Nathan Aspinall and Michael van Gerwen will collide in the final of the 2022 World Grand Prix after overcoming Gerwyn…
Nathan Aspinall and Michael van Gerwen will collide in the final of the 2022 World Grand Prix after overcoming Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright in their respective Semi-Finals.
The first of two contrasting contests saw Aspinall hold off a late fightback to deny 2020 champion Price with a 4-2 success to move into his first Grand Prix final.
Aspinall had taken a six-week break from the sport following the World Championship last December to undergo treatment for a serious wrist injury.
However, the tenacious Stockport thrower continued his remarkable revival by ending Price’s quest for a third consecutive World Grand Prix final appearance in style.
Aspinall began the brighter and landed a 14-darter and a 113 finish as he claimed the opening set 3-1 in front of a sell-out crowd in Leicester.
Price finished 121 on the bull for a 12-darter on his way to the second set, but lost the third as Aspinall fired in a 13-dart leg as he moved ahead again in the match.
The fourth set was the first to go to a deciding leg as the opening four legs went with throw, but two missed darts at double 16 from Price allowed Aspinall in to land double five as he moved 3-1 up in the tie.
Aspinall then moved to the brink of victory in set five, leading 2-1 before Price levelled, and when the Stockport ace missed a match dart at double 16, the 2020 winner pounced with a 117 checkout to snatch the set and keep his hopes alive.
Price then took out 107 and 127 in successive legs to come from behind to lead in the sixth leg, but missed doubles allowed Aspinall in to level before a 13-darter saw him clinically close out the win.
“To be in the World Grand Prix final, I’m absolutely on cloud nine,” said Aspinall, who landed a clinical 56% of his finishing doubles in the tie.
“It means so much. I’ve put so much work in since my injury and worked so hard. Finally, I’m back in the final of a major and I’m buzzing.
“I think I should have won the game 4-1 but it wasn’t to be – nerves took their toll on me and Gezzy, when he needed to, took some amazing shots out.
“I thought he was going to kick on and his double tops were going to start going, but it just didn’t happen; I have no idea why and I’m thankful that I won.”
Five-time World Grand Prix champion Van Gerwen stormed into the final with a ruthless whitewash of Wright, winning 12 legs from their 13 in total.
Van Gerwen landed an audacious 167 checkout in the first leg of the match and stamped his dominance by winning the first set without the World Champion having a dart at a finishing double.
He also finished 94 and 98 to take command in set two, before punishing misses from Wright to double his lead in the tie.
Van Gerwen extended his winning streak to eight legs with checkouts of 67 and 54, before Wright finally got off the mark by taking out 73 to pull back to 2-1 in the third set.
The Scot, though, paid for missing his chance to level the set as Van Gerwen closed out the set to close in on a seventh appearance in the final.
He then finished 124 to open the fourth set, landed double 16 to move 2-0 up and punished further misses from Wright to seal victory on tops.
“I think Peter really underperformed, I think his darts were absolute crap and that made me win this game, it was quite easy to be fair,” said Van Gerwen.
“He’s been getting away with murder in the last few games. He’s a phenomenal player and I’ve got a lot of respect for him, but he needs to shut his mouth and just throw his darts, that’s where his strength is.
“When he talks too much, that’s only going to put him off and everyone knows that, but he never learns.”
Van Gerwen has won the Premier League and World Matchplay this year, and has recovered from his own wrist surgery to return to top form and silence his doubters.
“I don’t have to justify myself,” he added. “Everyone knows what I’m capable of, and when Michael is there they’re all scared.
“I have to win my games and I hope I can keep performing like this tomorrow as well.
“In winning the Premier League I didn’t play my A-game, and I didn’t really play my A-game in the World Matchplay but I still won it. Now I think I’ve played some decent darts and I’m really happy for myself.”
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World Grand Prix 2022 Day Six Results
Saturday October 8
Gerwyn Price 2-4 Nathan Aspinall
Peter Wright 0-4 Michael van Gerwen
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