Wayne Mardle on why he is backing Dave Chisnall to win his maiden TV major as well as Gary Anderson's chances and a possible nine-darter; We're back for the double-in, double-out World Grand Prix at the Morningside Arena in Leicester from October 2-8 - live on Sky Sports
Monday 2 October 2023 17:21, UK
"I normally go Michael van Gerwen in this but he hasn't won it enough times to make me confident" - Instead Wayne Mardle is backing Dave Chisnall to win the World Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports.
Chisnall is twice a runner-up at the double-in, double-out tournament, with the St Helens thrower always the bridesmaid when it comes to major TV finals.
He has also finished as runner-up at the Grand Slam of Darts in 2014, the Masters and Players Championship Finals in 2015, and lost out to Joe Cullen in the Masters final last year.
'Chizzy' did celebrate his second PDC ranking title in the space of five days with a sensational 8-3 victory against Luke Humphries in Thursday's Players Championship 23 decider in Barnsley making him one for the form players heading into this year's Grand Prix at Leicester's Morningside Arena.
"I normally go Van Gerwen in this but he hasn't won it enough times to make me confident," Mardle told Sky Sports. "He has won it four times in the last seven or eight years and six times overall so you have to factor him in. He is the reigning champion.
"When they are all playing well, let's not beat around the bush, he is the best player on the planet.
"I think he has got a really hard draw though. Josh Rock is going to be difficult, then if he gets through that, the winner of Chris Dobey or Dimitri Van Den Bergh is going to be difficult.
"Then he has got Jonny Clayton, Ross Smith, Joe Cullen, Mike de Decker.
"That mini-section of eight players is absolutely awful and if he gets through to the semi-final, I think he will play Chizzy and this is one of his favourite events and he has been playing well."
"My actual eventual winner is going to be Dave Chisnall. I like his draw. He will beat Luke Woodhouse then he will play Luke Humphries potentially in the second round which is a task for everyone," Mardle said.
"But I like Chizzy at the Grand Prix. He has got a great game for it - he is good at tops, he hits lots of big scores and he can always get himself back into a leg.
"There is always that 'is he going to get over the line?' But look at how many finals he reaches. I am a believer and if he keeps giving himself opportunities, he will take one eventually.
"When you look down the 32 players, it is incredible. The standard is ludicrous."
"The format is a rhythm-wrecker, it is a routine-ruiner - this is what double-start, double-finish does. The way you have always played the game just gets changed for one week of the year and it does not agree with him," said Mardle, a quarter-finalist at the Grand Prix in 2005.
"He has never been beyond the last 16 and he has only won two games here since 2012 - it is an appalling record.
"But has he ever been better as a darts player? I will keep reserved about his chances because he could win it.
"These guys are so good on their day that you can't say they can't achieve."
"I think Gary Anderson has a chance," believes Mardle. "James Wade is world class but he is just not playing well.
"Then Barney (Raymond van Barneveld) is a bit of an enigma at the moment. He can beat anyone and he can lose to anyone.
"From those stalwarts of the game I think Anderson has the best game of them right now. It would not surprise me if he went on a run.
"I think he realised he was on the slide and he didn't like it. I think he may have also realised that he has still got the game to win.
"Once you realise you have, you start to believe that a little bit more. His talent has never been in question. It shows application and when he does apply himself, like James Wade and Barney, they are absolute champions.
"I just think Anderson's standard right now is right up there with the very, very best."
Even though he has shown no form, you can't dismiss him. If I am not dismissing the debutantes then you can't dismiss anyone. It is all on the day with these guys now.
"I think a nine-darter will probably be missed on the bullseye. Someone will give themselves a decent chance but it is so difficult. Believe it or not, 160 to start is actually more difficult than hitting a 180," explained Mardle.
"It is really different and it can be a difficult task for some because all you are thinking about is this is not what I normally do.
"Like we said about Smith, can you imagine him having this record in the World or the Grand Slam or the Matchplay? No! I do believe that is down to the double start.
"It is when you start missing and that is when it becomes difficult, it becomes taxing, and it becomes that disaster of a tournament for you."
We're back for the double in, double out World Grand Prix Darts at the Morningside Arena in Leicester from October 2-8 - live on Sky Sports. Stream the World Grand Prix and more with NOW for £21 a month for six months