The second set of group fixtures take centre stage across a further two sessions at the 2020 Grand Slam of…
The second set of group fixtures take centre stage across a further two sessions at the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts in Coventry on Tuesday.
The tone has been set for a fixating nine days at the Ricoh Arena after a dramatic opening day which featured a record average, upsets and a touch of controversy.
Monday’s winners will be looking to all but seal their place in the knock-out phase with a game to spare by following suit in their second group fixture.
The performance of the opening day undoubtedly belonged to Dimitri van den Bergh as he set a new Grand Slam record average of 114.85 in his 5-1 rout of Ricky Evans.
Van den Bergh, who also wired double 12 for his second Grand Slam nine-darter, now looks to take a huge step towards knock-out qualification by overcoming Premier League finalist Nathan Aspinall.
Aspinall made the perfect start to his Group H campaign by whitewashing Wayne Warren 5-0 to top the table and will be out to avenge his defeat to Van den Bergh in the First Round of July’s World Matchplay.
The other clash in Group H sees former European Championship quarter-finalist Ricky Evans aiming to inflict more misery on BDO World Champion Wayne Warren – who averaged just 70 in his first televised outing since January.
Gerwyn Price survived a significant scare from two-time Women’s World Champion Mikuru Suzuki last night to edge over the line a 5-4 winner, and now faces his World Cup winning team-mate Jonny Clayton.
Price watched Suzuki squander four match darts in the deciding leg before breathing a huge sigh of relief, and the defending champion will now look to restore normality with a strong display against his close friend and compatriot.
Clayton’s first televised title came alongside Price in Salzburg last week to secure his spot in this competition, and he began with a narrow 5-4 victory over Ryan Joyce, sealed with a 116 checkout.
Joyce will be braced for another tough test as he takes on Japanese star Suzuki – who landed checkouts of 135 and 116 in a superb showing in her first televised tournament for ten months.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Michael van Gerwen needed just under nine minutes to whitewash Adam Hunt 5-0 with a 105.8 average and will look to pick up from where he left off when he faces German ace Gabriel Clemens.
Van Gerwen is vying for his first televised title since the UK Open in March and will aim to do so by progressing as group winner and sending out a statement of intent to his rivals.
Clemens made a statement of his own by defeating in-form Joe Cullen 5-2 with a 99.9 average and two ton-plus finishes and is aiming to finish top of his group for the second successive year.
Cullen, winner of the fifth Winter Series event on Saturday, aims to dust himself down and build on Monday’s solid 99 average when he faces North East debutant Hunt.
Group B sees two-time Grand Slam finalist Gary Anderson take on a resurgent Simon Whitlock in the afternoon session.
Anderson, who has been struggling with a knee injury in recent days, averaged just 83 in a 5-3 win over Adam Gawlas and vented his frustrations in an irate post-match interview, appearing to accuse his opponent of “cheating”.
Runner-up in July’s World Matchplay, Anderson defeated Whitlock 16-12 in the Quarter-Finals that week but now faces the rejuvenated Aussie over a much shorter distance.
Whitlock, who came through last week’s Tour Card holder qualifier to reach this event, overcame Ryan Searle 5-3 in his opener.
Searle will look to bounce back from that defeat when he faces Czech youngster Gawlas in a must-win game for both players.
Glen Durrant also faces a crucial clash in terms of his knock-out qualification hopes as he takes on 2019 Brisbane Masters winner Damon Heta.
Premier League champion Durrant, who missed the European Championship due to a positive covid test, averaged just 79 on a day to forget as he went down 5-1 to Jermaine Wattimena.
Heta, meanwhile, was beaten 5-2 by an inspired James Wade on his Grand Slam debut and will be keen to regain the form which led him to a Winter Series final last week.
Wade, twice a Grand Slam finalist, averaged 102.5 in his opening salvo and will look to continue in that vein when he meets Winter Series Order of Merit winner Wattimena.
Rob Cross looks to follow up his encouraging start when he takes on Dave Chisnall in Group D.
Three-time major winner Cross thrashed the returning Justin Pipe 5-1 in the opening match of the tournament, while Chizzy survived match darts to edge past Luke Humphries.
World Youth Champion Humphries will look to put that disappointment swiftly behind him by picking up two points at the expense of Pipe – who is making his first appearance in this event since 2013.
Elsewhere, world number 14 Krzysztof Ratajski takes on PDC Women’s Series winner Lisa Ashton, with both bidding to recover from opening day defeats.
Ratajski was beaten 5-4 by Portugal’s Jose De Sousa, while Ashton went down 5-1 to Michael Smith, with De Sousa and Smith now set to contest what promises to be a heavy-scoring thriller.
Devon Petersen landed six 180s in his win over Ian White in Group E and now comes up against World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Van Duijvenbode marked his Grand Slam debut with a last-leg victory over Peter Wright, with the World Champion looking to keep his qualification hopes alive by denying fellow top 16 star White.
The action gets underway from 1pm GMT, with Group Stage fixtures to be contested over the best of nine legs.
Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Schedule
Tuesday November 17
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Ricky Evans v Wayne Warren (H)
Luke Humphries v Justin Pipe (D)
Ryan Searle v Adam Gawlas (B)
Glen Durrant v Damon Heta (F)
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock (B)
James Wade v Jermaine Wattimena (F)
Rob Cross v Dave Chisnall (D)
Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh (H)
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Krzysztof Ratajski v Lisa Ashton (C)
Joe Cullen v Adam Hunt (A)
Ryan Joyce v Mikuru Suzuki (G)
Peter Wright v Ian White (E)
Devon Petersen v Dirk van Duijvenbode (E)
Michael van Gerwen v Gabriel Clemens (A)
Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton (G)
Michael Smith v Jose De Sousa (C)