Column #CM54 World Championship – day three and the (probably) only PDC Women’s World Champion
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
PDC World Championships – day three and the (probably) only PDC Women’s World Champion
On the third day of the World Championship – during which the top favourite, Michael van Gerwen would appear for the first time on the Alexandra Palace stage – we begin by reflecting on another woman who was pioneer of the ladies sport in the PDC: American Stacy Bromberg who sadly passed away last year.
Bromberg dominated like never before – and probably never again – among woman in the sport of darts in America. Eleven times she won the American ladies national title. But she was successful in BDO/WDF tournaments as well and, among others, reached the final of the Winmau World Masters. After a some relatively quiet years – due to illness – in 2009 Bromberg won the ladies singles title at the WDF World Cup and in the same year the women’s singles title at the Shanghai International Open – without losing a single leg throughout the tournament. In the same year, she traveled to England to take part in the first – and at least till now – only PDC Women’s World Championship.
Many of the BDO top players didn’t take part for fear of possible consequences but for Bromberg there was no second guessing. It was no surprise that she reached the final and won it against Tricia Wright.
Since Bromberg took part in a few PDC Pro Tour events as well during her time in England she was banned by the American Darts Organization and the WDF from taking part in the World Cup 2011. There were quite fierce discussions because that meant she couldn’t defend her title. The PDC didn’t repeat the Women’s World Darts Championship – another title Bromberg couldn’t defend. Two bitter disappointments for Bromberg who in her own way spoke up. In 2012, her cancer came back and she sadly passed away in February 2017. To be sure she would have played the qualifier for the PDC World Championship – she was not a person to shirk a challenge. And it could well be possible she would have risen to the challenge.
Several dart players faced a challenge on the third day of the World Championship and were unable to cope. The afternoon session was a German/Canadian session as with Robert Marijanovic and Max Hopp – two Germans, and Jim Long and Jeff Smith – two Canadians taking to the oche.
Marijanovic – winner of the Superleague Germany – opened the session with his match against Richard North. He stormed through the first two legs but then had a few problems finding the double. But North didn’t fare any better and Marijanovic won the first set. The second set was quite similar and again Marijanovic was able to win it somehow. The next two sets however went to North and the match went into a deciding set in which North proved his nerves were better than Marijanovic’s who looked for some time to come out the winner. As North admitted after the match, he had underestimated his opponent. But mostly he blamed his doubles and said he would try everything possible to put hat right before his next match.
Next on were the Canadian CDC winner Jim Long and Pro Tour Order of Merit qualifier Mickey Mansell. Long started with a 180 but Mansell played a quite good first set and won it. But he couldn’t keep up and both players for most of the rest of the match averaged around 75. Nevertheless, Long was the better player as he hit a few high finishes. He won in the end deservedly 3-1 and progressed at his debut into the second round.
In the next match another Canadian stood on stage though not a debutant – Jeff Smith had been here before. In the first set it looked good for Smith, but Josh Payne got stronger and it became a head-to-head race which required a deciding set. In this set Payne showed the much better performance and won it 310. So, for the first time he progressed into the second round.
In the last match of the afternoon, the German #1 Max Hopp met Danny Noppert. Max entered the tournament for the first time as a seeded player. It was a very one-sided match as Noppert, overnight, somewhere had lost his doubles. Though he really scored well he just was not able to finish his legs. With high scores no player will win a match and so in the end Hopp was the victor – not really deservedly – with 3-0. For Hopp it was already his sixth world championship while Noppert gave his debut.
No really well-known players appeared in the evening session with the exception of Michael van Gerwen and the first two matches were far from good. Craig Ross had taken Tahuna Irwin‘s place and though he is a very experienced player he had no chance at all against Antony Alcinas who averaged around 86.03. Ross lost 0-3 and only won a single leg.
The second match ended 3-0 as well but was – due the fact that both players are fast throwers – more interesting. Ryan Searle had just qualified by the Pro Tour Order of Merit, Stephen Burton by the PDPA qualifier. Searle was in this match the better player but profited a lot from Burton‘s double trouble as well. Nevertheless he deserved the win.
Keegan Brwon and Karel Sedlacek walked on stage next and it was another one-sided match, only on a higher level. Sedlacek tried everything but Brown was just too good and we saw another 3-0 win.
The last match of the day was the match everybody had waited for: favored Michael van Gerwen and Alan Tabern would meet on stage. But van Gerwen needed two attempts to reach the stage as during his first walk-on one of the so-called fans poured beer over his head – probably deliberately. So, van Gerwen first disappeared behind the stage and then reappeared – rather shocked – and did a second mini walk-on in which none of the fans got near to him. The culprit was by then already banned from the venue. But van Gerwen didn’t look too baffled, at least it didn’t show in his game. Though Alan Tabern again played a good match and even won a set he had no chance against van Gerwen who produced the first over-100 average of the tournament.
Due to the many one sided matches the evening was over rather early and in front of the Alexandra Palace and on the streets the crowds still lingered. It had stopped raining and was no longer particularly cold.
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