Defending champion Gerwyn Price remains on course to retain his World Grand Prix crown after sweeping aside Dave Chisnall in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals, and the Welshman had a defiant message for a jeering crowd at the Morningside Arena.
‘The Iceman’ defeated Chisnall in a thrilling semi-final clash at last year’s Grand Prix, which gave him the impetus to claim his maiden World Championship title and the world No 1 spot just months later.
The pair also met in the 2019 edition, with Chisnall running out the winner in an engrossing first-round tie, although the trilogy didn’t quite live up to expectation, as Price punished a profligate display from the St Helen’s star to close out an emphatic victory.
The world No 1 was on the receiving end of some booing from the crowd throughout Thursday’s quarter-final, but speaking to Sky Sports’ Michael Bridge post-match, the 36-year-old fired a warning to his detractors.
“There’s a lot more in the tank for me. It was a difficult game,” Price reflected.
“Obviously the crowd were a bit rubbish again, but I won, so no matter what they do, I’ll keep winning, Give me an opportunity and I’ll take it.
“I thought I had bombed the second set after missing 25, but then I think I took out a 104 next leg. The crowd are absolutely pathetic, but I won.
“I don’t care [about dominating]. I just want to keep winning. Sometimes the crowd are with me, sometimes the crowd are against me.
“I don’t care. They can boo me, they can do what they want, but I keep winning, so happy days.”
Chisnall rallied magnificently from 3-2 behind in his second-round clash against Ross Smith, yet he was unable to repeat the feat against the world champion, succumbing in a rather scrappy affair.
Neither player fired in the early exchanges, but an abject start from Chisnall saw Price claim five successive legs to move to the cusp of a two-set cushion.
The two-time Grand Prix finalist responded by converting a 118 checkout to open his account and this appeared to galvanise the eighth seed, as he forced a set decider, in which he left 24 after just 12 darts.
Nevertheless, Price produced a nerveless 104 combination on tops to seal the set, and although Chisnall improved in the latter stages, finishes of 93 and 100 paved the way for the defending champion to progress in routine fashion.
Price’s reward is a semi-final showdown against Stephen Bunting – in a repeat of their World Championship classic in January – after ‘The Bullet’ recovered from a set down to defeat Ryan Searle in a topsy-turvy affair.
‘Heavy Metal’ produced three sensational ton-plus finishes in his last 16 success against Luke Humphries, but he was left to rue a host of missed opportunities against a resurgent Bunting.
Searle spurned six darts at double for a 2-1 lead in set three, and despite regaining his poise midway through set four, he frittered away three further opportunities to force a fifth and final set, and Bunting duly capitalised to reach his first Grand Prix semi-final since 2014.
Elsewhere, Jonny Clayton remains on course to collide with Price in an all-Welsh finale, courtesy of a dramatic 3-2 victory over World Matchplay semi-finalist Krzysztof Ratajski.
The pair traded the opening two sets, with eight of the first nine legs going against throw. ‘The Ferret’ appeared poised to establish a 2-0 lead at one stage, but a monumental miscount in a second set decider saw him bust a 134 finish, which enabled Ratajski to restore parity at one set apiece.
‘The Polish Eagle’ then prevailed in a high-quality third set to move to the cusp of victory, but Clayton fought back magnificently; converting 68% of his attempts at double to complete the comeback and maintain his bid for a third major title of 2021.
Danny Noppert awaits the Premier League champion in Friday’s semi-final, after the Dutchman opened up Thursday’s proceedings with a resounding 3-1 success over Ian White, who has now lost 11 of his 12 major televised quarter-finals.
Noppert blew the bottom half of the draw wide open with a sensational 2-0 victory over five-time winner Michael van Gerwen in round one, before accounting for fellow compatriot Vincent van der Voort without relinquishing a set in round two.
‘The Freeze’ was ice-cool in the early stages against ‘The Diamond’ – punishing his opponent’s profligacy to claim the opening set without reply. White responded to level the contest in a tightly-contested second set, but Noppert wasn’t to be denied.
The Dutchman regained the initiative in set three, and tightened his grip on the contest with a classy 116 finish to kick off set four. White simply had no answer, and Noppert wrapped up the win in style – conjuring up an 86 outshot on the bullseye to prevail with an impressive 96 average.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2021 BoyleSports World Grand Prix
Thursday October 7
Danny Noppert 3-1 Ian White (3-0, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1)
Jonny Clayton 3-2 Krzysztof Ratajski (3-1, 2-3, 2-3, 3-0, 3-1)
Gerwyn Price 3-0 Dave Chisnall (3-0, 3-2, 3-1)
Stephen Bunting 3-1 Ryan Searle (1-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2)
Friday October 8 (1900 BST)
Jonny Clayton v Danny Noppert
Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting