The Second Round action draws to a close at the 2022 World Grand Prix in Leicester on Thursday, with two…
The Second Round action draws to a close at the 2022 World Grand Prix in Leicester on Thursday, with two former champions among the star-studded line-up.
Only three of the eight seeded players remain standing in the double-start major at the Morningside Arena, and a host of in-form hopefuls will now look to mount a charge in the top half of the draw.
The stand-out tie of Night Four sees world number one Gerwyn Price take on Masters champion Joe Cullen.
Price is defending his title-winning prize money from 2020 against his Order of Merit total, meaning Peter Wright has provisionally regained the world number one spot, but the Welshman will be out to deny his rival by regaining the trophy this weekend.
Price, who was beaten by Jonny Clayton in last year’s final here, recently claimed the World Series Finals title and was runner-up in July’s World Matchplay.
He began his campaign with a comfortable straight sets win over Martin Schindler and is now targeting a fourth consecutive televised win over Cullen.
Cullen is making only his third appearance at this stage of the event in seven appearances, having dispatched Damon Heta in a deciding set in Round One.
Cullen, who has also claimed Hungarian Trophy glory and two ProTour titles this year, picked up two wins over Price in this year’s Premier League – where he eventually went on to finish runner-up.
Two players to have claimed UK Open glory go head-to-head in the final match of the evening as Danny Noppert faces Nathan Aspinall.
Noppert enjoyed a breakthrough run to the Semi-Finals here 12 months ago, and after opening his major title account in March at the UK Open, also went on to reach the Semi-Finals of the World Matchplay.
The Dutch ace swept aside Gabriel Clemens in straight sets in his opener, while Aspinall held his nerve to edge out fourth seed Michael Smith in a decider.
Aspinall has claimed two Players Championship titles in a superb resurgence in 2022 after battling injury, and is making his first appearance in the Last 16 of this event since 2019.
Daryl Gurney, the 2017 Grand Prix champion, continues his quest for a second crown with a clash against Latvian debutant Madars Razma.
Gurney, who has dropped to 25th in the PDC Order of Merit after a barren spell in televised ranking tournaments, got off and running with an impressive 2-1 victory over European Champion Rob Cross to end a four-year wait for a win in this event.
Razma, meanwhile, enjoyed a 2-1 scalp of Ryan Searle, and the World Cup star is now eyeing a place in a first televised PDC ranking Quarter-Final to continue his push towards to the world’s top 32.
The opening match of the night sees debutant Martin Lukeman take on former UK Open quarter-finalist Ross Smith.
Lukeman, runner-up in the German Darts Grand Prix earlier this year, announced his arrival into this event with a 2-1 scalp of two-time champion James Wade on Tuesday.
Smith shredded the form guide by knocking out Belgian Open runner-up Andrew Gilding in a deciding set to reach the Second Round for the second successive year, and is out to atone for last year’s heartbreak in which he squandered a two-set lead to Dave Chisnall.
The action gets under way from 7pm BST, with Second Round matches to be 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 they can begin scoring in each leg.
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World Grand Prix 2022 Day Four Schedule
Thursday October 6
7.15pm Martin Lukeman v Ross Smith
8.15pm Daryl Gurney v Madars Razma
9.15pm Gerwyn Price v Joe Cullen
10.15pm Nathan Aspinall v Danny Noppert