World Grand Prix: Michael van Gerwen, Glen Durrant, Dave Chisnall and Chris Dobey chase title
Coverage begins on Sky Sports Action from 7pm
By Paul Prenderville at the Citywest Hotel
Last Updated: 11/10/19 7:30pm
Michael van Gerwen is the red-hot favourite to win the World Grand Prix but in a tournament that has seen seeds scattered, Wayne Mardle and Rod Studd ponder the semi-finals.
Friday's semi-final line-up is not one that was predicted, but the four men left standing have perhaps been responsible for the best darts in the tournament.
Van Gerwen is the four-time champion but he has never defended the title, he is also the only seed remaining after the rest of the world's top eight were scattered by the conclusion of the quarter-finals.
The Dutchman takes on surprise semi-finalist Chris Dobey, who is enjoying the best week of his career, while in the other semi-final Glen Durrant's fairy-tale debut year on the PDC continues against a resurgent Dave Chisnall, who was beaten in the final by Phil Taylor six years ago.
Here's what in store...
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Michael van Gerwen (1) v Chris Dobey
The world No 1 will not have everything his own way against Hollywood, whose spectacular finishing has been a key part of the tournament and he will need more of the same to trouble Van Gerwen.
Dobey was brilliant in beating Gary Anderson, composed in beating Ricky Evans, and then battled his way past Ian White. He's shown he can win in lots of ways this week and his double-to-start has been amongst the very best, but the angry beast has stirred in Van Gerwen.
Despite winning the Premier League, the Masters and the World Championship alongside the usual collection of Pro Tour and European Tour titles, there have been a few questions of MvG after a slightly inconsistent year.
However, this week he has looked in the mood in surviving a scare against Jamie Hughes and having to find his very best against Mervyn King, this is the time of year he comes alive and he has a 100 per cent record against Dobey in their career head-to-head.
Expert's verdict - Van Gerwen is the favourite for almost every match he plays and I expect Van Gerwen to win, as almost everyone apart from Chris Dobey will. Whatever happens, if Chris can go up and play well it has been a very successful week for him.
He has beaten Gary Anderson, the best win of his career, and he has got further than he has ever got in reaching a major TV semi-final, he has had a fantastic week and I hope he pushes on. Rod Studd
Route to the semi-final
|Michael van Gerwen (1)||Chris Dobey|
|beat Jamie Hughes 2-1||First Round||beat Ricky Evans 2-0|
|beat Jeffrey de Zwaan 2-0||Second Round||beat Gary Anderson 3-1|
|beat Mervyn King 3-1||Quarter-Final||beat Ian White 3-2|
In their own words....
Michael van Gerwen - I had to work really hard as Mervyn played a phenomenal game and I had to produce something special.
I expect a good game from Chris, but the format is not in his favour and it suits me. He hasn't come this far because he is a bad dart player, he has a lot of talent so I need to make sure I put him under pressure.
This is the time of year when you can earn a £1m in just a few months so I have to make sure I am sharp.
Chris Dobey - I wasn't feeling it in a couple of legs, that is why I switched and I think I did the right thing as I couldn't keep going on like that with not getting off.
When I took out the 100 finish with treble 16, double 16 that's why I took the decision to get back to 16s. It's a great competition, I've played in double in. double out competitions since I started darts and it's a great format for me.
I'll never look beyond my next opponent. Obviously Michael is exceptional, the world No 1, but I will prepare myself as if I am going into any other game and hopefully I will be at my best.
Friday's Order of Play
|Glen Durrant v Dave Chisnall|
|Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey|
|best of seven sets|
Glen Durrant v Dave Chisnall
Chizzy had been earmarked as one to watch this week after a change of darts and some terrific form on the floor this year that has included three Pro Tour titles and three nine-darters.
He has lived up to that billing from the first round where he accounted for Gerwyn Price and he hasn't looked back in a tournament where he has decent pedigree, it's the fourth time in the last seven years he has reached the last eight and he looks in the right form to finally break his major duck.
Duzza's year continues to go from strength-to-strength, having won his Tour card in January the three-time BDO world champion won a Pro Tour title inside a month and has gone on to reach the World Matchplay semi-final on his debut and now the Grand Prix on his first showing.
The pair have met twice before, including a Pro Tour final in February where Chizzy prevailed, and the Grand Slam of Darts last 16 two years ago where Duzza won it - Friday night looks like being another thriller.
Expert's verdict - I think Chizzy wins quite handsomely and the reason I say that is that he is playing better and getting into his rhythm quicker but also his standard of play is so much better in general.
Chisnall has now gone 16 games without averaging less than 85 in a double-to-start format, if he does that against Glen then he still wins as Glen has been dodging a few too many bullets.
I don't think Chizzy, who has so much confidence at the moment, will let him off. I see him winning and then I see him troubling Van Gerwen in the final. Wayne Mardle
Route to the semi-final
|Glen Durrant||Dave Chisnall|
|beat Krzysztof Ratajski 2-1||First Round||beat Gerwyn Price 2-1|
|beat Rob Cross 3-2||Second Round||beat Stephen Bunting 3-0|
|beat Jermaine Wattimena 3-2||Quarter-Final||beat Nathan Aspinall 3-1|
In their own words....
Glen Durrant - I should be elated but I am scratching my head asking 'How am I in the semi-final'. But what I will say is that when these opportunities present themselves you have got to grab them.
I am towards the end of my career, maybe five or six years, and it isn't about great experience, I am here to win. If I was 20 or 30 then it's a great week, a semi-final but I know what the outcome is and I like putting pressure on myself, if I can win I am also in the Grand Slam.
Chizzy is a renowned PDC player, a champion who is playing fantastic while I am pulling and snatching but I am swinging a punch in the 12th round and catching them on the chin!
Dave Chisnall - It's a hard format as we have seen with all the seeds going out but I just try and plod on, get off and running, hit scores and hit doubles.
Playing Gerwyn in the first round - that was the tie of the round and it was a good game that went all the way but I've had three different games. Steve [Bunting] wasn't well and Nathan is such a scrappy player.
It's been a great year, I'm really happy at home too and that means I'm happy when I go away too.
Coverage of the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix gets underway on Sky Sports Action & Main Event on Friday night from 7pm.