Lewis celebrates a superb victory (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Adrian Lewis hit back from the brink to edge out James Wade in a deciding leg in the Last 16 of the 2019 Grand Slam, as Gary Anderson set up a grudge clash with Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen also prevailed.
Lewis was staring defeat in the face at 9-6 down, only to reel off four consecutive legs to complete a stunning fightback and secure a place in a first major ranked Quarter-Final for two and a half years.
The two-time World Champion, who came through the qualifiers to seal his spot in the event, fired in nine maximums and completed the revival with a 110 checkout to continue his impressive resurgence.
“From 9-6 down I was like a madman possessed!” admitted Lewis.
“I was starting to get frustrated with myself because I was thinking ‘where’s my game gone?'”
“I’m so happy to win that match, James and I have got a lot of respect for each other and to be back in a quarter-final is great.
“I didn’t mean to turn the bull down, I thought he was on 181 not 161, I can be a bit dopey sometimes, thankfully it didn’t come back to bite me in the end!”
The two players were locked level after six legs, and after Lewis had finished 85 to lead 4-3, Wade crashed in a sensational 161 checkout in response.
The left-hander then finished 74 and 88 on the bullseye on the way to a 7-4 advantage before moving to within a leg of victory at 9-6.
Lewis, though, dug deep with a 76 checkout for a 12-darter and a further 85 checkout to trail 9-8, and after Wade missed the bullseye for a 161 checkout for the match, ‘Jackpot’ stepped in to force a decider.
The two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist then sealed the comeback in style with a 110 checkout to prompt jubilant celebrations.
Lewis will now face face another old rival – Michael van Gerwen – in the Last Eight after the World Champion came from 6-4 down to defeat Ian White 10-7.
Van Gerwen began the brighter of the pair, breaking early and moving into a 3-1 lead, before a stunning 143 checkout from White brought the match back on throw.
Another ton-plus finish, this time 110, saw White break again and take a 4-3 lead, eventually extending it to 6-4.
This seemed to spark Van Gerwen, who cut a frustrated figure on stage, but the Dutchman then won six of the next seven legs to seal his passage to the Quarter-Finals.
“I didn’t play too well at the start and can only blame myself but I have to give some respect to Ian who did well at the start,” said Van Gerwen, who averaged 101.4.
“I know Ian will always give me a chance, he is a phenomenal player but it is hard to play so well in a long format so I just had to be calm and not make any mistakes.
“My belief is always there, even when I am in a little bit of trouble. This is an important win for me.”
Gary Anderson set up a mouth-watering repeat of the 2018 Grand Slam final against Gerwyn Price after he saw off fellow Scotsman Robert Thornton 10-8 in a hard-fought battle.
A scrappy encounter saw both players struggle to show their best game, with Anderson missing 23 darts at doubles during the match.
Thornton was also left to rue missed opportunities, having taken a 4-1 lead in to the first break only for Anderson to win five on the spin to take the advantage.
The crucial break of throw came in the 17th leg, with the scores tied at 8-8, as Anderson pinned tops to give him the chance to throw for the match.
The 2018 World Matchplay Champion missed five match-darts in a leg that also saw Thornton miss the bullseye to level but it was Anderson who got over the line.
“I felt good again in patches today but every time I play well in practice it’s completely different on the board,” admitted Anderson.
“The way I’m going at the moment I have no idea what’s going to come out but I can guarantee you that I will be doing my absolute best on Saturday night.
“We’ll see how we go but hopefully he brings the best out of me. I’ll be giving everything so let’s see what happens.”
Defending champion Price cruised past Darren Webster to take his place in the Quarter-Finals in Wolverhampton, securing a 10-1 rout with a 98.7 average.
The Welshman afforded his opponent just three attempts at doubles throughout the match and controlled the game from start to finish, landing ten doubles from 15 attempts.
“Darren was a bit flat tonight but I still had a job to do and I’m really glad I played well,” said Price.
“He told me I was ruthless and I take that as a massive compliment because he is a class player.
“I’m really happy to get the job done and be in the quarter-finals,” he added.
Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts 2019 Results
Thursday November 14
James Wade 9-10 Adrian Lewis
Gerwyn Price 10-1 Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Ian White
Gary Anderson 10-8 Robert Thornton