 4/6 Humphries 6/5 – Match Betting).
The evening action’s highlight is world number two Peter Wright’s clash with Danny Noppert (Wright 4/11, Noppert 11/5 – Match Betting), while Joe Cullen opens the session against Chris Dobey (Cullen 8/11, Dobey 11/10 – Match Betting).
Michael Smith will then take on fellow Englishman Ryan Searle (Smith 8/13, Searle 13/10 – Match Betting) ahead of Wright’s match, while the night is rounded off with a clash between Portugal’s Jose de Sousa and Gabriel Clemens of Germany (De Sousa 2/7, Clemens 13/5 – Match Betting).