The First Round action continues at the 2020 Boylesports World Grand Prix on Wednesday as more big names aim to…
The First Round action continues at the 2020 Boylesports World Grand Prix on Wednesday as more big names aim to avoid an early exit in Coventry.
The opening night at the Ricoh Arena saw two-time champion James Wade, world number four Michael Smith and Mensur Suljovic among the notable early casualties.
A further nine First Round ties follow on Wednesday with several major champions kicking off their campaigns in the prestigious double-start tournament.
Reigning World Champion Peter Wright launches his latest quest for a maiden Boylesports World Grand Prix title with a clash against debutant Ryan Joyce.
Wright finished runner-up in Dublin two years ago and is looking to add this prestigious trophy to his World Championship and Masters triumphs this season.
The world number two has not lost in the opening round of this tournament since 2016 and will be looking to utilise his vast experience of this tricky double-start format against the Newcastle newcomer.
Joyce secured a landmark first PDC title in the Summer Series, which also earned him a debut in the World Matchplay, but has struggled to replicate that form since and faces a tough ask against the consistent Scot here.
Daryl Gurney enjoyed a ground-breaking moment in the Grand Prix three years ago when he clinched his first major title, and the Northern Irishman will hope to rekindle his love affair with this event albeit at an alternative venue.
Gurney is faced with a tough opener against multiple ranking title winner Joe Cullen – who has won seven of their ten previous meetings.
Cullen is looking to avoid a third consecutive First Round exit in this competition and improve on a below-par display at the World Series Finals which saw him whitewashed by Vincent van der Voort.
Dave Chisnall, a player with impressive pedigree in this event, starts out with a clash against Premier League table-topper Glen Durrant in arguably the most anticipated match of the night.
Chisnall, who is renowned for his clinical scoring power, has stepped up to the mark in this double-start event down the years, reaching the final in both 2013 and 2019.
Chizzy’s run to the final 12 months ago saw him defeat Durrant 4-1 in the Semis, and ‘Duzza’ will be eyeing a dose of revenge at the first hurdle this time around.
The three-time BDO World Champion has now reached five major PDC Semi-Finals and poses a significant threat in this format given his trademark efficiency on the doubles.
World number three Gerwyn Price is aiming to improve on a below-par record in this competition and will hope the change of venue brings about a change of fortunes.
The back-to-back Grand Slam champion has suffered three First Round exits in five previous World Grand Prix appearances, with his best run coming in 2018 when he reached the Quarter-Finals.
Arguably the player of the season so far, Price has picked up five titles, including the recent World Series Finals and the Belgian Championship.
He begins his latest campaign against ‘The Machine Gun’ Jermaine Wattimena – who reached his maiden major Quarter-Final in this event 12 months ago, defeating Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright along the way.
Premier League semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall also looks to build on last year’s run to the Quarter-Finals in Dublin, and ‘The Asp’ opens up against German number two Gabriel Clemens.
Despite his terrific showing in his debut Premier League campaign, Aspinall has suffered early exits in both the UK Open and World Matchplay this year and will be determined to challenge for more major silerware this week.
Clemens is now ranked just one place outside of the top 32 and one behind his fellow countryman Max Hopp and is one of six debutants in this year’s World Grand Prix field.
Another evenly-matched contest on paper sees world number 12 Ian White take on world number 19 Jonny Clayton.
Clayton warmed up for this event in style by reaching the final of the German Championship and is now eyeing a first win at the World Grand Prix at the third time of asking.
White is a two-time Grand Prix quarter-finalist and has been typically consistent away from the TV stage this season, winning a Players Championship event and reaching a further final.
The opening match of a bumper night of fixtures sees 2011 World Grand Prix runner-up Brendan Dolan take on Belgian number two Kim Huybrechts.
Dolan’s defining moment came at the Citywest nine years ago when he produced the first ever double-start nine-darter in a sensational run which ended in defeat to Phil Taylor in the final.
He reached the Semi-Finals a year later and is now making his eleventh World Grand Prix appearance since his debut back in 2004.
Huybrechts was a quarter-finalist in 2016 but has lost in the opening round in his two appearances since, though he boasts a dominant head-to-head record over Dolan with seven wins from their ten previous meetings.
Simon Whitlock and Jeffrey de Zwaan received late call-ups following Tuesday’s news that Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting had tested positive for Covid-19 and were therefore withdrawn from the tournament.
Both will be looking to seize their unexpected chance, with Whitlock firstly taking on 2019 semi-finalist Chris Dobey.
The Australian number one reached the Quarter-Finals of July’s World Matchplay and has excelled over this format, having finished runner-up to Gurney in 2017.
De Zwaan then takes on Tipton thrower Jamie Hughes in the final match of the evening as the young Dutchman aims to reach Round Two for the third consecutive year.
Hughes took Michael van Gerwen to a last-leg decider in his debut appearance last year and has since gone on to reach the Quarter-Finals of the UK Open.
The action gets underway from 6pm BST, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of three 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 2020 Schedule of Play
Wednesday October 7
6.15pm Brendan Dolan v Kim Huybrechts
6.45pm Jonny Clayton v Ian White
7.15pm Dave Chisnall v Glen Durrant
7.45pm Daryl Gurney v Joe Cullen
8.15pm Peter Wright v Ryan Joyce
8.45pm Gerwyn Price v Jermaine Wattimena
9.15pm Nathan Aspinall v Gabriel Clemens
9.45pm Simon Whitlock v Chris Dobey
10.15pm Jamie Hughes v Jeffrey De Zwaan