Hello? Is it seeds you’re looking for?
Not to butcher Lionel Ritchie’s lyrics any further, but for the top eight at the World Grand Prix, this has proved to be far from easy like a Sunday morning. Wednesday night saw both Peter Wright and Rob Cross tumbling out of contention, meaning we have just one seed left. That seed happens to be the reigning champion and world number one, mind.
We start with Chris Dobey, whose first Dublin appearance is proving to be massively promising. The Bedlington ace has been as consistently excellent on the doubles as it gets. Against Gary Anderson, he had a 52% success rate on the starting doubles and a 50% conversion on the finishes. That sort of consistency will trouble Ian White. The Diamond has shown his best stuff in brief flashes; now’s the time to find the A-game.
It’s fair to say that Dave Chisnall will have tougher tests than Stephen Bunting in round two. The Bullet’s average of a shade above 70 detracts from a thoroughly professional performance from Chizzy. Both he and Nathan Aspinall will feel that the World Grand Prix is at their mercy here. The Asp rode his luck at times against Danny Noppert, but rounding off the last four legs in just 58 darts was a touch of class. Both score for fun; this could be a barnstormer.
A lazy look at the World Grand Prix draw would tell you that Michael van Gerwen’s in the clear. After all, he’s the final seed standing. But there are eight players here who can all take the title, and one of them is van Gerwen’s next opponent. Mervyn King, it should be remembered, dumped Mighty Mike out of the UK Open. Gary Anderson and James Wade have also bowed down to the King in majors this year. A foregone conclusion? Don’t bet on it. Van Gerwen will be riding high after an excellent performance against Jeffrey de Zwaan, however.
This is a pretty special moment for both Glen Durrant and Jermaine Wattimena. Durrant, on debut, has beaten 2019’s most recent major winner and is in the last eight. He’ll be in the world’s top 32. Duzza could be the World Grand Prix champion by the end of the week. Jermaine Wattimena, meanwhile, is on his best ever major run. The pure emotion after his win against Peter Wright would melt even the most cynical heart. He’ll have to compose himself once more to deal with a man whose stock continues to soar.
Click here for more information about this tournament, the only one to feature double start on the PDC Tour.
World Grand Prix 2019 schedule
Thursday October 10
19:10 Ian White v Chris Dobey
20:15 Dave Chisnall v Nathan Aspinall
21:15 Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
22:15 Glen Durrant v Jermaine Wattimena
Author: Ed McCosh