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Van Gerwen, Wade and Whitlock among star names to clinch Grand Slam knock-out places

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Anderson, Heta, Aspinall and Cross progress to Grand Slam of Darts knock-out phase

Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Day Three preview and order of play: Knock-out hopes hang in the balance

Jamie Shaw in Grand Slam of Darts 18 Nov 2020
Anderson aims to push through the pain barrier (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Four groups draw to a close at the Grand Slam of Darts on Wednesday, with a number of players facing make or break matches in terms of their qualification prospects.

Five players have already booked their place in the knock-out phase in Coventry with a game to spare, while a host of hopefuls are now set for a straight shoot-out.

Day Three of the £550,000 major plays host to four straight shoot-outs, with the respective winners progressing to the Last 16 later in the week.

Gary Anderson, Grand Slam runner-up in 2011 and 2018, has played through the pain barrier so far this week with a knee injury and now faces a crunch clash against Ryan Searle in Group B.

Anderson averaged just 83.6 in a 5-3 win over Adam Gawlas, venting his frustrations in an irate post-match interview, before being thrashed 5-1 by Simon Whitlock with a 90.5 average.

The World Matchplay finalist has never failed to progress from the group stage in 13 previous Grand Slam appearances but faces a tough test under the circumstances against a player he is no stranger to.

Searle pushed Anderson all the way in a seven-set thriller at the World Champion last December and is now eyeing a spot of revenge over his childhood darting hero.

Simon Whitlock will look to clinch top spot in Group B with maximum points by subjecting 18-year-old debutant Adam Gawlas to a third straight defeat.

Whitlock defeated Searle 5-3 in his opener before thrashing Anderson, while 2019 World Youth finalist Gawlas saw his qualification hopes ended by a narrow 5-4 defeat to Searle on Tuesday.

Group F sees debutants Jermaine Wattimena and Damon Heta battle it out for a place in the next round.

Winter Series Order of Merit winner Wattimena thrashed an out of sorts Glen Durrant 5-1 in his opener before being beaten 5-3 by James Wade after leading 2-0.

Aussie ace Heta aims to seal his Last 16 spot (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Heta, winner of an Autumn Series event, has continued his superb debut season on the circuit and will look to follow up Tuesday’s 5-1 rout of Durrant with another strong scoring display here.

Premier League champion Durrant has endured a nightmare tournament so far, averaging just 79 and 89 in his successive defeats, and will look to restore some pride with a win over Wade.

Wade, twice a Grand Slam finalist, is out to wrap up top spot and the £3,500 bonus with victory in what will be only their second televised meeting to date.

Group H sees Premier League finalist Nathan Aspinall take on former World Youth finalist Ricky Evans for the right to join Dimitri van den Bergh in going through.

Aspinall began with a 5-0 whitewash of Wayne Warren before being demolished 5-1 by an in-form Van den Bergh, while Evans recovered from a 5-1 defeat to the Belgian by defeating Warren 5-3.

Van den Bergh has been the stand-out performer of the week so far, setting a new record Grand Slam average of 114.85 and wiring double 12 for a nine-darter, before following that up with an average of 101.

Warren, the reigning BDO World Champion, is still searching for his first Grand Slam win at the sixth attempt but faces an uphill task against the inspired World Matchplay champion.

Former World Champion Rob Cross faces current World Youth Champion Luke Humphries in a straight shoot-out in Group D.

Cross is aiming to qualify for the knock-out phase for a fourth consecutive year, having so far thrashed Justin Pipe 5-1 before slipping to a 5-2 defeat to Dave Chisnall.

Humphries, who famously dethroned Cross at Ally Pally in 2018/19, missed match darts in a 5-4 defeat to Chizzy before reversing that scoreline in his second fixture against Pipe.

Chisnall, the 2014 finalist, is safe in the knowledge that he will be featuring in the next round and will look to secure top spot with maximum points by overcoming the eliminated Pipe.

The action gets underway from 3pm GMT, with Group Stage fixtures to be contested over the best of nine legs.


Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Schedule

Wednesday November 18

Group Stage

Simon Whitlock v Adam Gawlas (B)
Dave Chisnall v Justin Pipe (D)
James Wade v Glen Durrant (F)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Wayne Warren (H)
Jermaine Wattimena v Damon Heta (F)
Gary Anderson v Ryan Searle (B)
Nathan Aspinall v Ricky Evans (H)
Rob Cross v Luke Humphries (D)