Dennis Priestley believes Gary Anderson is “at the end of his tether with darts” and has ruled the Scotsman out…
Dennis Priestley believes Gary Anderson is “at the end of his tether with darts” and has ruled the Scotsman out of winning the World Grand Prix.
Two-time World Champion Priestley has shared his predictions ahead of this year’s double-start major with tournament sponsors Boylesports.
The Yorkshireman, who was a three-time semi-finalist and an ever-present in the tournament from 1998-2010, says he does not consider Anderson a title threat in Leicester.
“I could rule Gary Anderson out of winning it I’m afraid. I think he’s at the end of his tether with darts,” said Priestley.
“I think Peter Wright will probably win it because it’s one on his CV that he is yet to win.
“It’s not like when I was playing when you could really pick a winner but it’ll be one of the favourites.
“You can’t discard Michael van Gerwen or Michael Smith. Dave Chisnall also comes into the discussion now too after winning the Belgian Open.”
Anderson has been handed a formidable First Round tie against five-time Grand Prix champion Michael van Gerwen – who has picked up the Premier League and World Matchplay titles this season.
The Flying Scotsman finished bottom of the Premier League and suffered a First Round exit at the World Matchplay in July.
The world number nine is under pressure going into the business end of the season, with £200,000 in prize money to defend against his ranking from his run to the final of the World Championship two years ago.
Meanwhile, Gerwyn Price claimed Grand Prix glory for the first time in 2020 before being denied in the final by Jonny Clayton 12 months later.
Priestley believes the Welshman has all the attributes needed to potentially dominate the sport in years to come.
He added: “Gerwyn Price can be anything he wants to be; he’s got the full package. He’s fit, has age on his side and there’s nothing stopping him from dominating the sport.”
“Darts is the strongest it’s ever been. Previously, nine times out of ten, Phil Taylor would win tournaments and you had the same with Michael van Gerwen for a while, whereas now we’re sat here struggling to pick a winner for the Grand Prix.
“Everyone else has now caught up and can play to 100 averages. The reason why things have changed is that these top players are having stiff competition every week and when I was playing in the early 90s you’d go four months waiting to play top-class darts again.
“Money has also changed the quality of darts. It’s a big drive for people to practise a lot more and that’s why we’re seeing the averages creep up.”
The 2022 Boylesports World Grand Prix takes place from October 3-9 at the Morningside Arena, with a record prize fund of £600,000 up for grabs.