On Friday evening the Boyle Sports Grand Slam of Darts went into its decisive phase. The four-day group phase was followed today by the first four knockout matches. Today the format changed to double the distance and the players needed ten legs to reach the quarter finals.
At the start of the session Dimitri Van den Bergh picked up exactly where he had left off in the group phase. After being only the third player in the history of the Grand Slam besides Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen to finish the first round with an average of over 105, he also gave Jonny Clayton no chance.
After the first session, the Belgian already had an average of 109. But Clayton managed to snatch a break and kept the game relatively balanced with the score at 2:3, despite his significantly lower average of 88.
Van den Bergh then managed to pull away from the Welshman. Clayton could not improve and Van den Bergh kept his average at well over 100 points.
With a score of 10:3 and an average of 103.6 the current World Matchplay Champion was the first quarter finalist.
“I could have been a bit more concentrated here and there, but all in all, I am very happy with my game right now,” said the Dreammaker after his match.
Ian White, who made a big statement yesterday when he reached round 2 with an average of 108 and a 5-1 win, was up against James Wade today. Diamond made a good start to the match with an average of 102 points. But it was The Machine who got into an early 3:2 lead. As so often, the man from Aldershot showed great timing and was able to compensate for a lower average.
The second session also went to Wade by 3:2, which put him into a 6:4 lead after ten legs played. He then grabbed four consecutive legs and marched into the quarter finals with a 10:4.
“I had a bit of luck, to be honest. Ian missed a couple of important doubles here and there and I was able to capitalise,” James Wade said in his interview with Sky Sports.
The third match of the evening between Simon Whitlock and Adam Hunt was mainly characterised by many missed chances on the doubles. In an average game, both players had an average of less than 90 points of the entirety of the match. Each of the three sessions was very tight but the Wizard managed to win all three of them by 3:2 and won the game 10:6 without having to play his best game.
At the end of the evening Dave Chisnall and José de Sousa went head-to-head. As so often Chizzy displayed great scoring power at the start of the game and quickly took a 2-0 lead. Afterwards, however, the Englishman had big problems on the doubles, could only take two of twelve chances in the first session, so that de Sousa went into the break with a lucky 3:2 lead.
Especially curious: With 70 points remaining in the fifth leg, de Sousa decided not to go for the bulls eye with his last dart with Chizzy sitting on double 10. This seemed to have completely baffled the Englishman, as the following session went to de Sousa by 5:0.
But the 8:2 lead did not last long, because the fighting spirit in Dave Chisnall seemed to have been woken up and he fought back sensationally to make it 8:7. But in the end it was “The Special One” who stumbled over the finish line by 10:7.
“After the second session Dave found his way back into the game and it got exciting again. I am very relieved to have made it through,” de Sousa said after the thriller.
On Saturday evening from 7pm GMT live on Sky Sports, DAZN, Sport1 and RTL 7 the opponents of Dimitri Van den Bergh, James Wade, Simon Whitlock and José de Sousa will be determined.
2020 Boyle Sports Grand Slam of Darts, Friday, November 20, 2nd round, Best of 19 Legs
Dimitri Van den Bergh 10:3 Jonny Clayton
James Wade 10:4 Ian White
Simon Whitlock 10:6 Adam Hunt
Dave Chisnall 7:10 José De Sousa
Saturday, November 21 (7pm GMT)
Michael Smith – Rob Cross
Devon Petersen – Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen – Gary Anderson
Gerwyn Price – Nathan Aspinall