The quarter-finals get underway at the Betfred World Matchplay Diary on Thursday with two matches scheduled at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Wednesday 21st Results:
Michael Smith 13-11 Jose de Sousa
Gary Anderson 9-11 Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen 11-8 Ian White
Peter Wright 11-5 Joe Cullen
The Dutchman, who stumbled through his first-round tie with Damon Heta, is well on track to win his first PDC title of 2021.
He Tweeted: “Happy with the victory this evening, I felt good and in control of the match doing the right things at the right moments. The crowd were phenomenal this evening… now I look forward the playing Nathan on Friday.”
Meanwhile, Michael Smith (12/1 Betfred World Matchplay) avenged his UK Open defeat to Jose de Sousa in March by edging a tight contest in the north west.
Smith said: ”I’m no longer a kid and I’ve learned how to grind out a win. A few years ago I would have lost that match but I’m still here and looking forward to the next game.”
Krzysztof Ratajski and Callan Rydz (Match Betting – Krzysztof Ratajski 1/3, Callan Rydz 23/10) get the quarter-final ties up and running on Thursday before Gerwyn Price and defedning champion Dimitri van den Bergh clash (Match Betting – Gerwyn Price 8/13, Dimitri van den Bergh 13/10).
Poland’s Ratajski has made easy work of his meetings with Brendan Dolan and Luke Humphries in Blackpool and will fancy his chances against debutant Rydz, although the Englishman has already claimed the scalps of Glen Durrant and Rob Cross.
World champion Price faces his toughest test of the competition in the shape of Van den Bergh but he can take confidence from their recent meetings, winning each of the last three and losing just one of the last seven.