2021 PDC World Darts Championship Saturday schedule: Do we get the 'new' dream final between Anderson and Price?
It has been a breathless, exhilarating, even ludicrous PDC World Darts Championship this year - making it even more heart-wrenching that fans couldn't be at the Alexandra Palace to see it. Anyone who claims they saw Messrs Anderson, Chisnall, Bunting and Price as the final four is, of course, a liar. Now one of them is about to pick up the most important trophy of them all.
Gerwyn Price is probably the worthiest winner of this year's World Championship, based on 2020 form. The Iceman has made the sort of strides in his game that very few could hope to match. He's almost there, just as he was a year ago, when his form abandoned him and Peter Wright punished him with aplomb.
It was starting to feel like that against Daryl Gurney, when Superchin mounted a brilliant fightback. Price set aside the deja vu, and instead repeated the same trick that saw Gurney's compatriot Brendan Dolan go out, by grabbing that all-important sudden death leg. He could become world number one for the first time ever; if he does, Price seems destined to do it the hard way.
When Stephen Bunting lost the fourth set of his opening match with Andy Boulton 3-0, the script seemed to be written. A vulnerable seed, toppled immediately. The Bullet decided to flip that script, and all of a sudden the BDO world champion wants to join Taylor, Priestley, Part and Van Barneveld in taking the PDC equivalent as well.
Everything looked right with Bunting's game in his win over Krzysztof Ratajski. The doubles were there, two-treble visits were in abundance, and the pivotal legs mostly swung his way. Price has been a little erratic throughout these championships, occasionally having an entire set pass him by, and it's there where the Bullet must strike. Based on January-November form, there's an obvious winner. The PDC World Championship is a different beast, and this is no foregone conclusion.
You could be forgiven for fearing for Dave Chisnall as he lined up for a quarter-final against Michael van Gerwen. After all, failing to win any of their previous 27 matches didn't exactly bode well.
Five remarkable, explosive sets later, Chizzy is two matches from a world title nobody could begrudge.
His wins over Danny Noppert and Keegan Brown were very professional; the performance to down Dimitri van den Bergh was masterful. But this - being the second person to whitewash possibly the most talented player of all time at a World Championship, after Phil Taylor beat a still-developing Van Gerwen 12 years ago - is beyond what even Chisnall could've pictured before stepping up to the oche.
Gary Anderson's win over Dirk van Duijvenbode will draw less acclaim, but deserves a mention for being the surest sign yet that the two-time world champion is showing the form that garnered those titles. Anderson had to ride out an early storm from Van Duijvenbode, but when his opponent's finishing abandoned him, the Scot turned the screw to win five sets on the bounce.
The question is whether the pair can keep up the torrential scoring that saw them reach this semi-final. Anderson struck 36 scores between 131 and 180, per Premium Dart Data; Chisnall managed 37, including 14 maximums. Chisnall, in particular, seemed to find the treble 20 with his first dart more times than he didn't.
An Anderson-Price final, reminiscent of that infamous Grand Slam battle, would be a real headline-maker (especially given Anderson's prickly demeanour recently). Chisnall and Bunting meeting against all odds would be incredible. The best case scenario, of course, is that Sunday's finalists go into that match off the back of an all-time classic semi-final.
2021 PDC World Darts Championship schedule
Saturday January 2
Evening Session (18:00 GMT)
18:15 Stephen Bunting v Gerwyn Price
19:45 Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson