Dirk van Duijvenbode produced the biggest upset on day one of the 2020 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts.
The Titan beat the World Champion Peter Wright 5-4 to throw Group E wide open.
Gerwyn Price was also taken to a last leg decider, and survived four match darts to beat Mikuru Suzuki 5-4. The world number one, Michael van Gerwen, produced a stunning 105.9 average to whitewash Adam Hunt 5-0.
Elsewhere, day one of the Grand Slam of Darts saw:
- Dimitri Van den Bergh hit the highest average in Grand Slam history
- Gary Anderson, Rob Cross come through tough tests
- James Wade and Michael Smith produce excellent performances to top their groups
Van Duijvenbode shocks Wright while Price survives Suzuki scare
Dirk van Duijvenbode’s 5-4 victory has blown Group E wide open. The Titan started nervously, misses four darts to take the opening leg. This allowed Snakebite to steal the opening leg, hitting double eight to go 1-0 in front. However, the Dutchman would not relent, and found a 79 outshot in the next leg to level straight away, after Snakebite could not find a finish from 116.
Some big scoring from both, followed some crucial outshots, saw the game level at 3-3, before van Duijvenbode went five perfect into a nine dart attempt. The World Grand Prix runner up would have to settle for a 12 darter to hold, before Wright found a double 19 shot to take the match to a decider.
Van Duijvenbode got to a finish on tops while Wright was on 340, but missed six darts to win the leg, allowing the newly crowned European Champion to catch up. However, van Duijvenbode held his nerve, finding found double four to crawl across the line. This leaves the World Champion a lot to do to get out of the group.
Van Duijvenbode does not Group E though. That honour goes to Devon Petersen, who defeated Ian White 5-2 in the final game of the night.
The first leg saw both players miss 13 darts at a double combined, before White broke Petersen’s throw to go 1-0 up. This only seemed to fire up the African Warrior, who reeled off four straight legs in 52 darts to take a 4-1 lead, going seven perfect into a nine attempt in one leg. Despite White holding for 4-2, Petersen found double top to take home the victory and sit top of the group after day one.
Gerwyn Price survived four match darts to beat Mikuru Suzuki on day one of the Grand Slam of Darts.
The two time back to back champion of this event broke throw with a 17 dart leg, before the BDO World Champion answered right back with a 17 dart break of her own to level. Suzuki then held, and missed tops to go 3-1 up in the next leg, allowing Price to hold on double 12 at 2-2.
The Iceman would leave himself on tops in the fifth leg, before Suzuki produced arguably the checkout of the day, hitting a 135 by going 25, treble 20, bullseye. Price would not be deterred though, and reeled off two straight legs to take a 4-3 lead and throw for the match.
However, Suzuki stayed alive in the eighth leg with a stunning 116 outshot, to level at 4-4 and throw first in the deciding leg. There, she missed tops for a 110 checkout, and then three more to secure one of the biggest shocks in Grand Slam history. Price though, who had gone inside on tops himself the previous visit, found double 10 to win 5-4, in a game where he was significantly under par.
The other game in Group G saw Jonny Clayton and Ryan Joyce go to a last leg decider, in which Clayton came out victorious 5-4.
The game was gripping from start to finish. Both held, broke, and then held again to make the score 3-3. In the seventh leg, Relentless missed double 16 to break Clayton’s throw again, but the Ferret would find double top to take a 4-3 lead.
However, the World Cup winner would miss double four to end the match in the eighth leg, allowing Joyce to find double eight to send us to a decider. There, Clayton found his first and only 180 of the game, en route to a magical 116 outshot to end a brilliant contest.
Van Gerwen and Aspinall produce whitewashes, Van den Bergh hits record average
Michael van Gerwen got off to the perfect start on day one of the Grand Slam of Darts. He produced a 105.9 average to beat Adam Hunt 5-0.
The Hunter, who had made it through the qualifying event last week, could not get going in the first leg, as van Gerwen found a 12 dart hold. Hunt then had a 110 outshot to level in the second leg, only to go inside on tops. This allowed MvG to hit a 70 checkout to break, and he did not look back.
The Green Machine went on to wrap up the match in 41 darts, hitting 86 and 100 checkouts as he laid down a marker for everyone at the event.
Gabriel Clemens was the other player to win in Group A on day one of the Grand Slam of Darts. He beat Joe Cullen 5-2.
The Rockstar, who won the last Pro Tour event of the year, started stronger, pinging in a 124 outshot on the bull to break in the opening leg. However, the German Giant would answer straight back, finding a lovely 122 checkout of his own to level at 1-1.
That seemed to set Clemens free, as he reeled off the next three legs in 47 darts, taking out a 112 shot to go 4-1 ahead. Despite Cullen holding throw in the sixth leg, and hitting two 180s in the next leg, Clemens would find double eight to cap off a memorable victory.
Dimitri Van den Bergh hit the highest average in the history of the Grand Slam of Darts on day one, as he beat Ricky Evans 5-1.
Both held throw to start the contest, before Van den Bergh missed double 12 for what would have been his second nine dart finish at this event, after hitting one in 2018. The Belgian had to settle for a 10 dart leg, breaking the throw and leading 2-1.
This seemed to spring the World Matchplay Champion into life, as a ruthless display of scoring and finishing, including an 86 checkout on the bull, got him to within one of the match. After missing darts at tops, Van den Bergh found double 20 to complete the win. He hit a 114.85 average, beating Phil Taylor’s previous record of 114.65.
Despite this, Van den Bergh is only second in Group H, due to Nathan Aspinall producing the first whitewash of the event. Aspinall cruised past Wayne Warren 5-0.
