Grand Slam of Darts 2020: Michael van Gerwen produces a dominant display to ease into the last 16

Michael van Gerwen produced another virtuoso performance to confirm his place in the knockout stages of the Grand Slam of Darts, as Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith all registered victories on a high-quality night of action.

Van Gerwen joined the quartet of Simon Whitlock, James Wade, Dave Chisnall and Dimitri Van den Bergh in advancing through to the last 16, posting his second ton-plus average in as many days to dispatch an in-form Gabriel Clemens.

Wright got his campaign back on track as he posted the highest average of the evening to topple Ian White, as defending champion Price joined Smith in maintaining their 100 per cent records.

Elsewhere, Lisa Ashton was denied her first victory in Grand Slam history, as Krzysztof Ratajski produced a remarkable rally from 4-1 down to overcome the four-time women’s world champion.

  • Grand Slam of Darts 2020: Qualifiers, schedule & draw
  • Simon Whitlock thrashes Gary Anderson to book his last-16 spot

Tuesday evening’s results

Van Gerwen records another statement victory

Van Gerwen is reluctant to claim he is back to his blistering best, but he fired another ominous warning shot with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Clemens.

The world No 1 has failed to progress beyond the semi-finals in any of his last five major ranking events, although he has relinquished the solitary leg in booking his last-16 berth, averaging 103.60 to dispatch ‘The German Giant’.

Van Gerwen stormed into a 3-0 lead in just 41 darts and this set the tone for another dominant display, as his injury struggles at last week’s World Cup were consigned to a distant memory.

The three-time Grand Slam champion will take on Joe Cullen in his last remaining Group A clash on Thursday, after he edged out Adam Hunt in a thrilling tussle featuring four ton-plus checkouts.

Hunt was dispatched by Van Gerwen in just eight minutes on his Grand Slam debut, but he made his mark early on against ‘The Rockstar’, converting 116 and 76 finishes to open up an early lead.

The debutant then followed up a brilliant 119 on the bull with a tops, tops 100 checkout to force a deciding leg from 4-2 down, only for Cullen to triumph with a show-stopping 164 finish – the highest of the tournament so far.

Sublime Snakebite back on track

Wright knew defeat against ‘The Diamond’ could condemn him to a first group-stage exit since 2013, but following a sluggish start, he turned on the style to open his Group E account.

White – beaten 5-2 by Devon Petersen in his opener – had darts to win the opening three legs but found himself 2-1 behind, only to make amends with a 127 combination on the bull to restore parity at two apiece.

The world champion lived up to his tinkerman tag with a change of equipment in leg three but the decision paid dividends, as he produced a blistering barrage of scoring to wrap up victory with consecutive legs of 13 and 11 darts.

The world No 2 will take on Petersen in his final group game on Thursday, with ‘The African Warrior’ moving to the brink of qualification courtesy of his 5-2 win over Dirk van Duijvenbode.

The Dutchman produced spells of brilliance but they were too sporadic and Petersen’s superior scoring power was the key factor, as he continued his dream Grand Slam debut in Coventry.

The South African is in pole position to progress to the last 16, but all four players remain in contention, with White requiring a comprehensive victory over Van Duijvenbode to keep his slender hopes alive.

Tuesday afternoon’s results

Price pips his World Cup partner

Price was unconvincing in his opening night win over Mikuru Suzuki and he endured a similar struggle against Jonny Clayton, who punished an abject start from the reigning champion to open up an early two-leg cushion.

The world No 3 was ignited by a sublime 121 checkout in leg three, yet consistency remained an issue for both players as the pendulum continued to swing.

Clayton was bidding to register his first win over his compatriot in six attempts, but he was left to rue three missed darts at double for a 4-3 cushion and Price capitalised on this reprieve to make it two wins from two.

It’s still all to play for in Group G, as Ryan Joyce moved above Clayton on legs difference with a resounding 5-1 success over women’s world champion Suzuki.

‘The Miracle’ was unable to replicate the performance that saw her spurn match darts against Price 24 hours earlier, as Joyce produced a professional display to put himself back into contention for qualification on his debut.

Smith sparkles as Ratajski denies Ashton

Fresh from a prolific Winter Series campaign, Smith consolidated his place at the top of Group C with a 5-2 win over Jose De Sousa.

‘Bully Boy’ missed just one dart at double in his 5-1 win over Lisa Ashton on Monday night, and the world No 4 produced another clinical display to account for the mercurial ‘Special One’.

An inspired 135 checkout from Smith in leg three gave him the impetus, but his ruthless efficiency on the outer-ring was coupled with his trademark scoring power, as he piled in five 180s to prevail with a 102 average.

De Sousa did little wrong in defeat, but he slipped to third after Ratajski recorded a dramatic comeback victory over Ashton, who was bidding to become the first woman to register a Grand Slam victory since Anastasia Dobromyslova in 2009.

‘The Lancashire Rose’ capitalised on Ratajski’s disastrous doubling to establish a 4-1 cushion, with the former World Masters winner converting just one of his first 17 attempts at a double.

However, ‘The Polish Eagle’ produced a magnificent display of scoring to complete the fightback, reeling off the final four legs in 15, 12, 11 and 14 darts – boasting a 104.18 average despite his earlier profligacy.

Smith is all but assured of his place in the last 16, but all four players can still conceivably progress to the knockout stages, as they return to action on Thursday night at the Ricoh Arena.

Don’t miss a dart from the Grand Slam of Darts on Sky Sports as the action continues on Wednesday – join us from 3pm on Sky Sports Arena and follow us @SkySportsDarts for updates and clips throughout the tournament.

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