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World Grand Prix: Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson all crash out
Nathan Aspinall, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen all dumped out of the World Grand Prix as round one came to a dramatic conclusion in Leicester; just four seeds have made it through to the second round
Last Updated: 05/10/21 7:00am
Five-time winner Michael van Gerwen, along with Peter Wright and Gary Anderson, all crashed out of the World Grand Prix on a dramatic night at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Van Gerwen, World Matchplay champion Wright and former finalist Anderson suffered stunning exits at the hands of Danny Noppert, Rob Cross and Ian White respectively.
It leaves world No 1 Gerwyn Price as overwhelming favourite to retain his title.
World Grand Prix 2021: Monday's First Round results
|Darius Labanauskas 2-1 Brendan Dolan|
|Callan Rydz 0-2 Jonny Clayton|
|Vincent van der Voort 2-0 Gabriel Clemens|
|Nathan Aspinall 1-2 Krzysztof Ratajski|
|Gary Anderson 1-2 Ian White|
|Peter Wright 0-2 Rob Cross|
|Michael van Gerwen 0-2 Danny Noppert|
|Jose De Sousa 2-0 Glen Durrant|
Van Gerwen found himself in trouble early doors against Noppert in an all-Dutch tie he was clear favourite to win.
Having picked up his first title of the year at the Nordic Darts Masters two weeks ago, the Dutchman said he had nothing to prove ahead of his bid to win the tournament for a sixth time, but MVG was being outscored and outplayed by Noppert as he fell a set down.
MVG responded by starting with a 160 and landing five perfect darts before missing the bullseye by the width of a wire on a 170 finish. In an explosive set, a relentless Noppert took out an incredible 103 to set up a deciding leg which he snatched after a cool 90 finish (T20, D15).
Snakebite dumped out by Voltage
Wright is ranked second on the PDC Order of Merit, and was the runner-up in the 2018 event. He came into the tournament targeting the world No 1 spot by the end of the year - with the World Grand Prix being the first of four televised ranking events during October and November.
But the Scot, decorated all in yellow for his opening tie, immediately found himself in a slugfest with Cross.
'Voltage' went up on stage without his darts, causing a slight delay in proceedings. But when he eventually got his hands on some he showed he was up for the fight by capping off an impressive opening set 3-1 with a 94.8 average and 75 per cent on finishing doubles.
Cross then pulled off a commanding straight-sets win by taking out 58 with a neat two-dart combination.
Diamond cuts down Flying Scotsman; De Sousa in special mood
Gary Anderson found himself in a spot of bother against Ian White, falling a set down as 'Diamond' rallied from 2-0 down to clinch it, despite 14 missed darts at finishing doubles.
Anderson, the two-time world champion and 2016 finalist, struggled with his opening doubles and should have been punished for his profligacy when White missed two match darts. That allowed the sixth-ranked Scot to pin double six in the fifth leg to level up.
An enthralling match went to a deciding leg and, in a nail-biting conclusion, White finally pinned double eight at the eighth time of asking to advance.
Grand Slam of Darts champion Jose De Sousa picked up his first World Grand Prix win in straight sets against Glen Durrant.
Birthday celebrations for Jonny in Leicester
Premier League winner Jonny Clayton celebrated his 47th birthday by producing a top-notch display in defeating Callan Rydz.
The Welshman averaged 95.10 and reeled in 'The Big Fish' on his way to an emphatic win.
Premier League star Nathan Aspinall, a former quarter-finalist in this event, saw his hopes of a run ended by methodical Pole Krzysztof Ratajski.
The Stockport thrower won a tight opening set on double 10, but Ratajski struck back brilliantly after cleaning up 52 (20, D16) to send this tit-for-tat tussle into a decider.
There were three breaks of throw in the decisive set and 'The Polish Eagle' finally ended Aspinall's hopes by sinking double 10.
World Grand Prix 2021: Tuesday's Second Round matches
|Ryan Searle vs Luke Humphries|
|James Wade vs Stephen Bunting|
|Gerwyn Price vs Mervyn King|
|Dave Chisnall vs Ross Smith|
History-maker Brendan Dolan made the event famous after becoming the first player to hit a nine-dart finish in the double-to-start format 10 years ago.
But the Irishman found himself a set down after appearing to be in control against Darius Labanauskas. The Lithuanian struck back with a majestic 156 to level before clinching the set with a 51 (11, D20) out.
Dolan, making his 12th appearance at the tournament, whitewashed Labanauskas to level up and looked favourite to progress, but 'Lucky D' nailed an important 73 (T19, D8) to break throw and sealed the win after pinning double 16 with his fourth match dart.
Solid start into the tournament for me, with some highlights. Thoroughly enjoyed my debut at the @BoyleSports @OfficialPDC World Grand Prix👌🏼 Thank you to the fans in Leicester 👏 See you next round 👌🏼— Darius Labanauskas (@170LuckyD) October 4, 2021
Thanks for all support😊@CosmoDartsInt #Citma #defendoio #kaunorajonas pic.twitter.com/zDxDFMbyMF
In a stonking first-ever clash between Vincent van der Voort and Gabriel Clemens, the rapid Dutchman booked his spot in the next round with a clean sweep of the German.
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