Gerwyn Price stamped his class over the World Grand Prix with a blistering display to stay on course for a possible blockbuster final with Michael van Gerwen.
Price has been in terrific form over the last couple of months, and he has brought that to Coventry in a tournament that has been thrown wide open with six of the eight seeds dumped out in the first round.
But world No 3 Price joined world No 1 Van Gerwen in the last eight thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Kim Huybrechts as the line-up for the quarter-finals was completed on Friday night.
Dave Chisnall continued his impressive record in a tournament he has twice suffered defeat in the final, he rallied to beat Ryan Joyce and will next face Joe Cullen, while Jeffrey de Zwaan beat Gabriel Clemens to set up a meeting with Price.
In a game between two of the fastest and most animated players on the circuit, Gerwyn Price made light work of Kim Huybrechts to seal a 3-1 win amid a barrage of big finishes.
Price, who added the World Series of Darts Finals to his two Grand Slam crowns last month, had to dig deep to claim the opening set in a decider against a fired up Huybrechts.
The Belgian looked to have stolen a march when he took out an impressive 109 finish to claim the first leg of the second set. Price roared back, upping the ante with a 132 finish on the bullseye followed by an even better 148 combination that gave him a two-set cushion.
From there, there was no looking back for the Iceman who reeled off the next three legs with the minimum of fuss to book his place in the last eight with a display befitting his status as the world No 3.
Chisnall rallies after Joyce implosion
Two-time runner-up Dave Chisnall survived a huge scare and six missed match darts to fight back from 2-0 down and beat Ryan Joyce in a tension-filled opening match of the night.
Joyce lived up to his relentless nickname, outscoring Chisnall 7-4 on the 180 count, but 25 missed doubles proved decisive.
Debutant Joyce had stunned world champion Peter Wright in the first round and looked good value to add the scalp of the world no 10 with a fast start that saw him claim the opening set with an average of almost 100.
Having steamrollered his way to a 2-0 lead in the second, Joyce saw a dart for the set go begging as things began to unravel. A classy 99 finish the highlight of Chisnall’s comeback which saw him win the deciding leg.
The damage for Joyce was done in the fourth set where he forged a 2-1 lead only to see Chizzy, who he had beaten to win his maiden ranking title earlier this year, force a deciding leg once again where Joyce collapsed.
Six missed darts from the match went begging and Chisnall pounced to level the match before motoring to the winning post with three straight legs and a 100 average enough to get him over the line.
Joe Cullen came out on top in a battle of close friends and big finishes against Jonny Clayton to seal a place in his first World Grand Prix quarter-final.
Cullen powered to the opening set, three successive legs gave him total control with Clayton not even getting a shot at a double. The Welshman had his first opportunity at the start of the second set, but missed double 16 to give Cullen another chance which the Rockstar took.
Clayton stopped the rot with a dazzling 130 finish on the bullseye but Cullen ploughed on, sealing the set with a brilliant 13-dart leg that put him on the brink.
With Cullen motoring, Clayton had little choice but to up his game and he did that as the game built to a thrilling conclusion. The Ferret first scrambled over the line to half the deficit by claiming the third set and then started the fourth with another bullseye three-figure finish.
Cullen stayed alive in the set with a 108 finish, but Clayton levelled the contest with a seventh successful dart at double from nine attempts.
The pair traded breaks to start the deciding set and it was fitting that a thriller went the distance, where Cullen prevailed with a composed 14-dart leg sealing his place in the last eight, having won just one game in his previous four attempts at the double-to-start event.
De Zwaan hammers Clemens as draw opens up
Jeffrey De Zwaan was a late call-up to the field after Stephen Bunting tested positive for coronavirus and having beaten Jamie Hughes he sent German Giant Gabriel Clemens packing with a 3-0 win.
De Zwaan has been battling shoulder injuries over the last couple of years, costing him the chance to build on a hugely impressive run to the semi-final at the World Matchplay in 2018.
But opportunity has presented itself in Coventry and after a late arrival on the opening day he has not looked back, firing in six maximums and a 43 per cent record on the finishing doubles
The Dutchman swept the opener, reeling off three successive legs and then managed to survive a mini-revival from Clemens who claimed a couple of legs to offer a hint of a comeback.
But when Clemens missed his chance for the second set, De Zwaan swooped for a 2-0 lead and then turned on the style to wrap up his place in the last eight in just 40 darts.
A brilliant 10-dart leg putting the seal on a hugely impressive victory.
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