Wade in ‘agony’ despite advancing to Grand Slam last eight

James Wade produced a merciless display to dispatch Rowby-John Rodriguez and set up a quarter-final showdown against Rob Cross at the Grand Slam of Darts, but ‘The Machine’ revealed post-match that he was in ‘agony’ with gout in his right ankle.

The three-time finalist posted a stunning 111.71 average to progress from Group C with victory over Cross on Monday, and he will renew his rivalry with the former world champion after wrapping up a resounding 10-2 victory over his young Austrian opponent.

Rowby-John drew first blood before Wade took control – reeling off nine consecutive legs to move to the cusp of victory. ‘Little John’ conjured up a spectacular 170 checkout to stop the rot, although it simply delayed the inevitable, as Wade sealed the deal with a 98.09 average, three 180s and 67% on his doubles.

“I did enough today but Rowby-John wasn’t at his best and I punished him,” said Wade. “I finished well and it was a decent performance but I was in agony tonight.

“It wasn’t too bad earlier in the day but it was a lot worse by the time we got on stage. I want to try and get it sorted out by Friday because it’s awful pain.”

Cross also enjoyed serene progression through to the last eight, closing out a 10-4 success over Group D winner Ryan Joyce to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final 2017.

The European Champion trailed 3-2 at the first interval, but he won eight of the next nine legs to prevail with a 102.91 average and a 50% checkout success rate to cap off an assured display.

“I’m feeling really good at the moment,” said Cross. “I’m really enjoying my darts and it shows in performances like this.

“For a long time that wasn’t the case, so to be back near my best is extremely pleasing and I’m looking forward to my next game.”

Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton will also renew their rivalry in the quarter-finals on Friday night, after coming through their last 16 ties against two of the sport’s most promising talents on Wednesday.

Price was embroiled in a real scrap against World Youth champion Bradley Brooks, but the world No 1 managed to repel a spirited fightback from ‘Bam Bam’ to maintain his bid for a third Grand Slam crown.

‘The Iceman’ raced out of the blocks and converted a spectacular 167 checkout in leg two, en route to establishing a commanding 5-2 cushion. However, Brooks responded and conjured up a classy 127 kill to reduce the arrears to 6-5, before opening up a 7-6 lead.

Price replied with a superb 120 checkout and the pair began to trade exuberant celebrations in an entertaining conclusion to proceedings, but three missed darts at double from Brooks in leg 15 ultimately proved decisive, with Price running out a 10-8 victor.

“I made it difficult for myself tonight,” admitted Price. “It was a tough game in the end, I was fortunate to win but I’m happy to be in the next round. I should’ve been 4-1 or possibly 5-0 up, but I just wasn’t at it tonight.

“Fair play to Bradley, he took advantage. He reminds me of how Kim Huybrechts plays, I love it when people give it some back, it gets me going. I think I needed that bit of aggression to get myself going tonight.”

However, Price’s World Cup partner Jonny Clayton stormed through to the last eight with a 10-2 success against Nathan Rafferty, averaging 104.3 and registering 11 140’s and four maximums.

Rafferty acquitted himself magnificently throughout the tournament, and his two legs against ‘The Ferret’ came courtesy of ton-plus checkouts, following up a 124 combination with a classy 106 outshot.

Nevertheless, he was denied a route into the contest by an imperious Clayton, who is targeting a third consecutive televised win over Price to continue his bid for a fifth major title of 2021.

“We will be best of friends after the match, but it will be a battle when we’re on stage,” said Clayton.

“I’ve got so much respect for Gezzy; he’s the world number one for a reason and I will have to be at my very best to beat him.

“I just keep taking each game as it comes, and I’m really enjoying myself. I still feel nervous but it doesn’t show in my darts.”

The quarter-final line-up will be completed on Thursday, as darting trailblazer Fallon Sherrock faces Mensur Suljovic in a repeat of their World Championship classic, before Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson renew their famous rivalry.

Jose De Sousa continues the defence of his Grand Slam crown with an intriguing tussle against world No 2 Peter Wright, while Michael Smith and Joe Cullen lock horns in the evening’s curtain-raiser.

Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts
Wednesday November 17
4x Second Round
Rob Cross 10-4 Ryan Joyce
James Wade 10-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Gerwyn Price 10-8 Bradley Brooks
Jonny Clayton 10-2 Nathan Rafferty

Thursday November 18 (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Michael Smith v Joe Cullen
Peter Wright v Jose de Sousa
Mensur Suljovic v Fallon Sherrock
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: