Lisa Ashton continued her quest for a fifth Ladies World Title as she whitewashed Australia’s Corrine Hammond to reach Saturday’s final at the o2 Indigo. She was dominant in her performance against former finalist Hammond, who failed to win a leg against the rampant ‘Lancashire Rose’. She was joined by Mikuru Suzuki as the Japanese Star battled past Beau Greaves in the second semi-final. Greaves has been the star of the tournament but after finding herself in uncharted territory, the experienced Suzuki proved a step too far. As the opening two sets went with throw, Suzuki found her scoring game in the latter stages of set three, giving Greaves too much ground to make up as she set up a final showdown with Lisa Ashton in the final.
In the men’s quarter-finals Wayne Warren confirmed his first World Championship semi-final appearance at the age of 58. ‘The Yank’ recorded the victory against free-flowing Dutchman Chris Landman, who was also looking for a first semi-final appearance. But in a topsy-turvy encounter, the additional experience of Warren paid dividends as he became our first semi-finalist.
Mario Vandenbogaerde, a player making his World Championship debut after a 12 year absence from the game, also made the Qtr Finals. It was a quick start for ‘Super Mario’ who looked to be heading for a simple victory. But as the pressure grew, David Evans got his foot in the door, taking the third set to plant the seed of doubt before the players took a break for the interval. Aside from briefly getting on level terms, that would be as close as ‘Stretch’ got the semi-finals, the former Belgian number one continuing his dream run into the semi-final stages. The Belgian will now take on tournament favourite Jim Williams in the final after the Welshman made light work of Paul Hogan. ‘Crocodile Dundee’ had been magnificent in his opening two matches, but that form was nowhere to be seen as Williams recorded a 5-1 victory on the Indigo stage.
Scott Mitchell completed the semi-final line-up as he saw off good friend Scott Waites in the final game of the evening. It was nip and tuck all the way through, with neither player able to build up a significant cushion. With both players averaging in the mid 90’s, Mitchell found that extra gear in the crucial deciding set to secure just a second ever World Championship semi-final appearance.
Wayne Warren 5-3 Chris Landman
Lisa Ashton 2-0 Corrine Hammond
Mario Vandenbogaerde 5-3 David Evans
Jim Williams 5-1 Paul Hogan
Mikuru Suzuki 2-1 Beau Greaves
Scott Mitchell 5-4 Scott Waites