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De Sousa reaches first major Quarter-Final at the Grand Slam as Van den Bergh, Wade and Whitlock also progress

Jamie Shaw in Grand Slam of Darts 21 Nov 2020
Jose De Sousa celebrates (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Jose De Sousa progressed to his first televised Quarter-Final after a dramatic victory over Dave Chisnall at the Grand Slam of Darts in Coventry.

De Sousa created a further slice of history by becoming the first Portuguese player to reach a PDC major Quarter-Final, less than two years after joining the PDC.

The European Grand Prix winner stormed into an 8-2 lead over Chisnall, only to be pegged back to just 8-7, before steadying the ship to close out the next two legs for victory.

“This is a dream for me,” said De Sousa. “I’m in the Grand Slam for the first time and in the quarter-finals, so it’s amazing.

“It was a strange game, but I’m happy that I won. I started much better than Chizzy and I punished him, then I missed a little bit and he punished me, and at the end I came strong again.”

A see-saw game saw Chisnall take the opening two legs before De Sousa claimed eight in a row to move within touching distance of the winning line.

Chisnall, though, regained his range on the doubles to take five consecutive legs in reply as he cut the gap to just one leg, but crucially missed one dart at double 18 to level in leg 18.

De Sousa hit the same double to lead 9-7, before pinning double 12 to break new ground.

“It’s the best year of my life in darts,” he added. “For me it is not a surprise, but for many people maybe it is. My confidence is getting better and better and I’m starting to play like the top players.”

Dimitri Van den Bergh’s bid to win a second televised title of 2020 continued with another impressive display as he raced past Jonny Clayton 10-3 with a 103 average and eight 180s.

The World Matchplay champion landed three 12-darters and a 13-dart leg in a high-quality opening as he created a 5-2 cushion to move halfway towards the quarter-finals.

Clayton hit back in leg eight, but back-to-back 14-darters for Van den Bergh were followed by a 13-dart leg as he moved 9-3 up, before sealing his place in the last eight with a 110 checkout.

“So far it’s going very well and I’m really proud,” said Van den Bergh, who now plays Gerwyn Price or Nathan Aspinall.

“I feel like I played a terrific game from the start until after the second break – I kept Jonny under pressure and I was phenomenal in parts.

“I felt that here and there I could be a little more focused, but I’m really happy to be in another quarter-final. I’m on a winning streak and I want to keep this going.

“I’m buzzing. I’m really happy – inside I’m having explosions of happiness. I’m dreaming about winning this and I hope I can make my dreams come true again.”

Two-time Grand Slam finalist James Wade booked his place in the Last Eight with a commanding 10-4 win over Ian White.

White held his own during the early exchanges, landing two 13-darters as he shared the first six legs, but three misses in leg eight allowed Wade to pull two legs clear for the first time at 5-3.

White replied by finishing 85 on the bull, but Wade pulled clear with a 96 finish and an 11-darter in a run of five straight legs to ensure a first Grand Slam quarter-final since 2016.

“I’m really happy,” said Wade. “I’m happy to move forwards and I still know I can win tournaments.

“Ian missed quite a few trebles at the wrong times and doubles at the wrong times and gave me way too many opportunities, but I’ll take them if they’re there.”

Simon Whitlock reached the Quarter-Finals for a fourth time with a 10-6 defeat of Adam Hunt to bring the debutant qualifier’s run in Coventry to an end.

The Australian’s strong form in televised events continued as he led throughout against Hunt, who hit back from 2-0 down to 3-2 but paid for four missed doubles to level the tie in leg six.

Hunt did take out 112 to pull back to 4-3, and after Whitlock finished 116 the youngster checked out 70 to move back to within a leg again, but Whitlock pulled clear to close out the win five of the next seven for victory.

“It was a tough match but I made it tough for myself, I didn’t show the form I have recently,” said Whitlock. “I didn’t feel good and I was really nervous, but I’ve got through it.

“I tried as hard as I could but Adam kept coming back at me. I battled away and got the win, but I’ll have to play better in the next match.”

Whitlock will now play either Michael van Gerwen or Gary Anderson, and added: “If I play like I have done, I can beat either of them. I have to perform and I’ll be better than I was tonight.”

WATCH THE GRAND SLAM OF DARTS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Results

Friday November 20

Second Round

Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-3 Jonny Clayton
James Wade 10-4 Ian White
Simon Whitlock 10-6 Adam Hunt
Jose De Sousa 10-7 Dave Chisnall