James Wade moved into the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes World Championship for the second consecutive year after defeating Wez Newton in a thrilling last eight clash at London’s Alexandra Palace.
The seven-time major winner remains on course to be crowned World Champion for the first time after triumphing 5-4, thanks to another display of clinical finishing on Saturday evening.
Wade, who is yet to reach the final of the £1 million tournament, will face Michael van Gerwen in the last four on Sunday evening.
“It was a case of getting the job done again,” admitted ‘The Machine’ who is set to compete in the semi-finals for the third time.
“I took out the finishes when I needed to as I have all tournament so far.
“Nobody has been talking about me but I’m used to that. It used to frustrate me but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ll just keep doing my job and winning darts matches.
“I honestly believe that I am the best finisher in the world and that’s why I’m still here. I can finish even when I’m not playing well. And I haven’t played that well yet.
“I keep producing the goods when I need to but if I’m honest I’d rather have done the job before I need to take out pressure shots.”
Wade hit a 101 checkout in the opening set but Newton edged it 3-2, and ‘The Warrior’ doubled his lead as he came back from two legs down to win the second set by the same margin.
‘The Machine’ hit back, taking out finishes of 69 and 58 to take set three and halve the deficit before coming back from two legs down to win the win the fourth set 3-2, levelling the match at two sets apiece.
Newton grabbed a break of throw in the opening leg of the fifth set but Wade fought back, hitting his second 180 and a 67 checkout to level before a 64 out shot gave him a break of his own.
The world number three then pinned double ten to move into a three sets to two lead after winning six out of the previous seven legs.
That became nine out of ten when ‘The Machine’ won all three legs in the sixth set, pinning double eight to move ahead before taking out fine finishes of 70 and 65.
Newton stopped the rot with a break of throw in the set seven opener and he doubled his advantage by taking out 46, despite a third maximum from Wade.
The Fleetwood thrower took a third consecutive leg to take the set and keep the match alive and then produced a 102 finish to break Wade’s throw in the first leg of the eighth set.
An 82 checkout took ‘The Warrior’ within a leg of parity but ‘The Machine’ pegged double ten to end a run of five consecutive legs going the way of his opponent.
But Newton cleaned up 52 to force a deciding set, where he held his throw in the first leg.
Wade’s fifth 180 helped him level up and he then sealed a vital break of throw, cleaning up the remaining 25 after just missing the bull for a spectacular 161 finish.
And ‘The Machine’ moved into the last four for the third time in his career, bedding double five again to claim victory.
He added: “I’ve got the opportunity to get in to the final and that’s exactly what I want to do.
“It has been my own fault that I haven’t done well here in the past. I know that I will need to up my game against Michael but I am definetley capable of doing that.”
By Chris Murphy
Images courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC