Sunday night, Luke Humphries and Rob Cross will battle for the title at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton. With that, the tournament has once again gained an all English final, after Michael Smith was too strong for Nathan Aspinall in last year's final.
With this final, there is going to be a new name on the Eric Bristow Trophy anyway. Since 2018, the trophy at the Grand Slam of Darts has carried the name of darts legend Bristow, who passed away the same year.
Route to the final
Luke Humphries has not lost a match all tournament. He won convincingly over Steve Lennon (5-2), Gary Anderson (5-1) and Dirk van Duijvenbode (5-1) in the pool phase. He then also dealt with Ryan Searle (10-7), Gary Anderson (16-14) and James Wade (16-14). In five of his matches, Humphries threw an average of (well) over 100.
Rob Cross had to swallow a defeat in the group stage against Michael van Gerwen (5-4) after missing three match darts, but did pick up wins against Martijn Kleermaker (5-4) and Fallon Sherrock (5-2). After that, 'Voltage' triumphed after a high profile match against Nathan Aspinall (10-8), before also brushing aside Damon Heta (16-6) and Stephen Bunting (16-13).
Tournament centre Grand Slam of Darts 2023: Schedule, all results, TV Guide and prize money breakdown
Previous major finals
For Humphries, it will be his third major final. In 2021, he lost to Wade in the UK Open final. Then the former junior world champion had to wait until this year's World Grand Prix before he was in a major final again. Humphries won that one convincingly by beating Gerwyn Price 5-2, allowing "Cool Hand Luke" to capture a major for the first time.
In that respect, Cross has a lot more experience. The darter from Hastings reached his first major final in his debut year on the Pro Tour at the 2017 European Darts Championship. That one was lost to Michael van Gerwen. After that, Cross did crown his first year on the PDC Pro Tour in sensational fashion with the world title.
In 2019, Cross stood in no less than four major finals. The finals of the UK Open and Premier League Darts were lost, but he did get to lift the trophy at the World Matchplay and the European Darts Championship. In 2020, Cross finished second at the World Series Finals, then the Englishman captured his fourth major title at the 2021 European Darts Championship. However, his last two major finals were lost at the 2022 Players Championship Finals and the 2023 Masters.
It will be the fourteenth meeting between Luke Humphries and Rob Cross between them. The latter managed to win seven of the previous thirteen confrontations and Humphries drew six times.
The momentum, however, lies with Humphries. The current world number four won the last two duels between them. This was at a Euro Tour tournament in Germany in October (6-4 for Humphries) and at the World Series Finals in the Netherlands in September (10-2 for Humphries).
Sunday, Nov. 19
James Wade (89.45) 10-16 (95.80) Luke Humphries
Stephen Bunting (95.34) 13-16 (95.90) Rob Cross
Evening session (from 7 p.m.)
Luke Humphries v Rob Cross