Van Gerwen celebrates against King in the 2012 final (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The 2019 World Grand Prix reaches its business end in Dublin on Thursday as the eight remaining hopefuls vie to keep their title hopes alive.
A fascinating tournament so far has seen seven of the eight seeded stars crash out and three debutants mount a charge for glory at the first attempt.
One constant, however, is reigning and four-time champion Michael van Gerwen – who remains on course for retain this prestigious title for the first time.
The world number one survived an early scare as he came from a set down to edge out Jamie Hughes in Round One but was in contrastingly ruthless form when he thrashed Dutch compatriot Jeffrey de Zwaan in straight sets with a 95 average on Tuesday.
Four times a Grand Prix champion, Van Gerwen has reached the final in five of his eight appearances, the first of which coming against Mervyn King back in 2012.
He faces Norfolk stalwart King again for a place in the Last Four, with the pair having not seen eye-to-eye throughout the year.
Van Gerwen has won eight of their last nine meetings, including a ProTour Semi-Final in which he accused King of “giving up”, but King exacted his revenge with a 10-6 win at the UK Open and has looked in dangerous form so far this week.
The 53-year-old is appearing in his second successive major Quarter-Final, having seen off Dimitri van den Bergh and James Wade with an impressive display on both starting and finishing doubles.
Dave Chisnall, the only other man left standing to have previously reached a Grand Prix final, aims to continue his resurgent run of form when he faces a red hot Nathan Aspinall.
Chisnall finished runner-up to Phil Taylor in 2013 and appears somewhere close to the form which led him to that final, having followed up his recent nine-darter in the Gibraltar Trophy by dispatching Gerwyn Price and Stephen Bunting for the loss of just one set.
Chisnall edged out Aspinall 7-6 in the Semi-Finals in Gibraltar and will be wary of a revenge mission from the Stockport ace – who is challenging for a third televised title of the year.
Making his Grand Prix debut as world number 12, Aspinall brushed aside Vincent van der Voort in straight sets before twice coming from behind to edge out Danny Noppert 3-2 on Wednesday.
Glen Durrant looks to continue his dream debut run in Dublin by ending the hopes of his stablemate Jermaine Wattimena.
Durrant’s first season as a PDC Tour Card holder continues to go from strength to strength, with two ranking titles to his name and having broken into the world’s top 32 as a result of his exploits this week and his superb run to the Semi-Finals of the World Matchplay.
The reigning Lakeside Champion has had to do it the hard way once again, coming through last-set deciders against both Krzysztof Ratajski and Rob Cross in a star-studded section of the draw.
Wattimena, meanwhile, finds himself in a first major ranking Quarter-Final on the back of wins over two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis and last year’s beaten Grand Prix finalist Peter Wright.
The rapid Dutchman, who represented the Netherlands in this year’s PDC World Cup, faces the biggest match of his career as he aims to keep his Dublin dream alive and move a step closer to a place in the world’s top 16.
The opening match of the night sees world number ten Ian White take on dark horse Chris Dobey and both players bid to break new ground at the Citywest.
White is appearing in his second Grand Prix Quarter-Final four years on from his first and has progressed to this stage of a ranked major for the first time since March 2017.
Twice a winner on the European Tour this season, ‘Diamond’ has sparkled in seeing off Joe Cullen and Michael Smith so far this week and will be determined not to let this opportunity for a maiden major crown slip.
Dobey, meanwhile, has made up for lost time in his debut campaign, dumping out Ricky Evans in straight sets before defeating his former mentor Gary Anderson 3-1 in a high quality encounter.
The Bedlington ace is now aiming to progress beyond this stage of a ranked major for the first time after two previous Quarter-Final runs.
The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of five sets (best of five legs per set).
World Grand Prix 2019 Day Five preview and order of play: Last Eight lock horns on the Emerald Isle
The 2019 World Grand Prix reaches its business end in Dublin on Thursday as the eight remaining hopefuls vie to…
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