World Grand Prix semi-finals preview and predictions: Price headlines unexpected final four
After five drama-filled nights of World Grand Prix action, a somewhat unexpected quartet of players remain hopeful of reigning victorious on Monday evening.
Sunday sees the semi-finals take place behind closed doors at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, with world number three Gerwyn Price being the only seeded thrower still in the tournament.
The Welshman is now a heavy favourite to trouser the £110,000 winner’s prize fund, though, three unseeded outsiders will be vying to stop Price in his tracks.
Dave Chisnall locks horns with Price in the second last four match, following an enticing encounter between late replacement Simon Whitlock and an inspired Dutchman in Dirk van Duijvenbode.
SIMON WHITLOCK VS DIRK VAN DUIJVENBODE
Very few if anyone would have predicted a semi-final between Whitlock and Van Duijvenbode. They have both created incredible stories in their own right during a scintillating string of showings.
Whitlock wasn’t even supposed to make his eleventh consecutive Grand Prix appearance, but two positive coronavirus tests meant the Australian would feature.
He has grasped the opportunity with both hands and reached the semi-finals for a second time, seeing off Chris Dobey, Mervyn King and the defending champion along the way.
MvG IS OUT!
There will be a brand new name on the BoyleSports World Grand Prix trophy on Monday as Simon Whitlock produces an incredible display to eliminate the reigning champion Michael van Gerwen!
Whitlock averaged over 100 there as MvG only managed to win two legs! pic.twitter.com/a7Kxcj8zr6
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) October 10, 2020
Whitlock claimed a second successive televised win over Michael van Gerwen on Saturday evening, recording an impressive 100.29 average in a straight sets win, and is the most prolific player remaining in terms of averages, maximums and finishing statistics.
Van Duijvenbode, meanwhile, has embarked on a run to his maiden major semi-final on his double-start debut in Coventry, ousting three major champions in the process.
Mensur Suljovic, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Gary Anderson were all beaten to the loss of just one set, and the Dutchman has improved as the tournament has progressed.
Aubergine emojis have been littered across social media each time Van Duijvenbode won due to his form of employment away from darts, and the world number 73 has entered uncharted with aplomb.
He’s now only two victories away from lifting one of the sport’s longest-serving majors, but overcoming someone with the experience of Whitlock will be yet another tough task.
The Dutchman has beaten ‘The Wizard’ in two of their three previous meetings, though, both came in smaller scale ProTour events, with the Whitlock winning at the 2017 UK Open.
Prediction: 4-3 Whitlock
GERWYN PRICE VS DAVE CHISNALL
Unlike the first two semi-finalists, many would have pointed towards Price and Chisnall when discussing those with the potential to reach the last four in Coventry.
Last year’s finalist Chisnall has reached this stage on three occasions, whereas Price enters uncharted waters in terms of double-start darts, having surpassed his previous best of the quarter-finals.
‘Chizzy’ has outlasted multiple scares throughout the week at the Ricoh Arena, being forced to battle back from two sets behind to edge past both Ryan Joyce and Joe Cullen.
The St Helens man survived a staggering seven match darts against Joyce in the second round, and has surely received his touch of fortunate for this tournament.
Price has breezed into the semi-finals, dropping just a solitary set, despite not playing anywhere near his brilliant best as he continuously says in his post-match interviews.
WHAT A WAY TO WIN IT 🔥
Gerwyn Price seals his spot in the semi-finals in STYLE with a massive 164 finish to defeat Jeffrey de Zwaan 3-1!
Price completes our semi-final lineup and will face Chisnall tomorrow night! pic.twitter.com/qn3Qawkn6Q
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) October 10, 2020
The Welshman has lost four of his seven previous meetings against Chisnall, including their most recent encounter which came in the first round of this tournament 12 months ago.
Price will be wanting to scoop a fourth televised crown and his first major away from of Wolverhampton’s Grand Slam of Darts, while Chisnall sets his sights on claiming an elusive major title.
Chisnall tremendously deserves a maiden major accolade following a number of near misses in finals, in all of which he’s faced either Phil Taylor or Van Gerwen.
If he can defeat the world number three, he won’t face one of the sport’s all-time greatest talents, but overcoming a proficient Price is much easier said than done.
Prediction: 4-2 Price
(Featured Images: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)