The final remaining places in the Quarter-Finals of the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts are up for grabs in Coventry…
The final remaining places in the Quarter-Finals of the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts are up for grabs in Coventry on Saturday.
Three of four group winners successfully sealed their spot in the Last Eight on Friday, including World Matchplay champion Dimitri van den Bergh and two-time Grand Slam finalist James Wade.
Two multiple winners of this prestigious title are among those looking to join them this evening as the big names collide at the Ricoh Arena.
Gerwyn Price is in the midst of an incredible 14-game unbeaten run in this competition and steps up his quest for a hat-trick of Boylesports Grand Slam titles with a clash against Premier League finalist Nathan Aspinall.
Price has recently added the World Series Finals, World Grand Prix and World Cup of Darts titles to his collection and has continued his love affair with this tournament in an eventful week so far.
The Welshman survived match darts in two of his three group games, narrowly defeating Ryan Joyce in a deciding leg to avoid exiting the event and surrendering his title.
The world number three averaged 106.8 in that 5-4 victory over Joyce and will now aim to sustain that standard over the extended format.
Aspinall finished runner-up in Group H to reach the knock-out phase for the first time and will be encouraged by his recent head-to-head record of three straight wins over Price this year, two of which in the Premier League.
The stand-out tie of the evening sees three-time Grand Slam champion Michael van Gerwen take on two-time finalist Gary Anderson.
Van Gerwen put down a clear statement of intent with three dominant victories to top Group A, twice averaging in excess of 103.
The world number one, who claimed this title in consecutive years from 2015-2017, is out to pick up his first major silverware since the UK Open back in March and affirm his place as top dog going into the World Championship.
The Dutch sensation has not failed to progress beyond the Last Eight stage in this event since 2014 but faces one of his box office rivals in what promises to be a mouth-watering contest.
Anderson has battled his way into the knock-out phase whilst contending with a knee injury, defeating Ryan Searle 5-3 in their Group B shoot-out.
Runner-up in 2011 and 2018, the Flying Scotsman will be determined to get his hands on this prestigious trophy and get one over on his Dutch nemesis – who has won eight of their last nine meetings.
The opening match of the night sees England’s World Cup duo Michael Smith and Rob Cross go head-to-head.
Smith and Cross were beaten by Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton in the final of the World Cup a fortnight ago and have had contrasting fortunes in singles competition since.
Smith went on to win the opening two Winter Series events, while Cross struggled for results, but ‘Voltage’ has dominated this fixture down the years, winning 15 of their 19 previous meetings.
Grand Slam semi-finalist in 2015, Smith stormed to the top of Group C with maximum points, dropping only five legs in wins over Lisa Ashton, Jose De Sousa and Krzysztof Ratajski with three consecutive ton-plus averages.
Cross, meanwhile, clinched second spot in Group D courtesy of his 5-2 win over Luke Humphries in their shoot-out match, maintaining his record of reaching the knock-out phase in all four Grand Slam appearances.
Runner-up in the World Series Finals, Cross has fallen at this hurdle in the Grand Slam in his two most recent attempts and faces a tough task against a player in undoubtedly his best form of the season.
Two players entering uncharted territory in the Grand Slam lock horns as South African star Devon Petersen faces Australia’s Damon Heta.
Petersen has continued his remarkable resurgence in 2020 by topping what was labelled as ‘the group of death’ with consecutive wins over Ian White, Dirk van Duijvenbode and World Champion Peter Wright.
Semi-finalist in the European Championship and winner of a Euro Tour event, ‘The African Warrior’ has landed twelve 180s so far this week, underlining his reputation as one of the sport’s most clinical scorers at present.
Heta, who qualified courtesy of his Autumn Series success, finished runner-up in Group F behind James Wade, having edged out Jermaine Wattimena 5-4 in their decisive fixture.
The 2019 Brisbane Masters champion has been one of the stand-out performers on both floor and stage this year after securing a Tour Card at Qualifying School in January.
The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with Last 16 matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.
Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Schedule
Saturday November 21
7.15pm Michael Smith v Rob Cross
8.15pm Devon Petersen v Damon Heta
9.15pm Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
10.15pm Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall