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World Matchplay Darts: What Happened in 2023?

Nathan Aspinall holding World Matchplay 2023 trophy
June 27, 2024

World Matchplay Darts: What Happened in 2023?

Nathan Aspinall kissing World Matchplay 2023 darts trophyNathan Aspinall kissing World Matchplay 2023 darts trophy

We take a trip down memory lane and examine how Nathan Aspinall won last year’s World Matchplay. The 2023 World Matchplay occurred at the famous Winter Gardens, in Blackpool. 

The World Matchplay took place between the 15th to 23rd of July 2023. Michael van Gerwen was the defending champion after picking up his third Matchplay title in 2022 and was hoping to defend his crown again.  

We’ll look at how the competition went and the key moments from the 2023 tournament.

Who qualified for the World Matchplay in 2023?

Who qualified for the World Matchplay 2023Who qualified for the World Matchplay 2023

What were the opening round results?

The opening two rounds of the tournament were a best of 19 legs and 21 legs. These rounds saw some significant upsets with Michael van Gerwen making an early exit in round 1 with a loss to Brendan Dolan.

Round 2 saw premature exits for both Gerwyn Price who lost to Joe Cullen and Michael Smith - the PDC ranked number 1 and world champion at the time - losing a rather one sided contest to Chris Dobey who originally entered the competition through the PDC Pro Tour Qualifiers in 10th position.

World Matchplay 2023 Round 1 ResultsWorld Matchplay 2023 Round 1 Results


Round 2 Results:

World Matchplay 2023 Round 2 ResultsWorld Matchplay 2023 Round 2 Results

Quarter and Semi Final Results

With more legs added (31 legs) the quarter-finals saw a return to normality with no major upsets of note, although a noteable performance from Joe Cullen against Daryl Gurney built on his already impressive win over the world number 4 at the time Gerwyn Price during round 2. 

The semi-finals (best of 33 legs) saw Joe Cullen's run end with an emphatic loss to Nathan Aspinall, while Jonny Clayton halted the seemingly undeniable Luke Humphries to earn his place in the final. 

World Matchplay 2023 quarter and semi finalsWorld Matchplay 2023 quarter and semi finals


A Closer Look at the Winner: How did Nathan Aspinall Make the Final?

After a routine first and second round in which ‘The Asp’ defeated Krzysztof Ratajski (10-7) and Danny Noppert (11-9) respectively, Aspinall took on Chris Dobey in the quarterfinals.

Nathan went on to win this encounter 16-12 with a 99.33 three-dart average (his best for the whole tournament).  The match was not always so straight forward however, with Aspinall having been down 6-4 by break 2. However, seemingly rejuvenated he managed to fight his way back to lead 7-8 by break 3 and from there took control of the contest to win 16-12.  
In the semi-finals, Nathan Aspinall took on Joe Cullen.  As mentioned, Joe Cullen had an impressive tournament on his way to the semi-finals beating the likes of Gerwyn Pirce, Daryl Gurney and Mike De Decker.  However, ‘The Asp’ proved to be too much for Joe Cullen with Nathan Aspinall breezing his way to a 17-9 win. 


What happened in the final?

The stage was set after 31 gruelling matches, we had our finalists for the 2023 World Matchplay final. Nathan Aspinall was set to face Welshman Jonny Clayton in the final.  
Clayton like Nathan had an impressive run to the final beating Gabriel Clemens, 2020 World Matchplay winner Dimitri Van den Bergh, Ryan Searle and Luke Humphries.  
Nathan Aspinall dominated the final winning 18-6 but it was a close exchange in the early rounds with the game finalised poised at 5-5 by break 2. However, Nathan Aspinall kicked into gear and won ten legs on the bounce taking a commanding 15-5 lead by break 4.   


Play like the 2023 World Matchplay Champion Nathan Aspinall

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