Two out of four quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts will take place tonight in Wolverhampton as Dimitri Van den Bergh faces off against Mensur Suljovic before Simon Whitlock meets Gerwyn Price, all live on Sky Sports Action from 7pm. Tomorrow, Michael van Gerwen takes on Jonny Clayton while Gary Anderson matches up against Michael Unterbuchner, who this became only the 10th BDO player in Grand Slam of Darts history to reach the quarter-finals.
How did we get here? Well, last night, Michael van Gerwen beat Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith in an absolute epic, while elsewhere James Wade’s 13-game winning streak was ended by BDO star Michael Unterbuchner. MVG averaged 108 and hit eleven 180s but Bully Boy still managed to push him all the way, averaging three figures and six maximums plus duel ton+ checkouts in a match that ended 10-8 to the Dutchman. Going forward, Mighty Mike will now meet Jonny Clayton in the quarter-finals after the Welshman won 10-3 against Krzysztof Ratajski, who himself beat van Gerwen in the group stages.
Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson has arguably been the player of the tournament so far, having been in scintillating form and coming through the group stages winning 100% of his matches. Anderson took the decision to focus on major events and sit out the European Tour. It looks like this is a decision that is paying dividends as he aims to win the Grand Slam of Darts for the first time in his career. Anderson has enjoyed a fantastic season so far, which has seen him collect his maiden UK Open, World Matchplay and Champions League titles. Looking ahead, he now looks in good shape at Ally Pally, where he has been crowned World Champion twice previously. He makes the Quarters courtesy of a 10-2 smashing of Wesley Harms.
Simon Whitlock is remaining darter to have made it to the last eight and he goes tonight against Gerwyn Price, who overcame Josh Payne on Wednesday. On the same night, Whitlock was too good for Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, winning against the Scotsman 10-6, while Mensur Suljovic dismissed PDC World Champion Rob Cross 7-10. The Gentle’s opponent, Dimitri Van den Bergh made it this far after beating Stephen Bunting 6-10 in match where the Belgian hit a stunning nine-darter and will be the first player stepping up to the oche tonight.
Grand Slam of Darts quarter final betting tips
Dimitri van den Bergh, World Youth champion, should still be riding a high following his nine-dart finish against Bunting but must now recompose himself for only his second televised quarter-final of his career. Last year, he made the World Championship quarter-final, losing out to eventual winner Rob Cross and tonight faces the increasingly impressive throwing of Mensur Suljovic, who ran out 8-2 the last time these two met.
As well as Suljovic is playing of late, he hasn’t hit a single 180 in his last two matches which is concerning but even then, the results have still been mostly strong. As the senior of these two competitors, experience and stamina — especially given the longer format of the matches — should come in to play and flip things firmly in the Austrian’s direction so we expect him to make the last four.
Next up tonight is Whitlock vs Price, a rematch from the group stage earlier this week which Whitlock won 5-4. The Australian has been in Grand Slam form as well, having made the quarterfinals twice previously in 2008 and 2009, while he also deservedly knocked out world No 2 Peter Wright in his previous match, so he is looking in great shape. Yet, I still think The Iceman could put the skids on the Wizard here. On that basis, I would expect both Price and Suljovic to progress to the semis where they should meet Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson in a jaw dropping last four.
For those looking for the latest outright prices on the Grand Slam of Darts from Betway, your numbers are as follows. Michael van Gerwen is an odds-on favourite at 8/11, Gary Anderson 3/1, Mensur Suljovic 8/1 and Gerwyn Price 16/1. 16/1 is also the best price on Simon Whitlock, while Dimitri van den Bergh is 18/1, Jonny Clayton 66/1 and finally the long shot available at the nice price of 100/1 is Michael Unterbuchner, the BDO’s sole representative.
Finally, everyone at BettingDarts would like to pay our respects to the family of PDC co-founder Tommy Cox who passed away aged 72 on Wednesday. Back in 1993, Cox linked up with Dick Allix and John Markovic along with 14 of the sport’s biggest names to form the World Darts Council which has since evolved in to today’s PDC.