Chris Dobey continued his dream debut campaign at the 2019 World Grand Prix with a 3-1 scalp of Gary Anderson to move through to the Quarter-Finals, while Mervyn King also came from behind to defeat James Wade.
Dobey, 29, suffered an agonising last-set defeat to Anderson in last December’s World Championship but gained his revenge ten months later thanks to a superb display at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
The Bedlington ace had his back to the wall after losing the first set in a deciding leg despite a showpiece 134 checkout but recovered from 2-1 down to edge the second and level the contest.
He then finished 90, 60 and 110 to wrap up the third set to nil before extending his dominance by securing three of the next four legs to clinch a memorable victory.
“I’m over the moon to get to the win on the stage against Gary after coming so close last time,” admitted Dobey.
“I think my overall performance was pretty good and I’m delighted to have won. I knew I had the game to beat Gary and I had to keep my cool, and it’s up there with my best performances on stage.
“It means a lot to me. This is a great competition to be in and I like the double-start format – I think it suits my game.
“I’m not here to make the numbers up, I’m in it to win it but I’m not going to look any further forward than the next game.”
Meanwhile, King – the 2012 Grand Prix runner-up – also hit back from a set down to knock out two-time champion Wade by the same scoreline.
Wade, the 2007 and 2010 winner, had claimed the opening set 3-2 as he chased a spot in the Last Eight.
However, the left-hander paid for failing to close out set two as King levelled the tie in a dramatic deciding leg.
King then landed a ten-darter in taking set three 3-2 before sweeping through the next without reply to book a last eight place, following up July’s run to the same stage at the World Matchplay.
“I’m so pleased to be through,” said King, who last reached the Quarter-Finals in Dublin in 2014.
“James is a classic double top and double ten hitter, but I was a little bit more consistent than him.
“I don’t think I played that badly in the first set but I missed a couple of things and he punished me, and I had to dig in just to get back level, but from the third set I started firing.
“I’m not here to make the numbers up – I’m here to win the title and I’ve always said that if Mervyn King turns up, Mervyn King stands a good chance of winning.”
King will now face Michael van Gerwen in a repeat of the 2012 final after the defending champion stormed to an imperious straight sets defeat of Dutch rival Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Van Gerwen had endured some nervous moments during Sunday’s first round win over Jamie Hughes, but produced the highest average of the tournament so far (94.8) as he powered past De Zwaan.
The youngster had defeated Van Gerwen in both the UK Open and World Matchplay in 2018, but was restricted to just three darts at a finishing double during a one-sided contest.
Four-time champion Van Gerwen raced through the first set in little over four minutes, landing two 12-darters and finishing 134 as he asserted his dominance.
De Zwaan took out a 120 finish in the second, only for Van Gerwen to double his advantage with a 3-1 scoreline before repeating that in the third to complete the win.
“I know what I’m capable of and I think played really well,” said Van Gerwen. “I had to because Jeffrey is a good guy and a phenomenally talented player, so you have to put him under pressure to make sure you keep on top of him.
“I’m very confident and I feel really good. With my scoring power and my finishing, I can’t really complain.”
Ian White won through to his first World Grand Prix Quarter-Final since 2015 with a 3-1 win over Michael Smith, who continued his record of failing to win past the Last 16 in Dublin.
White led 2-1 early on, only to miss his chance to close out the set as Smith capitalised on two missed doubles with a 14-darter before winning the deciding leg on double ten.
White, though, opened set two with a 12-darter to spark a run of seven successive legs as he moved into a 2-1 lead in the game and also took the advantage in set four.
Smith hit back to win two of the next three as he saved the set, but the fightback was brief as tops sealed White’s spot in the last eight.
“I’m delighted to win but it was hard work,” said White. “Michael’s my practice partner and a close friend so it’s hard playing someone you know so well.
“I thought I could have won the first set, but I kept myself focused and not many players win seven legs in a row against Michael Smith.
“I wanted to get towards the latter stages to give myself a chance and I’m glad I’m still going. It’s coming up to the end of the year so every major tournament is big and I want to prove to everyone that I can play up there.”
World Grand Prix 2019 Results
Tuesday October 8
James Wade 1-3 Mervyn King
Michael Smith 1-3 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Gary Anderson 1-3 Chris Dobey