Dirk van Duijvenbode defeated Simon Whitlock to continue his fairy tale run at the World Grand Prix, where he will meet Gerwyn Price in the final on Monday evening.
The 28-year-old Dutchman, who is still working as an eggplant farmer after his second fight to secure his tour card in January, put in a remarkable feat on the biggest leg of his darts career to grab several big finalists Whitlock.
Just a few months after debutant Dimitri van den Bergh won the World Matchplay, Van Duijvenbode is on the right track after starting the tournament as an underdog with 250/1 and the lowest ranked player in the field.
Opposite him is Price – the best form player in the world and the only seed in a tournament that has seen one shock after another since it started last Tuesday. The Iceman has won three of the last four tournaments played and defeated two-time runner-up Dave Chisnall in an exciting duel to secure his place in the showpiece on Monday evening.
World Grand Prix 2020
|Semifinal||Simon Whitlock 1-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode|
|Dave Chisnall 3-4 Gerwyn Preis|
|Finale||Dirk van Duijvenbode against Gerwyn Price|
|Best of nine sets|
Live World Grand Prix Darts
October 12, 2020, 8:00 p.m.
The nerveless Van Duijvenbode is too good for Wizard
Dirk van Duijvenbode remains on course for one of the most unlikely title triumphs in darts after making the final of the double-to-start event as the first debutant after a convincing 4-1 win against former World Championship finalist Simon Whitlock.
The Dutchman stacked himself up in no more than 10 seconds in a nervous game against an out-of-line Whitlock whose run has ended after he was added as a late replacement after Adrian Lewis tested positive for coronavirus.
Van Gerwen had remarkably beaten world number 1 Michael van Gerwen on Saturday night, but Van Duijvenbode was the more accomplished player from the start. A two-arrow combo gave him the opening leg as he took the lead.
Dirk van Duijvenbode is the first Dutchman outside of Michael van Gerwen or Raymond van Barneveld who has reached a major PDC ranking final at the UK Open 2007 since Vincent van der Voort
After missing just two darts in doubles in the opener, the Titan missed three for the first leg to get Whitlock into play. Maybe he was showing his experience and trying to find his own game. He slowed down to level the match.
But the wizard couldn’t get started and Van Duijvenbode swept the third set, which he started with a brilliant 10-dart leg before exuding confidence on the track. He only lost one leg as he increased his average for the fourth and fifth sets to the 100 mark and continued to pepper the highs 20.
Fittingly, he completed a standout display with a classic 12-dart leg to add Whitlock to a list that already included Mensur Suljovic, Van den Bergh, and Gary Anderson, and to make sure the biggest payday of his career keeps getting higher.
£ 10,000 for a run to the final 64 at the World Cup was the Dutchman’s highest check to date, but it will take at least £ 50,000 and still has a chance of winning the winner’s first prize of £ 100,000.
Iceman beats Chisnall in the last-leg thriller
Before this week Gerwyn Preis had never gone past the quarter-finals at the World Grand Prix, but an exciting 4-3 win over last year’s runner-up Dave Chisnall underscored his status as best player of the game.
The Welshman, who can move up to second place in the world rankings on Monday if he wins the title, had to prevail in an exciting competition with seven over 100 placements, 17 180s and two men with an average of more than 92 as well as three failures in Match Darts by Chizzy, who fought his way back from two sets for the third time in a row.
Price won a superb opening set that went the distance and set the tone for the match. Four of the five legs were won in 15 legs or less on the iceman thanks to a 13-darter.
After taking 22 darts to win the opening game of the second set, Chisnall only took 28 to win the next two and restore parity in the competition before taking the lead for the first time with a sizzling 130 finish.
Price hit back, leading 2-1 before a third three-digit close to the game from Chizzy put the third of the four sets at a distance, but it was the iceman who stood firm with a 13-dart leg to lead 3- 1 and stand within a set of a place in the final.
But Chisnall, two sets behind Ryan Joyce and Joe Cullen, wasn’t done. He averaged 101 to win three of the next four legs and a fifth set that cut the deficit in half. Chizzy scored a brilliant 104 finish in the sixth set to take advantage, and when Price’s doubling stalled, Chisnall was able to level the match.
An exciting competition still had time for its remarkable conclusion, the seventh set was suitably over the distance, but Chisnall was finally out of luck. He missed three arrows for the match and Price stepped in to seal the win with a pair of doubles and wipe 56.
Darts is back Sky Sports on Thursday evening with the exciting conclusion of the Premier League play-offs, while the major tournaments continue in November with both the World Cup of Darts and the Grand Slam of Darts
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