Fallon Sherrock takes on world No 2 Peter Wright for a place in the Grand Slam semi-finals

Fallon Sherrock will bid to continue her history-making exploits when she takes on world No 2 Peter Wright for a place in the Grand Slam semi-finals on Saturday night.

Sherrock has shattered a whole host of records in reaching the last eight on debut; posting the highest televised average by a woman (101.55) in her whitewash win over Mike De Decker, and becoming the first woman to reach a PDC major ranking quarter-final.

Sherrock also sealed victory over Gabriel Clemens with a spectacular 170 checkout, and if she can avenge her defeat to Wright from earlier in the competition, she will provisionally move into the world’s top 60, and in a position for an automatic PDC Tour Card in 2022.

Wright kicked off his campaign with a 5-1 win over ‘The Queen of the Palace’ in Group E, but the two-time finalist has been less than convincing since then, losing to Clemens and scraping past defending champion Jose De Sousa in a nervy last-16 affair.

Sherrock boasts the higher tournament average of the two players, although given Wright’s pedigree over the elongated format, the current World Matchplay champion will start as an emphatic favourite ahead of Saturday’s headline act.

Saturday’s opening quarter-final pits three-time winner Michael van Gerwen up against Michael Smith, in a repeat of the 2015 semi-final in Wolverhampton.

Van Gerwen has been back to his irrepressible best this week, posting a 115.19 average in a stunning 5-2 success against Joe Cullen – the highest in Grand Slam history.

The Dutchman also fired in a 106 average in his opener against Lisa Ashton, and he sealed his spot in the quarter-finals after prevailing 10-8 against Gary Anderson in a thrilling tussle between two of the sport’s all-time greats.

Smith has also impressed in reaching a third consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, extending his run of group-stage wins to 13 games, featuring wins over Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld to secure top spot in Group H.

‘Bully Boy’ punished a profligate display from Joe Cullen to close out a resounding 10-5 victory in the last 16, but now the acid test awaits.

Smith is capable of beating anybody in world darts, but victory over an in-form Van Gerwen would send out a major statement as he continues his pursuit of an elusive first major title.

As we look ahead to a Super Saturday at the Slam, we caught up with former world No 1 Colin Lloyd to get his thoughts on both quarter-finals…

MVG v Bully Boy – there could be fireworks!

“Michael van Gerwen is a born winner. He has proved that for a number of years, but he does look good doesn’t he? His game against Gary Anderson was the game of the tournament for me so far.

“It was like a battle of old. Ando looked fired up, MVG looked fired up and it went the distance. Sometimes we’ve seen this year – MVG would produce two brilliant legs, then two very mediocre legs.

“There was none of that against Gary and in this tournament, there has been none of that. He’s had some tough games, and he has just got on with it and it’s good to see Michael playing the way we know he can.

“I think Michael Smith has been looking good. He’s said he is trying not to do the shaking of the head and beating himself up. You cannot do that when you’re on a big stage.

“You cannot show negativity to your opponent and Michael has said he is actively working on that and I think he’s throwing some lovely stuff.

“If MVG thinks he is going to get it all his own way, nothing can be further from that, because Michael Smith looks like he is relaxed, enjoying his game, he is playing well and he knows he’s playing well.

“I think we could get some fireworks out there. I am going to go MVG 16-11 or 16-12. I think we’re in for a treat with that game.”

‘It is all about Fallon-mania…Wright will have to be on his game’

“It is all about Fallon-mania. Fair play to her, she is playing some wonderful stuff. Fallon is focused and in the zone.

“Peter Wright’s form has been a little indifferent and I think as much as he’s a popular player, the fans are going to be backing Fallon.

“When she gets opportunities, she does finish well and that is what darts is all about. I think Peter is seriously going to have to be on his game.

“Fallon just gets herself in her own space and plays her darts. In some ways, you cannot go wrong when you’re doing that, but she’s up against someone like Peter, who won’t be fazed.

“He is a world champion, European Champion, UK Open champion, current World Matchplay champ. He knows he can play better, he knows it’s there and he’s got it in the tank.

“I am going to pick Wrighty because he has got that experience of the longer format, but I don’t think he is going to have it all his own way.

“I think it will be 16-9 or 16-10 to Wrighty, and that won’t be a poor showing from Fallon, I just think the experience of Peter in the longer format will help him get the bit between his teeth.”

Don’t miss a dart from the Grand Slam of Darts which continues all from 7pm on Sky Sports Arena this Saturday night. Check out daily Darts news on, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts


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