World Grand Prix 2018 Semi-Finals preview and order of play: Final four lock horns in Dublin

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 5 Oct 2018
Suljovic celebrates against Wright (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Four of the world’s top six players face off for the right to reach the 2018 World Grand Prix final in Dublin on Friday.

Despite the notorious unpredictability of the double-start format, the cream has risen to the top at the Citywest Hotel this week with four Premier League stars left in the running for glory.

Daryl Gurney is bidding to become only the second player (behind Phil Taylor) ever to successfully defend this prestigious title and looks to take a huge step towards doing so by dousing a red hot Michael van Gerwen.

Gurney is appearing in his first major televised Semi-Final since the European Championship 12 months ago and has put up a superb title defence so far.

The Northern Irishman swept past John Henderson in successive sets before battling past Dutch debutant Ron Meulenkamp 3-2 in the Last 16.

He then produced a devastating display of finishing to record an emphatic 3-0 victory over an out of sorts Gary Anderson - who accused Gurney of "mumbling" during in the contest as the pair exchanged words at the close of play.

Like so many, Gurney has struggled to contain the green machine in recent years, winning just two of their 19 previous meetings, though he did hold MVG to a draw in this year's Premier League.

Van Gerwen is back on the stage where he made his first significant breakthrough six years ago, winning his first major title to pave the way for an unprecedented spell of dominance.

The world number one has banished last year's shock First Round exit by storming into the latter stages for the loss of just one set.

After powering past Steve Lennon and Darren Webster for the loss of just one leg, Van Gerwen recorded the highest average of the tournament so far (101.54) in denying a resurgent Dave Chisnall 3-1 in a high quality Quarter-Final.

The Premier League champion is vying for his fourth Grand Prix crown and what would be a first major televised ranking title since last November's Players Championship Finals.

His most recent meeting with Gurney resulted in a 10-7 victory in the group stage of the Champions League, stretching his unbeaten run against the world number five to eleven games.

The opening clash of the evening sees world number two Peter Wright and Mensur Suljovic collide in a major Semi-Final for the second this season.

Suljovic came out on top 17-13 to reach the final of the World Matchplay in July and is now looking to make it third time lucky in his quest to reach a World Grand Prix final.

The Austrian has lost out in the Semi-Finals here in 2015 and 2017 but has been prolific on both starting and finishing doubles this week and has admitted for the first time that he believes he can win the tournament.

The world number six swept aside James Wade and Ian White without dropping a set before coming through a hard-fought battle with Gerwyn Price in a decider on Thursday night.

He has won nine of his 16 previous meetings with Wright, crucially reeling off five victories on the spin this year.

Wright is appearing at this stage of the Grand Prix for the first time, having seen off Steve West and Jermaine Wattimena to nil before fending off a gallant fightback from James Wilson to edge through 3-2. 

The former UK Open champion has maintained his incredible record in televised competition this year by making it ten consecutive Semi-Final appearances on the big stage.

The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with matches to be contested over the best of seven sets.

All Sets are the best of five legs and here will be no tie-break in any Set. All legs must begin and end with a double, meaning that a player must hit a double before he can begin scoring in each leg.


Unibet World Grand Prix 2018 Schedule


Friday October 5 

Semi-Finals

7.15pm Peter Wright v Mensur Suljovic
8.45pm Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney


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World Grand Prix 2018 Semi-Finals preview and order of play: Final four lock horns in Dublin

Four of the world’s top six players face off for the right to reach the 2018 World Grand Prix final in Dublin on Friday.

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