Let’s take a moment to see what’s in and what’s out at the World Grand Prix.
Doubling in in Dublin seems to be in vogue, mostly thanks to World Grand Prix debutant Chris Dobey. This stat from @TheRedBit180 is a belter.
— TheRedBit 🔴 (@TheRedBit180) October 8, 2019
But seeds are very much out. Literally. Michael van Gerwen may have made the quarter-finals with the highest average in any game so far, but Michael Smith, Gary Anderson and James Wade have all been sent packing. Given that two seeds have already been dumped out of the bottom half of the draw, it’s clear that nobody is safe.
Nathan Aspinall breezed past Vincent van der Voort to make the second round. A lot of people have backed the Stockport star to go all the way here. He’s clearly in form and doesn’t have to negotiate his way past Daryl Gurney or Gerwyn Price. It’s all falling into place. But he does have to take on the man who sent the 2017 World Grand Prix champion packing. Danny Noppert wasn’t great, but he did strike at the right times. An Aspinall in full flow dispatches the Dutchman with ease – but the same was said about Gurney.
In the second tie of the evening, two English talents chasing a first PDC major clash. Stephen Bunting and Dave Chisnall both claimed Welsh scalps in round one, in very different ways. The Bullet averaged just under 78 but rolled over a badly under-performing Jonny Clayton. Chizzy, meanwhile, posted the best average of round one but was taken right to a deciding leg by Gerwyn Price. If both play the same again then Chisnall has to be favourite, but this Battle of St Helens could go either way.
Cross faces Duzza test
Rob Cross hasn’t been treated to a very kind draw. Mensur Suljovic was a tough nut to crack in round one; Peter Wright could await in the quarter-finals. Between them, there’s just the small matter of the reigning three-time BDO world champion, World Matchplay semi-finalist, and the PDC’s biggest riser this year. Glen Durrant mounted an impressive comeback to win his first ever World Grand Prix match against Krzysztof Ratajski. Incidentally, that’s as many wins as Cross has mustered up in three years.
Is this Peter Wright’s year? Last year’s finalist definitely has the ability and the nerve to make his way back to the final. Being seventh seed means Cross or Durrant could stand firmly in his way. He can’t yet consider quarter-final options, as Jermaine Wattimena is the next in line for Snakebite. The Dutchman saw off Adrian Lewis in what he called one of the biggest wins of his career. Beating Wright and making it to his first ever major quarter-final would surely be the very biggest…so far.
Click here for more information about this tournament, the only one to feature double start on the PDC Tour.
World Grand Prix 2019 schedule
Tuesday October 8
James Wade (78.59) 1-3 (85.83) Mervyn King (3-1, 2-3, 1-3, 0-3)
Michael Smith (76.98) 1-3 (86.29) Ian White (3-2, 0-3, 0-3, 2-3)
Michael van Gerwen (94.79) 3-0 (74.87) Jeffrey de Zwaan (3-0, 3-1, 3-1)
Gary Anderson (82.99) 1-3 (85.77) Chris Dobey (3-2, 2-3, 0-3, 1-3)
Wednesday October 9
19:10 Danny Noppert v Nathan Aspinall
20:00 Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
21:00 Rob Cross v Glen Durrant
22:00 Peter Wright v Jermaine Wattimena
Author: Ed McCosh