World Matchplay: Anderson too strong for Suljovic
Gary Anderson and Mensur Suljovic will go head to head for the right to be crowned World Matchplay champion at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
Anderson ended the dazzling debut of Dutchman Jeffrey De Zwaan while Suljovic overcame world No 2 Peter Wright, last year's beaten finalist.
The pair have shared four wins apiece in previous meetings although Suljovic beat Anderson 13-9 in the second round when they last played each other in this tournament.
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After toppling world No 1 Michael van Gerwen, two-time world champion Adrian Lewis and then David Chisnall to reach his first TV semi-final, De Zwaan was unable to pull off another upset against Anderson.
The 22-year-old kept on Anderson's coat-tails when trailing 11-9 but missed doubles proved costly and allowed 'The Flying Scotsman' to open up a three-leg cushion.
Anderson then produced three ton-plus finishes to prevail 17-12, averaging 106.06 and hitting 16 maximums on the way, meaning our 19/20 tip for him to post over 9.5 180s came off.
'The Flying Scotsman' raised the Winter Gardens roof with a nine-dart finish in the previous round when edging out Joe Cullen 19-17 and his power scoring was evident once more.
He told the PDC's official website: "It was a good performance and it had to be to beat Jeffrey - he has a great attitude and he is a very good dart player.
"I'm happy with the way I played. The 180s were good but my finishing was a bit iffy at times."
Anderson is now looking to add the Matchplay trophy to the UK Open and US Darts Masters titles he has won in 2018 but he did lose to Suljovic in the Champions League of Darts final last September.
He added: "I love Mensur to bits and he's a gentleman but I hate playing him! I've been fighting hard in the last few weeks and I can win whether I play fast or slow.
"I'm just going to get on with it. I think we will see a different Mensur. I've got a different head on than when I used to play him so we'll see what happens."
Suljovic overcame the challenge of Wright 17-13 and now hopes to add to his German Darts Masters win earlier this year.
The Austrian trailed 3-1 in the early exchanges and then led 8-5 before being pegged back to 10-10. But four successive legs saw 'The Gentle' burst clear and he never looked back.
He said: "I am so happy to win this match. I didn't think I would win. I have already reached my goal, anything else is a bonus but I will give it 100 per cent."
Given Anderson's form, 4/7 he scores the first 180 has obvious appeal and we feel this will be a step too far for Suljovic with Anderson -4.5 on the leg handicap at 3/4 also an attractive option.