Gary Anderson upsets Gerwyn Price while there were wins for Josh Rock, James Wade and a red-hot Luke Humphries; Watch the 17th staging of the Grand Slam of Darts at the WV Active Aldersley all this week - live on Sky Sports
Thursday 16 November 2023 07:35, UK
Gary Anderson delivered a vintage performance to knock out three-time winner Gerwyn Price 10-6 and reach the last eight of the Grand Slam of Darts.
Anderson, a two-time runner-up at the Grand Slam, stole the headlines after prevailing in a repeat of the pair's infamous 2018 final defying eight 180s and a 103 average from Price to continue his bid for an elusive Grand Slam crown on a high-quality night of action in Wolverhampton.
Price - who registered consecutive 110 and 112 averages in the round-robin phase - drew first blood with a 14-dart hold, only for Anderson to seize the early initiative with a run of three straight legs.
The Welshman responded to restore parity at three apiece, only for 'The Flying Scotsman' to win four of the next five legs to regain control - sparked by a superb 12-dart break in leg seven.
Anderson maintained his charge by crashing in consecutive maximums to stretch his lead to 8-4, although Price refused to relent, registering back-to-back 13-darters to put himself back in contention.
Nevertheless, Anderson halted Price's charge with a brilliant 11-darter in the penultimate leg, which he followed with a comfortable hold of throw via double six to cap off a virtuoso display.
"There's life in the old dog yet," quipped Anderson, who averaged 104.96 to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final showdown against Luke Humphries.
"Gerwyn has been playing very well. Hitting 110 and 112 averages is a hard job to do, but I've hit a 102 and now a 104, so we're getting there.
"I'm playing well on the practice board, I'm playing well on the floor, and that was the most comfortable I've felt on the stage for a while."
Humphries sealed his place in the last eight with a superb 10-7 victory against Ryan Searle, defying three ton-plus checkouts from the Somerset star to triumph with a 105 average and nine 180s.
Searle, who landed a sensational nine-darter to seal his last 16 berth on Monday, remarkably led 3-2 at the first interval, despite averaging 15 points less than Humphries in the opening session.
However, the World Grand Prix champion won six of the next seven legs to assume control at 8-4, with a magnificent ten-darter in leg 12 typifying his relentless scoring power.
Searle - featuring in the knockout stages at the Grand Slam for the first time - prolonged the contest with 115, 112 and 94 combinations in the closing stages, but Humphries kept his cool to prevail.
"That was a really tough game to play," reflected the world No 4, who is eyeing his second televised ranking title in as many months.
"I felt really good there. I probably could have been 8-2 up but I wasn't, and that's just testament to how good Ryan is, because he pushes you.
"Ryan is one of the elite players in my opinion. I know what he is capable of, so when he started coming back at me there, I started to get a little worried!"
Earlier in the night, three-time runner-up James Wade continued his resurgence after fending off a late rally from Masters champion Chris Dobey to move through to his sixth Grand Slam quarter-final.
Wade will take on Josh Rock next after the Northern Irishman produced an impressive display to see off Krzysztof Ratajski and move through to his first premier televised ranking quarter-final.
"I knew I hadn't got through to a quarter-final on the major stage before, but I managed to control the nerves and get the win, so I'm happy," said the 2022 World Youth Champion.
The second round action will conclude on Thursday, as three-time champion Michael van Gerwen takes on Australian No 1 Damon Heta for a place in the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere, World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall faces 2018 World Champion Rob Cross, world No 7 Danny Noppert plays a resurgent Stephen Bunting, while UK Open champion Andrew Gilding meets American newcomer Stowe Buntz.
|Michael van Gerwen
The sport's biggest event will be held from December 15, 2023 to January 3, 2024 as 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace.
Watch the seventeenth staging of the Grand Slam of Darts from 11-19 November at the Aldersley Leisure Village. Stream your favourite sports and more with NOW