World number three Gerwyn Price and rank outsider Dirk van Duijvenbode will do battle for the right to become World…
World number three Gerwyn Price and rank outsider Dirk van Duijvenbode will do battle for the right to become World Grand Prix champion for the first time in Coventry on Monday.
The duo stand on the brink of a place in the history books as they bid to become only the eighth different player to lift this prestigious trophy since the tournament began in 1998.
A David vs Goliath clash sees three-time televised title winner Price up against a player who had never been beyond the Last 32 stage of a TV tournament prior to his trip to Coventry.
Price has banished his previously poor record in this unique event by surpassing the Quarter-Finals for the first time, with the temporary new venue providing a change of fortunes for the Welshman.
The reigning Grand Slam and World Series Finals champion is appearing in his third televised final of the season, having swept through the bottom half of the draw.
Price dropped just one set en route to the Semis, seeing off Jermaine Wattimena, Kim Huybrechts and Jeffrey de Zwaan without breaking sweat.
However, he was then offered a huge reprieve by Dave Chisnall in an enthralling Semi-Final on Sunday, surviving three match darts to prevail in a sudden death leg.
That result is likely to banish any hint of complacency ahead of this final as ‘The Ice Man’ aims to become the first Welsh winner of the World Grand Prix and move into the world number two spot in the process.
Van Duijvenbode, meanwhile, has enjoyed a spectacular Boylesports World Grand Prix debut, storming into his first major final just nine months after regaining a Tour Card at Qualifying School.
An aubergine farmer by day, Van Duijvenbode kick-started his run with a scrappy 2-1 win over Mensur Suljovic but has not looked back since, defeating both Dimitri van den Bergh and Gary Anderson 3-1 with superb displays.
He then overcame Simon Whitlock 4-1 to become the first debutant to reach the final since the event’s inaugural staging 22 years ago.
The 28-year-old is now assured of a place in next month’s Grand Slam, and having started the tournament as world number 73, would climb to 36th if he were to take the title.
His head-to-head record against Price, however, makes for grim ready, having lost all ten of their previous competitive meetings since 2016.
They include two ranking Semi-Finals this season, both by 7-4 scorelines, and a 10-6 defeat in the Last 32 of the 2018 UK Open – their only previous televised encounter.
The final gets underway from 8pm BST and will be contested over the best of nine 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.
Price: “It’s his first final and I think he’s going to be under a lot more pressure than I am.
“I think I can go on and win it but I’ve got to work hard, hit my doubles and produce my scoring.
“Hopefully I can be a little bit better and pick up that trophy.”
Van Duijvenbode: “I’ve always said that I’m not thinking about winning the tournament, but if I win my next game then I will do.
“I was supposed to be working again on Monday, so I’ll have to call my boss. I’ll still have to work on Tuesday but I enjoy working.
“He said to me after I beat Gary Anderson that he was in tears. It feels so awesome if people enjoy it so much when I win.”