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Scott Williams delighted to reach World Darts Championship semi-final after shocking Michael van Gerwen

Scott Williams admitted he beat the 'best player of our generation' after stunning Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship.

The opening day of darting action in 2024 saw four enthralling quarter-finals take place at London’s Alexandra Palace, as Van Gerwen’s quest for a fourth World Championship crown was thwarted by Williams.

The 33-year-old caused a seismic shock with a 5-3 victory, punishing 27 missed darts at double from the Dutch supremo to blow this year’s World Championship wide open.

The exuberant Englishman punished a lacklustre start from Van Gerwen to win the opening stanza in three straight legs, only for Van Gerwen to level with back-to-back 11-darters.

Van Gerwen edged back ahead in a scrappy conclusion to set three, but this only provided a temporary reprieve, as Williams won the next six legs without reply to regain the initiative.

The Dutchman arrested his slump in set six to square the contest, but Williams refused to relent, winning six of the next eight legs to dump out the three-time World Champion.

“Words can’t describe it,” admitted Williams, who averaged 96 and crashed in 12 maximums to celebrate the biggest win of his fledgling career.

“Michael is the best player of our generation, so to have beaten him on this stage is just crazy.

“That wasn’t the Michael van Gerwen we’ve seen over the last three games. I could tell that he was just that little bit off tonight.

“As soon as the crowd got involved, that’s when I started playing my darts later on in the game, and I’m so happy to be through to tomorrow. I’m going to enjoy it regardless.”

Williams’ reward is a semi-final showdown against world number three Luke Humphries, who powered in a 103.50 average to dismantle 2021 semi-finalist Dave Chisnall 5-1 in the other evening session match.

Humphries fought back from the brink to defeat both Ricardo Pietreczko and Joe Cullen in reaching the last eight, but he brushed aside Chisnall to preserve his hopes of lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy.

The pair traded the opening two sets, but Humphries soon established control, landing 12 maximums and three ton-plus finishes – including set-winning 121 and 117 combinations - to cap off a sumptuous display.

“I've been a three-time quarter-finalist [at this event], so I really wanted to make the next step tonight," admitted Humphries, who would become the new world number one with victory over Williams.

"It was important for my confidence to put in a big performance tonight, and playing like that gives me the belief that I can go all the way now.

"The draw has been blown wide open, and it's a massive opportunity for all four of us now. It's exciting!

"If I can play like I did tonight, then I stand a great chance of becoming World Champion."

 

READ MORE: World Darts Championship 2024 match schedule and latest results

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