Aspinall missed six darts for the first leg, and three for the second, but Warren’s inability to score heavily allowed the Premier League finalist to crawl over the line to win both and go 2-0 ahead. The Asp then produced some stunning stuff, including a 124 finish on the bull, to wrap the game up in 43 darts and deny the BDO World Champion a shot at a double.
Anderson and Smith both make good starts
Gary Anderson beat Adam Gawlas 5-3 to get his campaign off to good start.
The Flying Scotsman was in pain throughout the contest, having pulled out of last week’s Winter Series due to a knee problem. He took advantage of missed doubles from Gawlas to break throw in leg one, before the Czech reeled off two legs himself to take a 2-1 lead.
Anderson though took control of the match, taking out 69 and 68 finishes to win three legs on the spin and take a 4-2 lead. After Gawlas held throw, the two time World Champion hit double four in the eighth leg to take victory.
Simon Whitlock is the man on top of Group B, after he also won 5-3 against Ryan Searle.
It was a strange affair, in which both players showed glimpses of their true potential. After two holds of throw, Whitlock then punished missed darts from Searle in the third leg, hitting double 10 to go 2-1 up. Searle would find the same double in the next leg, immediately breaking back for 2-2.
Two more breaks got the game to 3-3, but the Wizard would find a 63 outshot on double 12 in the seventh leg to ultimately seal the crucial break of throw. A 15 dart hold on double ten saw the Australian get over the line, winning his first match of the week.
Michael Smith won 5-1 against Lisa Ashton on day one of the Grand Slam of Darts.
The Bully Boy, who topped the Winter Series Order of Merit last week, continued where he left off. After holding in leg one, he took control of the game with a fantastic 11 dart break of throw.
He consolidated the break in the third leg, before Ashton produced a 13 dart hold on double 18 to get on the board. Despite this, the Lancashire Rose was powerless to stop Bully Boy being victorious, holding and then finding a 96 outshot to top Group C with a 102.5 average.
Jose De Sousa fought back from 2-0 down to see off Krzysztof Ratajski, winning the other game in Group C 5-4.
Ratajski punished an out of sorts De Sousa in the early stages, winning the first two legs with a 12 dart break and a 16 dart hold. The Special One though came into the contest, and despite missing a chance to break in the fourth leg, held his throw twice to trail 3-2. The Special One levelled in the sixth leg, hitting a 90 checkout after Ratajski missed the bullseye for 4-2.
Both held throw to force a decider, in which De Sousa found two 180s, before hitting double 13 to end a fantastic game and win on debut at the event.
Durrant out of sorts but Cross wins comfortably
Glen Durrant did not get off to the best start on day one of the Grand Slam of Darts. He lost 5-1 to Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.
Wattimena took advantage of an out of sorts Duzza, and punished ruthlessly. Two breaks and two holds of throw saw the Dutchman jump out to a 4-0 lead, as Durrant did not get a shot at a double.
The Premier League champion found double 18 for the fifth leg, but that would be the only leg he would win. Machine Gun completed the victory with a 14 dart hold, going top of Group F in the process.
James Wade saw off Damon Heta 5-2 in the other game in that group.
Heta won the first leg, before the Machine fired into action, winning three legs in a row in just 39 darts. The Heat got the game back to 3-2, before Wade sealed the deal. He hit a double 10 for a 15 dart hold, before breaking the Australian’s throw with another 15 darter, to round off a solid performance. Wade ended up 5/7 on the checkouts.
Rob Cross got his campaign off and running with the best possible start at the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts. He defeated Justin Pipe 5-1 in the opening match of the tournament.
Both broke each other’s throw in the opening two legs, before Voltage found another break to go 2-1 up. The former World Champion would cruise through the rest of the match, cleaning up the next three legs in 50 darts as The Force struggled to get going. It’s the first time Pipe has ever lost his opening group match at this event.
The other match in group D saw Dave Chisnall beat Luke Humphries 5-4. After both held throw in the opening two legs, Humphries found an 11 dart break, followed by a 13 dart hold to take a 3-1 lead. Chisnall then reeled off two straight legs himself to draw level at 3-3.
Chizzy and Cool Hand held once more to take us to a last leg decider. Both had chances to win a game that saw 28 missed darts at a double, but Chisnall finally hit double three to come through a tough battle against World Youth Champion Humphries.
Grand Slam of Darts Day One Results
Michael van Gerwen 5-0 Adam Hunt
Gabriel Clemens 5-2 Joe Cullen
Gary Anderson 5-3 Adam Gawlas
Simon Whitlock 5-3 Ryan Searle
Michael Smith 5-1 Lisa Ashton
Jose De Sousa 5-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 5-1 Justin Pipe
Dave Chisnall 5-4 Luke Humphries
Dirk van Duijvenbode 5-4 Peter Wright
Devon Petersen 5-2 Ian White
James Wade 5-2 Damon Heta
Jermaine Wattimena 5-1 Glen Durrant
Gerwyn Price 5-4 Mikuru Suzuki
Jonny Clayton 5-4 Ryan Joyce
Nathan Aspinall 5-0 Wayne Warren
Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-1 Ricky Evans
Day Two Fixtures
Michael van Gerwen v Gabriel Clemens
Joe Cullen v Adam Hunt
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Ryan Searle v Adam Gawlas
Michael Smith v Jose De Sousa
Krzysztof Ratajski v Lisa Ashton
Rob Cross v Dave Chisnall
Luke Humphries v Justin Pipe
Devon Petersen v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Peter Wright v Ian White
James Wade v Jermaine Wattimena
Glen Durrant v Damon Heta
Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
Ryan Joyce v Mikuru Suzuki
Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ricky Evans v Wayne Warren
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