James Wade has blasted the ‘nonsensical’ format at the World Grand Prix in an interview with Live Darts, despite securing his first victory at the Citywest Hotel since 2014 on Sunday evening.
‘The Machine’ is the third most successful player in the tournament’s history having claimed glory in 2007 and 2010 – whilst he finished as runner-up in 2014. However, his victory over 2017 semi-finalist John Henderson was his first on the Emerald Isle since reaching that 2014 final.
Wade wasn’t at his vintage best against ‘The Highlander’ but he was clinical on the finishing doubles, pinning 8 of his 13 attempts to set up a second round showdown against 2012 finalist Mervyn King on Tuesday night.
Nevertheless, in an interview with Live Darts following his first round win, Wade criticised the short format in the early rounds of the double-start major and claimed it ‘should have been improved a long time ago’.
The nine-time major winner had suffered four successive opening round exits prior to Sunday’s action and a number of other established stars have been condemned to shock early exits in Dublin over recent years.
The best of three sets format was implemented in 2001 and it has seen Phil Taylor bow out at the first hurdle against the likes of Andy Callaby and Adrian Gray, while more recently defending champion Van Gerwen crashed out against Henderson in 2017.
“You get past kindergarten and get the chance to play over the longer format now. You get so many players that can trip up and not do as well,” said Wade.
“I personally think it’s a nonsensical format and it should have been improved a long long time ago. I don’t think we should be playing this format 12 years later when we’ve proved it doesn’t work for the top players.
“I’m not on about me, I’m on about the likes of Phil Taylor and players like that. I think we saw with Phil that he either lost in the First Round or won it.
“I’m not saying I’m under that pedigree of player but it’s indifferent and that’s what makes it interesting. After that first round is over and done with, it’s a relief.”
You can see Wade’s full interview with Live Darts by clicking the link above.