PDC World Cup 2013
The third edition of the World Cup of Darts was played in February 2013 at the Sporthalle Hamburg. Again 24 countries participated. The format, for the third year in a row, changed. This time all 24 countries competed in the first round, divided into eight groups of three countries. The best two countries progressed to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Defending champions England was the big favourite and filled this role. Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis picked up a second consecutive title but it was certainly not easy. Netherlands took the stage with Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen and were tipped by many to be the winner. Van Gerwen had been in the final of the World Championship a month earlier and Raymond van Barneveld had reached the semi-finals at the World Championship. However, the tournament ended in disappointment for the Dutch team when they lost in the second round to the Finnish duo Haavisto and Komula .
The eight highest ranked countries all came through the group stage, but in the second round, there were many upsets. In the pairs matches over b.o. 9 legs the top countries proved vulnerable. England won a decisive leg against South Africa, but Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Australia and Northern Ireland all lost in this round.
In the quarterfinals, the favourites were under pressure again. Adrian Lewis lost his single to the Japanese player Katsumi that meant a decisive pairs match had to be played. The English eventually won that. Wales also needed the pairs match to take out the Spaniards. Finland continued to do well; after the elimination of the Netherlands the Finns beat the host country Germany in the quarterfinals. The Belgian brothers Huybrechts completed the semi-finals after a 2-0 win over Croatia.
In the semi-finals, the English continued to struggle. Particularly Adrian Lewis was not in great form this tournament. He lost his singles match to Wales’s veteran Richie Burnett, but because Taylor beat Webster the pairs match again had to make the decision. England faltered, but survived in the deciding leg against the team from Wales. Kim Huybrechts was the most successful player for Belgium in this tournament. In the semi-finals, he beat Haavisto but following the defeat of his brother Ronny they still had to play a pairs match. The Belgians were supreme in that match and won 4-0.
The final was between England and Belgium. Four singles were to be played with each players playing the two players from the opponents team. Taylor won the first single 4-0 against Ronny and Kim Huybrechts beat Adrian Lewis with the same score line. Lewis then played his best match of the tournament against Ronny Huybrechts. With an average of over 105, he won 4-2. Taylor then ended the tournament by defeating Kim Huybrechts 4-1. England retained the World Cup.
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