24 players have left, and only eight remain. Six out of the eight are seeds. Seven of the eight represent the PDC. But what they all have in common is the belief that they could be victorious in Wolverhampton.
Tonight, Mensur Suljovic continues his meteoric rise, as the Champions League winner takes on two-time world champion Gary Anderson. But before that comes a rematch, as BDO world champion Glen Durrant clashes with world number two Peter Wright.
Play, which is now best of 31 legs, kicks off at 7pm GMT at the Wolves Civic.
Glen Durrant vs Peter Wright
Peter Wright has revenge on the mind. Widely backed to win Group E, the ‘Group of Death’, Wright was stunned in his opening game by Glen Durrant. ‘Duzza’ brought his A-game to the Wolves Civic, with his best ever TV average of over 105 enough to beat ‘Snakebite’ 5-2. Durrant has gone on to beat Alan Norris and Dave Chisnall, with only Corey Cadby inflicting defeat on the Teeside thrower.
But a rejuvenated Wright should pose a much bigger challenge for the BDO star. ‘Snakebite’ could have been troubled by Group F winner Stephen Bunting, but a superb performance featuring a 161 checkout allowed him to cruise through. If he can maintain his first knockout round average of 103, Durrant may not have the legs to keep up. But it is clear that, whether he takes part in the BDO or PDC in the next couple of years, Durrant has the tools to win titles. Wright will have to be careful, and stay as consistent as he was against Bunting. Should he win, Durrant would be the most successful BDO participant since Scott Waites. He’ll be confident of it.
Mensur Suljovic vs Gary Anderson
Given the array of trophies Gary Anderson has won in his career, it is surprising that the Grand Slam is not among them. In fact, Anderson has only reached one final, in 2011. Last year, a promising run ended at the semi-final stage, when an unfancied James Wade caused a minor shock. Anderson has even less momentum going into this year’s edition as well, what with the birth of his second child. But the ‘Flying Scotsman’ has been excellent in both his scoring and finishing so far. Effortless wins over Cameron Menzies, Berry van Peer and Simon Whitlock was followed by victory over Michael Smith, where he really showed his class. Mensur Suljovic will have to ensure that he does not burn out as Smith did, given that Anderson rarely falters.
The Austrian goes into this quarter-final with plenty of confidence. His 105.84 average against van Peer in the first knockout round was his best TV showing to date. Suljovic looks more than solid on his doubles, particularly his favourite double 14, which gives him a good chance if he can keep up with Anderson’s blistering scoring. The key will be to try to get under Anderson’s skin in a way nobody has managed to so far. This one has the potential to go all the way – as does the other quarter-final.
The quarter-final winners tonight will face each other on Sunday, and all four will fancy their chances against any of the others. After that comes the final. Perhaps, then, comes the glory.Tags: BDO | Gary Anderson | Glen Durrant | Grand Slam of Darts | Mensur Suljovic | PDC | Peter Wright