The 2021 Boylesports World Grand Prix enters the Quarter-Final stage in Leicester on Thursday with the reigning champion and a…
The 2021 Boylesports World Grand Prix enters the Quarter-Final stage in Leicester on Thursday with the reigning champion and a host of in-form outsiders looking to remain in contention.
It has proved to be a tale of the unexpected at the Morningside Arena so far this week, with six of the top eight seeds bowing out in the early rounds.
However, a clutch of regular contenders remain in the running for the £110,000 top prize as the unique double-start event enters its business end.
Gerwyn Price is bidding to become only the third player in the 23-year history of the tournament to successfully retain the title, and steps up his pursuit with a clash against Dave Chisnall.
Having lost in the opening round in three of his first five Boylesports World Grand Prix appearances, Price has now seemingly mastered the double-start format and is firm favourite to defend the crown.
The world number one, winner of back-to-back European Tour events last month, began by defeating Michael Smith in straight sets with a 100.8 average, before recovering from a set down to beat Mervyn King 3-1 on Tuesday.
He now faces two-time Grand Prix finalist Chisnall in a repeat of their epic Semi-Final show-down in this event 12 months ago – which went down to a last-leg decider.
Chisnall was left to rue three missed match darts on that occasion and will be out for revenge as he looks to maintain his superb record in this competition.
As well as finishing runner-up in 2013 and 2019, Chizzy has also reached a further two Semi-Finals (2016 & 2020) and has shown true tenacity so far this week in edging past Mensur Suljovic and Ross Smith in last-set deciders.
A first-time semi-finalist is guaranteed on Friday night as Danny Noppert and Ian White face off in a quest to break new ground.
Noppert is the only quarter-finalist yet to drop a set this week, having dispatched fellow Dutchmen Michael van Gerwen and Vincent van der Voort 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.
The former Lakeside finalist, who has an impressive finishing conversion rate of 53 per cent so far, is looking to reach his first PDC major Semi-Final since the Players Championship Finals in 2018.
White, meanwhile, has won through to his third Grand Prix Quarter-Final since 2015 in dramatic fashion, battling past Gary Anderson in a third set decider before recovering from two sets down to defeat Darius Labanauskas in a sudden death leg on Wednesday.
The 51-year-old, who joined the PDC in 2010, reached his sole major Semi-Final to date at the 2019 Players Championship Finals and will be desperate to add to that tally.
Another unmissable contest sees former World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski take on Premier League champion Jonny Clayton.
Ratajski is appearing in his fourth consecutive major ranking Quarter-Final this season and is out to equal his best performance in a PDC major to date, which saw him reach the Semis of the World Matchplay in July.
The Polish star has seen off Premier League stars Nathan Aspinall and Rob Cross en route to this stage and is closing in on a place in the world’s top ten.
Clayton had won just one match in three previous Grand Prix appearances but has seemingly gotten to grips with the double-start format with a double-in rate of 45 per cent and a checkout success of 63 per cent.
The Welsh star has recorded successive averages of 95 in overcoming Callan Rydz and Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa so far this week.
The final match of the night sees Stephen Bunting and Ryan Searle go head-to-head in a repeat of their nail-biting World Championship encounter last December.
Bunting prevailed in a dramatic sudden death leg at Ally Pally but Searle has since tasted success over ‘The Bullet’ on the ProTour.
Bunting, who made the Semi-Finals on his Grand Prix debut in 2014, has defeated two former champions in Daryl Gurney and James Wade so far this week.
Searle, who made his debut 12 months ago, knocked out fifth seed Dimitri van den Bergh in Round One before seeing off Luke Humphries 3-1 with a 170 checkout to his name as he progressed to a first PDC major Quarter-Final.
The action gets under way from 7pm BST, with Quarter-Final matches contested over the best of five sets.
All Sets are the best of five legs and there will be no tie break in any Set. All legs must begin and end with a double, meaning that a player must hit a double before he can begin scoring in each leg.
Boylesports World Grand Prix 2021 Day Five Schedule of Play
Thursday October 7
7.15pm Danny Noppert v Ian White
8.15pm Krzysztof Ratajski v Jonny Clayton
9.15pm Gerwyn Price v Dave Chisnall
10.15pm Stephen Bunting v Ryan Searle