The Quarter-Finals of the 2020 World Grand Prix take centre stage in Coventry on Saturday as a mix of decorated…
The Quarter-Finals of the 2020 World Grand Prix take centre stage in Coventry on Saturday as a mix of decorated stars and in-form underdogs aim to continue their title pursuits.
The unique double-start tournament has already provided its fair share of shocks and drama across the opening two rounds, now the big guns aim to make their move at the business end.
Each half of the draw contains just one seed, though half of the remaining field have experience of appearing in a Boylesports World Grand Prix final.
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen looks to extend his unbeaten run in this competition to 13 games by gaining revenge on 2017 finalist Simon Whotlock.
Van Gerwen was thrashed 11-4 by ‘The Wizard’ in the Last 16 of July’s World Matchplay, ending a run of 15 consecutive head-to-head wins.
The world number one has endured a below-par season by his standards, missing out on the Premier League play-offs and suffering several early exits, but is looking to add this trophy to his UK Open crown back in March.
Van Gerwen has mastered the double-start format ever since securing his first major title in Dublin eight years ago, reaching the final in six of his last eight appearances.
He held his nerve to deny Krzysztof Ratajski in a deciding set in Round One before dispatching Devon Petersen 3-0 despite multiple missed set darts from the South African.
Whitlock, meanwhile, has grasped his unexpected opportunity with both hands this week, defeating Chris Dobey with a 101 average before coming through a 25-leg marathon to edge out Mervyn King 3-2.
A late replacement for Adrian Lewis, Whitlock is now back among the world’s top 16 and is eyeing a second successive scalp of MVG in a major tournament.
The opening match of the night sees 2016 Grand Prix finalist Gary Anderson take on dangerous debutant Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Anderson has continued his consistent record in behind closed doors events, having previously won the 2018 UK Open and finished runner-up in this year’s World Matchplay.
The two-time World Champion is yet to drop a set this week, having swept aside Rob Cross and Danny Noppert, and will look to remain on a collision course with MVG in the Semi-Finals.
Van Duijvenbode has enjoyed a fine debut so far, overcoming Mensur Suljovic 2-1 and World Matchplay champion Dimitri van den Bergh 3-1 to reach his first major Quarter-Final.
The confident Dutchman, an aubergine farmer by day, is hoping to become the pick of the crop in Coventry this weekend and is gearing up for the biggest match of his career to date.
World number three Gerwyn Price looks to book his place in a first World Grand Prix Semi-Final at the expense of Dutch talent Jeffrey de Zwaan.
Price is appearing in only his second Quarter-Final in this event but appears to be producing his best form in the double-start format to date, having swept aside Jermaine Wattimena and Kim Huybrechts without dropping a set.
The reigning Grand Slam and World Series Finals champion is bidding to reach his sixth Semi-Final in his last seven major ranking tournament appearances.
De Zwaan finds himself in a first televised Quarter-Final since the European Championship 12 months ago following wins over Jamie Hughes and Gabriel Clemens.
Like Whitlock, The Black Cobra has benefitted from a late call-up to the event following Stephen Bunting’s positive Covid test, and has seized his opportunity in style so far.
Perhaps the most closely-matched tie of the night sees two-time Grand Prix finalist Dave Chisnall take on European Matchplay champion Joe Cullen.
Chisnall pulled off a remarkable fightback from two sets down to defeat Ryan Joyce on Friday, surviving seven match darts in the process.
After averaging 102.8 in a straight sets rout of Glen Durrant in Round One, ‘Chizzy’ will be keen to make a brighter start again here as he looks to continue his superb run of consistency in this event.
Cullen has broken new ground by reaching his first Grand Prix Quarter-Final on the back of epic deciding leg victories over Daryl Gurney and Jonny Clayton.
The world number 21 is now eyeing a first major Semi-Final in two years and will look to do so with room to spare after his nail-biting passage to the Last Eight so far.
The action gets underway from 7pm BST, with Quarter-Final 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 he can begin scoring in each leg.
BoyleSports World Grand Prix 2020 Schedule of Play
Saturday October 10
7.15pm Dirk van Duijvenbode v Gary Anderson
8.00pm Dave Chisnall v Joe Cullen
8.45pm Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
9.30pm Gerwyn Price v Jeffrey de Zwaan