The lineup for Saturday at the Grand Slam of Darts reads like an advert for testosterone.
Things were a little more sedate on Friday, as the first two quarter-finals each lasted 28 legs. Peter Wright battled back and averaged over 100 following a timely switch of darts to hold off Dave Chisnall to reach the last four. He’ll take on Glen Durrant who, thanks to a win against Michael Smith, makes it to his third major semi-final of the year. Now it’s time for the final two Grand Slam semi-final places to be determined.
Gerwyn Price vs Gary Anderson
Oh, hello. Here we go. Ready for some needle? You might be disappointed.
This is, of course, a repeat of last year’s infamous final. The story has been well-worn; Gerwyn Price got rowdy, Gary Anderson got mardy, everything boiled over in spectacular fashion. Price won the title, but the fallout has followed him ever since. A long-running feud with the DRA was eventually resolved. A lot of fans still haven’t forgiven Price. The Iceman, going into his Grand Slam defence, has finally decided to adopt a more understated approach.
It’s working for him, too. Price has deadpanned his way into the quarter-finals, destroying Darren Webster 10-1 in the last 16. He has yet to reach his peak, but is playing well enough to mount a serious defence. Anderson, meanwhile, has stuttered. It’s not a huge surprise; his season as a whole has been stop-start due to injuries and a lack of commitment to the wider PDC calendar.
The Flying Scotsman’s Grand Slam hasn’t been smooth sailing. Defeat to Darren Webster ended his group stage, while he had by far the lowest average of the second round winners in a tense success versus Robert Thornton. Price will be the favourite, but it would be foolhardy to rule Anderson out. Neither will want the explosive showdown they had last year, though in the heat of the moment, who knows what will happen?
Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis
Is Adrian Lewis OK?
The two-time world champion is very, very pumped up. His celebrations against James Wade – some for striking an important double, some for a nice-looking 140 – were dubbed by some as “Price-esque”. Is it excitement at being at the business end of a major again? Could it be mind games? Or is Jackpot on an almighty sugar rush?
It was a strong performance that saw Lewis dump Wade out of the Grand Slam, from a seemingly hopeless 9-6 deficit. Thanks to that feat of sheer bloody-minded determination, a first TV major quarter-final since 2017 awaits. The only issue is that the quarter-final in question is against the man who beat him 5-2 in the group stage.
Michael van Gerwen has been too hot to handle so far. 111 and 104 averages in the group set out an almighty stall, while the Dutchman averaged 101 to deny Ian White a famous win. The three-time winner is out for more glory, and is in the sort of form to get it. He’ll be encouraged by the fact that he’s already beaten Lewis. There should be a lot of roaring and fist-pumping in this one. It’s truly hard to see past van Gerwen, though if Lewis can do something special, perhaps the big time beckons for him once more.
Grand Slam of Darts 2019 schedule
20:15 Gerwyn Price vs Gary Anderson
21:45 Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian LewisTags: Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen, PDC
Author: Ed McCosh