Who’s going to be throwing for the World Grand Prix semi-finals tonight?
The PDC World Grand Prix has thrown up some surprises since its opening night on Sunday, October 6th at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
Chris Dobey defeated his mentor Gary Anderson during his second round match. The debutant at this competition got his revenge and turned around a one set deficit on his arch-rival, who had defeated him just last December at the World Championship.
He’ll be full of confidence going into the quarter-finals after beating a player of the calibre of Gary Anderson. Dobey will go on to play Ian White, an accomplished player who is two decades older. Will Ian's experience get the better of Chris, or will Chris’s youthful confidence take him through to the semi-finals?
Reigning world champion Michael van Gerwen, who beat Peter Wright comfortably in last year’s final, survived a close call in his first-round match of the BoyleSports World Grand Prix against Jamie Hughes. The formidable four-time World Grand Prix winner overturned Jamie’s first set to win 2-1. Since then Michael has upped his game and quickly dispatched Jeffrey de Zwaan by winning 3-0 and stamping his authority on the game.
He will surely have his sights on the tournament’s £110,000 winner’s prize money and to keep control of his world champion status this year. The next step towards that prize is to progress past Mervyn King, who beat James Wade 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Dave Chisnall continued with an emphatic win on Wednesday night as he comfortably discarded Stephen Bunting with a 3-0 victory. Even though Bunting was up by 2-0 in the first set, Chisnall took up the challenge and beat him 3-2, and from then on it was plain shooting for the on-form player. He will go on, full of confidence, to play UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall in the quarters, who progressed after a close result against Danny Noppert.
Glen Durrant just edged Rob Cross with a 3-2 win. In a closely-fought and tense match, Durrant took advantage of Cross’s missed doubles and went home with hopes of progressing even further in the tournament. He’ll be going on to play Jermaine Wattimena on Thursday night, after the teary-eyed Dutchman gave an emotional farewell to Peter Wright. Wattimena sealed the deal in the fourth set with an applaudable score of 145, which saw off Wright after a feisty fightback.
So only time will tell who will show their skill and tenacity to advance to the semi-finals after Thursday’s matches at the Citywest Convention Centre. With accomplished champions such as Aspinall and van Gerwen on the board, as well as a few debutants in the televised finals, can there be room for an upset? We’ll have to wait till Thursday night to find out, but we can be sure that at this level there’s no room for luck and the quarter-finalists will have to pull through their nerves and the pressure to hit the right spots.
In darts, of course, the numbers are not placed in order. It is designed this way to reduce the element of chance and encourage accurate shots. Let's take the number 7 and 13, two of the most superstitious numbers in the history of gaming. Low-scoring 7 is placed next to high scoring 16 and 19, while high-scoring 13 is placed next to low-scoring 4 and 6. Therefore the dart finalists on Thursday will have to be at the top of their game to avoid those low numbers and use their precision to progress to the semi-finals of this gripping World Grand Prix darts tournament in Dublin.
Will van Gerwen be able to keep up his dominance during this competition, or will another step up to the mark? Follow the competition on Thursday night, which kicks off with Ian White versus Chris Dobey.
Here are Thursday’s quarter-final fixtures which begin at 7pm (BST):
Ian White v Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall v Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen v Mervyn King
Glen Durrant v Jermaine Wattimena