Price slams ‘pathetic’ Whitlock tactics!

Gerwyn Price secured a place in his first World Championship quarter-final after battling past former finalist Simon Whitlock 4-2 in a gruelling affair on Saturday evening, but the Welshman was left frustrated after claiming that Whitlock deliberately slowed the game down to a ‘pathetic’ pace.

‘The Iceman’ averaged over 104 in his third round win over John Henderson 24 hours earlier, although he was well below his blistering best against ‘The Wizard’ – eventually sealing his progression to the last eight with a modest 92.47 average at Alexandra Palace.

Whitlock gifted Price the opening set after spurning four darts at double to draw first blood, before the Grand Slam champion doubled his cushion with finishes of 72 and 108 in set two.

The Aussie registered a clean sweep in set three to reduce the arrears and although Price restored his two-set buffer, Whitlock also won the fifth without reply to threaten a fightback. However, the third seed converted clinical finishes of 112 and 72 in the sixth to triumph.

Price cut a frustrated figure for large periods of the contest and in his post-match interview, the 34-year-old criticised Whitlock’s approach and bemoaned the fact that ‘some people just try and drag you down’.

“From the off I was rubbish and Simon wasn’t any better. He gave me chances in the first set and I won that. I think it was just a poor performance from both of us and I was lucky to win,” Price told Sky Sports’ Rod Studd.

“The pace of the game wasn’t suiting me. I think Simon did that on purpose. I will learn from this game and try and perform a bit better next time I come up against that situation. I like a good flow, I like a good game but some people just try and drag you down.”

Price will meet Glen Durrant in the last eight, after the three-time BDO world champion extended his winning World Championship run to 18 games after edging out Chris Dobey 4-3 in the Tyne-Tees Derby. However, Price is relishing his darting dust-up with the Teessider.

“I’ve played Glen [Durrant] numerous times and he’s beaten me a couple of times, I’ve beaten him a couple of times, but he never slows the game down purposefully.

“He just gets on with it and I think that game was just slowed down to a pathetic pace but I’ll look forward to playing Glen and hopefully we’ll just have a good game – no tactics, just go up there and throw some good darts.

“I go up there to win every single time, whether it’s in the World Championship or if it’s a Pro Tour. I’m going up there to win, there’s no pressure on my back, I’m an ex-Rugby player so I’m just pinching money out of people’s pockets aren’t I?” he quipped.

Elsewhere, Peter Wright survived a major scare as he defied an inspired fightback from Jeffrey de Zwaan to prevail in a gripping tie-break. Snakebite stormed into a 3-0 lead and led 2-0 in the fourth, only for De Zwaan to reel off nine of the next 11 legs and force a seventh set.

The Dutchman broke throw in the first leg of the decider but Wright rallied and kept his nerve to reach his fifth World Championship quarter-final – crashing in 12 maximums in the process.

Wright feared he was going to pass out on stage at one point, admitting: “I just ran out of energy, I was feeling really bad up there after the first three sets. The good thing is that games under pressure like this can help lift your level to where it needs to be for the rest of the tournament.”

The seventh seed will take on World Youth champion Luke Humphries for a place in the semi-finals, after Humphries reeled off four consecutive sets from 1-0 down to breeze past Kim Huybrechts and make it back-to-back last eight appearances at Ally Pally.

Dimitri Van den Bergh is also through to his second World Championship quarter-final, recovering from 3-1 down to dump out two-time world champion Adrian Lewis, who has failed to go beyond the fourth round at this event since reaching the final back in 2016.

The Belgian will take on UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall on Sunday afternoon, whilst world No 1 Michael van Gerwen meets Darius Labanauskas, who curtailed Steve Beaton’s bid to reach a first PDC World Championship quarter-final – averaging 94.25 en route to a 4-2 success.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

William Hill World Darts Championship
Saturday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Darius Labanauskas 4-2 Steve Beaton
Luke Humphries 4-1 Kim Huybrechts
Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-3 Adrian Lewis
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Peter Wright 4-3 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Glen Durrant 4-3 Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price 4-2 Simon Whitlock

Sunday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)

Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Luke Humphries v Peter Wright
Evening Session (1900 GMT)

Michael van Gerwen v Darius Labanauskas
Glen Durrant v Gerwyn Price

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