Gerwyn Price will continue the defence of his Grand Slam crown against Gary Anderson on Saturday night in Wolverhampton, as the pair clash in a repeat of last year’s infamous final.
Price defeated Anderson 16-13 to scoop his first major title although the contest was marred with controversy, as the Welshman was hit with a record fine and a suspended three-month ban for his behaviour at the cross-code major.
Nevertheless, after topping his group with three successive wins over Mikuru Suzuki, Robert Thornton and Dimitri Van den Bergh, Price continued his title defence with an emphatic 10-1 success over Darren Webster in the last 16.
‘The Demolition Man’ was afforded just two darts at a double throughout the entire match, as Price averaged 98.75, landed two maximums and converted 67% of his attempts at double to book his place in the last eight at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
“Darren was a bit flat tonight but I still had a job to do and I’m really glad I played well,” said Price. “He told me I was ruthless and I take that as a massive compliment because he is a class player. I’m really happy to get the job done and be in the quarter-finals.”
Anderson’s progress was less serene, as he came from 4-1 down to defeat compatriot Robert Thornton 10-8 in a gruelling affair. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ was plagued by double trouble in the early stages, as Thornton converted finishes of 100 and 117 in consecutive legs to establish a 4-1 cushion.
Anderson reeled off five consecutive legs to secure control of the contest but the pendulum continued to swing as Thornton levelled at eight apiece. There were more breaks than holds of throw which reflected the inconsistency from both.
The two-time world champion missed 23 darts at double but outscored Thornton for large periods, with the former World Grand Prix winner firing in six maximums but registering just three 140’s, as Anderson prevailed with a 90.97 average and five maximums.
“The way I’m going at the moment I have no idea what’s going to come out but I can guarantee you that I will be doing my absolute best on Saturday night. We’ll see how we go but hopefully he brings the best out of me. I’ll be giving everything so let’s see what happens,” said Anderson.
Top seed Michael van Gerwen survived a scare as he fought back from 6-4 behind to dump out a spirited Ian White, who squandered 22 of his 29 attempts at a double. Van Gerwen raced into an early 3-1 lead, only for ‘The Diamond’ to produce clinical 143 and 110 checkouts to lead 4-3.
‘The Green Machine’ was scoring magnificently yet lacking cutting edge in the latter stages of legs, which saw White edge 6-4 ahead at the second interval, despite the world number one averaging in excess of 105.
However, the Stoke-on-Trent star fluffed his lines in leg 12, missing EIGHT darts at double for a 7-5 lead, which saw a grateful Van Gerwen square proceedings at six apiece. The topsy-turvy tussle saw the next two legs shared, before the Dutchman enjoyed his trademark blistering burst.
Van Gerwen fired in back-to-back 11-dart legs to move to the brink of victory and White was unable to respond, as the three-time Grand Slam champion closed out a 10-7 success with a 101.41 average, nine maximums and a modest 32% checkout success rate.
“I know Ian will always give me a chance, he is a phenomenal player but it is hard to play so well in a long format so I just had to be calm and not make any mistakes. My belief is always there, even when I am in a little bit of trouble. This is an important win for me,” added the 30-year-old.
MvG will take on two-time world champion Adrian Lewis for a place in the semi-finals, after ‘Jackpot’ recovered from 9-6 down to defeat eighth seed James Wade in a thriller to kick off the evening’s action.
Wade and Lewis were meeting in a major ranking event for the first time since 2014 and there was little to separate the pair in the opening stages, but some clutch combination finishing from ‘The Machine’, including a sumptuous 161 checkout, saw him open up a 6-4 buffer.
The nine-time major winner appeared destined to prevail after extending his lead to 9-6, but Lewis was inspired in the closing stages – posting legs of 12, 12 and 14 darts to force a decider.
Wade missed a match dart at the bull for a second 161 outshot in the penultimate leg and he was duly punished by ‘Jackpot’, who conjured up a majestic 110 checkout in the decider to reach his first major quarter-final since 2017, sparking jubilant scenes of celebration from the 34-year-old.
“I’m so happy to win that match, James and I have got a lot of respect for each other and to be back in a quarter-final is great,” said Lewis. “I didn’t mean to turn the bull down, I thought he was on 181 not 161, I can be a bit dopey sometimes, thankfully it didn’t come back to bite me in the end.”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Thursday November 14
Second Round x4
Adrian Lewis 10-9 James Wade
Gerwyn Price 10-1 Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Ian White
Gary Anderson 10-8 Robert Thornton
Friday November 15 (1900 GMT)
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Glen Durrant v Michael Smith
Saturday November 16 (2000 GMT)
Gerwyn Price v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis