It isn’t just the men who will get to showcase their talents at the Lakeside Country Club this week as the WDF Women’s World Darts Championship will also get held over the course of the week with the inaugural champion being crowned.
As with the men, technically Mikuru Suzuki is the defending champion having landed the last BDO version of this competition. The Japanese star is in the field and is one of 24 players who will be looking to win the first crown of this guise.
24 women will line up in the competition with the eight seeds progressing to the second round. The 16 unseeded players will battle it out in the first round for the right to face a seed in the last 16. The first and second rounds are the best of three sets as are the quarter finals. The semi-finals go up to the best of five sets and then the champion will be crowned for the first time over the best of seven sets. All 24 players have already been slotted into the draw. As with the men’s event, each match will be on Eurosport.
The top seed this week is Deta Hedman but in all reality the focus is going to be on another of the seeded players in Beau Greaves and one of the unseeded ones in Mikuru Suzuki. Those two could face off as early as the quarter final but Suzuki would need to overcome Aileen de Graaf in order for that to happen. Lorraine Winstanley is the other seed in the top half of the draw. She will be looking to win this title or any version of it for the first time.
Suzuki is clearly the standout unseeded player in this half of the draw but Laura Turner has found fame both on the oche and as a very good pundit on Sky Sports. Unfortunately for her though she is running into Suzuki in the first round. The experienced pair of Vicky Pruim and Tori Kewish will be expected to come through their first round matches but Lorraine Hyde, Desi Mercer, Paula Murphy and Veronika Ibasz will all be looking to showcase their own darts.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THIS TOURNAMENT! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
There is a real lopsided element to this draw and that has left Corinne Hammond as the top seed in the bottom half of the draw. She shocked everyone when she made the final of the World Championship and World Masters in 2017 but it wouldn’t be a surprise if she were to go deep this week. The Dutch player Anca Zijlstra is seeded to be her opponent in the semi-final. English pair Kirsty Hutchinson and Maria O’Brien will be looking to make sure that clash doesn’t take place.
In terms of the unseeded players in this bottom half of the draw the two famous ones for the want of a better word meet in the first round in the veteran Paula Jacklin and Rhian O’Sullivan. There is a Dutch flavour in this quarter too with Marjolein Noijens and Priscilla Steenbergen in this section. Darlene Van Sleeuwen, Suzanne Smith, Amanda Harwood and Jo Clements make up what looks a really open half of the draw.
We haven’t got too much in the way of women’s form to go on with the WDF scene still really getting back up and running after the pandemic but there was the first four legs of the PDC women’s series which a number of these players played in so we do have something. I think the first thing to point out is that this tournament would have been much better for the appearance of Lisa Ashton, Fallon Sherrock and Anastasia Dobromyslova. The first two named dominated those women’s series events as expected but none line up. Of those who do the top half looks a tournament within itself. That makes looking for value a pretty easy path into the bottom half.
To highlight the difference in the halves of the draw the only players who are shorter than 25/1 in the bottom half of it are Corinne Hammond and Rhian O’Sullivan. Only one of those will make the quarter finals at most because they are scheduled to collide in the last 16. The other five named players shorter than 25/1 are all in the top half including the two strong favourites Beau Greaves and Mikuru Suzuki. Those two would meet in a quarter final so unfancied runners are going to go deep here and one of those can be Kirsty Hutchinson. The Welsh Open winner of last year showed her class in beating Greaves in the final and only failed to do the Welsh double when losing to the same opponent in the final of the Welsh Classic. Hutchinson was ninth on the overall averages on the women’s series but remember the big two who were one and two aren’t here and neither are two others who sit above her. Hutchinson averages 72.67 for the four tournaments which includes a 91.04 average in losing a semi-final to Ashton and 85.51 in losing to Sherrock in another event. On top of that she had seven more matches where she averaged over 70 so her consistency across the 15 matches she played was clear to see. There is no Ashton or Sherrock here and in her half of the draw there is no Suzuki, de Graaf, Winstanley or Greaves so at 25/1 Hutchinson looks a good bet in a section of the bracket which should see her breeze into the semi-final.
Back K.Hutchinson to win WDF Women’s World Darts Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with Betfair (1/3 1-2)
Back her here: