Wade expressed his frustration at the short format (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
James Wade believes the format of the World Grand Prix “should have been improved a long time ago” despite being the third most successful player in the history of the tournament.
Wade claimed Grand Prix glory in 2007 and 2010, while also finishing runner-up in 2014, but has hit out at the short format of the early rounds in the unique double-start major.
First Round matches have been contested over the best of three sets since 2001, with the cut-throat format paving the way for a number of famous upsets, including Phil Taylor’s defeat to Andy Callaby in 2004 and Adrian Gray in 2007 and Michael van Gerwen’s exit to John Henderson in 2017.
Wade defeated Henderson 2-1 in his opening tie at the Citywest Hotel on Sunday to end a run of four consecutive First Round exits, and admitted: “I’ve had no result here for the last four years so tonight was a massive thing for me.
“You get past kindergarten and get the chance to play over the longer format now.
“You get so many players that can trip up and not do as well.
“I personally think it’s a nonsensical format and it should have been improved a long long time ago.
“I don’t think we should be playing this format 12 years later when we’ve proved it doesn’t work for the top players.
“I’m not on about me, I’m on about the likes of Phil Taylor and players like that.
“I think we saw with Phil that he either lost in the First Round or won it, I’m not saying I’m under that pedigree of player but it’s indifferent and that’s what makes it interesting.
“After that first round is over and done with, it’s a relief.”
The number eight seed averaged 86 in a hard-fought win over ‘Hendo’ to set up a Second Round clash with Mervyn King, and added: “I’m over the moon.
“I think he played far better than I thought he would, he did a good job and I was lucky enough to get out of the starting blocks and did enough at the right times.
“If you look into that game a bit closer, it was far closer than the result but I’ll take it.”