Peter Wright has reiterated his belief that Dave Chisnall is the best player in world darts right now, despite defeating the St Helen’s star 16-12 to set up a semi-final showdown against Glen Durrant at the Grand Slam of Darts.
Wright recovered from 8-5 down to defeat Chisnall in a gruelling affair, with a change in set-up during the second intermission the catalyst for Snakebite’s sensational comeback.
The Scot reeled off eight consecutive legs to seize control of the contest and despite a late rally from Chisnall, Wright maintained his composure to prevail with a 101.25 average, five maximums and a 41% checkout success rate, as he eyes a place in his second Grand Slam final.
Prior to Friday night’s clash, Wright had suggested in an interview with LiveDarts that Chisnall – a World Grand Prix finalist last month – was the best player in world darts at present. Speaking in the aftermath of his victory, the 49-year-old reaffirmed that belief.
“It was always going to be a tough battle,” Wright told Sky Sports. “As I said before in my interview, Chizzy I think is the best player in the world at the moment. Yes Michael [Van Gerwen] is still fantastic but what Chizzy is doing is amazing. Sorry Michael!
“I knew it was going to be a tough game. I knew there would be times where he would go to sleep, I would go to sleep and then we’d both wake up, but hopefully everyone enjoyed it.
“I got bored yesterday and I was experimenting with these new flights and I thought I’d give them a try, obviously it didn’t work. Luckily I got away with it and I’m over the line,” he added.
Chisnall – a finalist in Wolverhampton back in 2014, has enjoyed a terrific 2019 thus far; scooping three ranking titles and reaching his fifth major televised final in Dublin. He’s thrown some terrific darts since joining Harrow’s in the summer, but his wait for an elusive first TV title continues.
In Friday’s second quarter-final, Durrant avenged successive televised defeats against Smith to record a spot in his third major semi-final of 2019. ‘Bully Boy’ overcame the three-time world champion 5-3 in Group H last weekend, but ‘Duzza’ produced a clinical display to dump out the third seed.
Smith outscored the Teessider in the early stages and established a 6-3 cushion, although admittedly it could have been more. However, Durrant raised his game considerably after a tepid start, reeling off seven consecutive legs to wrestle control of proceedings.
‘Bully Boy’ cut a visibly frustrated figure after missing 20 darts at double throughout and Durrant was clinical, boasting a 55% checkout success rate and converting three ton-plus checkouts to wrap up a 16-12 victory with a 98.15 average.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC