Dimitri van den Bergh is the first player to reach the semi-finals of the Darts World Championship in London. The Belgian defeated Jonny Clayton 5-3 and is in the last four for the first time.
A historic success that triggered great emotions in the 28-year-old “Dreammaker”. “Please give me the microphone, just for a second,” he asked the reporter from the Sky TV channel. The TV man was about to start the obligatory interview, which was broadcast over the boxes at Alexandra Palace, and handed it over to van den Bergh without a word.
The Belgian shouted out his jubilation, stepping to the edge of the stage and calling for applause for his defeated opponent. Then he addressed the fans directly: “Everyone in here, all of you, has just become part of history,” he said, “a Belgian is in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time and that makes me incredibly proud.”
The audience then began chanting his name, getting louder and louder. And van den Bergh played the ball back, gave the microphone back to its owner, but continued to speak: “Listen to that, it’s incredible,” he said and addressed the audience again: “Thank you. It is wonderful. I’m a young guy, I have my feet on the ground and I get a lot of support.”
He then addressed his upcoming semifinals: “It doesn’t matter who it is. In any case, the following still applies: stay grounded, focus, believe in yourself. I’m a dreammaker and I have a dream. Let’s do it together folks. Two more games.” But he also made a big contribution to the recent success.
Although the quality was not at the highest level, van den Bergh had an average of 95.49 points and a double rate of 36 percent, but it was a close match in which the main thing was to be able to deal with your own frustration .
After both players were able to get their throws through, the decision came in the seventh round: Clayton missed his chances in the first two legs and was penalized. At 1-2 he could have forced the decider again on double 16 but missed again. The Belgian won the round 3:1 and thus also the advantage of being able to decide the match with his own serve.
It was Clayton’s dwindling accuracy on the outer ring of the board that ensured van den Bergh’s momentum. Clayton’s double quota fell by ten to 35.3 percent, and the Welshman was now two points behind his opponent, who was 20 years his junior, with an average of 95 points.
After the 1-0 in the eighth set, Van den Bergh initially missed Tops for the decisive break and also his attempt at double 20 in the following leg. Clayton was suddenly back in the game thanks to his first break since the third set, but then missed four darts to equalize the set. Van den Bergh saved himself in the decider and crossed the finish line thanks to his 13.180 in the match.
The Belgian, who meets the winner of the match between top favorite Michael van Gerwen and the Englishman Chris Dobey in the semifinals, secured prize money of £100,000 with his win and moved up to eleventh in the world rankings, while Clayton remains seventh.
In the evening from 8.30 p.m. (live on Sport1 and DAZN) there will be a quarter-final with German participation for the first time in World Cup history. Gabriel Clemens meets number one in the world, Gerwyn Price. Van Gerwen and Dobey conclude the evening with the last game of the round of eight.
Jonny Clayton (WAL/7) – Dimitri van den Bergh (BEL/15) 3:5 (3:0; 0:3; :3)
Michael Smith (ENG/4) –Stephen Bunting (ENG/21)
Gerwyn Price (WAL/1) – Gabriel Clemens (D/25)
Michael van Gerwen (ENG/3) – Chris Dobey (ENG/22)