Australian pair Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta have fallen to 2020 World Champions Wales in the quarter-finals of the 2021 World Cup of Darts overnight in Jena, Germany.
Australia was unable to win either of the seven leg singles matches, with Whitlock losing 4-1 to world number one Gerwyn Price and Heta being edged out 4-3 against Jonny Clayton.
It was a tense opening match between Whitlock and Price with both struggling to execute on opportunities to close out legs, with Whitlock able to win the third leg and Price the fourth. Whitlock almost had a nine-darter, with eight perfect darts however his slow start saw him fall to a 2-0 deficit, which ultimately proved too much to make up.
In the second match, Heta got off to a good start to win the first leg in his match up with Clayton. However, a poor second and third leg left him unable to put up big enough scores early to even give himself a chance. The two men exchanged legs with the scores being all tied up 3-3 going into the last.
Clayton proved his class as he needed 144 to secure the win. He opened up with two triple 20s and then finished off with a double 12 to advance Wales into the semi-finals.
This marks the second straight year that Australia has been unable to get past Wales, also losing to the nation in the 2020 tournament.
Australia entered the tournament as the seventh-seeded nation, going up against Italy in the first round in a best of nine legs doubles match. Australia was victorious, clean sweeping the Italian pairing of Danilo Vigato and Michele Turetta, 5-0.
Next, they came up against the United States, able to win both singles matches with scores of 4-3 and 4-2 against Danny Lauby Jr and Chuck Puleo to book themselves a spot in the quarter-finals, where they met Wales.
For the Australian pairing, they were playing for more than just the title of World Champions, competing in tribute to late friend Kyle Anderson who tragically passed away in August. They honoured him by wearing Anderson’s name on the sleeves of their World Cup shirts.
Whitlock and Anderson had competed together four times in the World Cup, and were runners up in 2012.
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Rest of the tournament
The final saw Scotland take on Austria, with the Scottish pair of Peter Wright and John Henderson emerging victorious, winning 3-1 to become the new World Champions.
The format for the finals is the first country to three victories, with the first two matches being best of seven legs singles matches followed by a best of seven doubles match. If a winner still is not crowned, then another one or two best of seven legs singles matches are played in reverse order.
Austria got out to the perfect start with Mensur Suljovic defeating Henderson, 4-1. Wright got Scotland back into the match, cruising past Rowby-John Rodriguez 4-1 before the Scottish pair won the doubles match in a tight game 4-3.
The deciding match was between Suljovic and Wright, with Wright proving why he is one of the best in the world winning 4-3 to bring home the championship.
For Austria, it was an impressive performance to make it to the final having entered the tournament as an unseeded nation and having to go through fifth-seeded Northern Ireland, and number one seed England, to reach the final.
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