World Grand Prix – Quarter-final Preview

We are now at the quarter-final stage of the World Grand Prix with all four ties being played this evening.

So far we have seen plenty of fancied players tumbling and World Champion Gary Anderson was the latest big name to exit the tournament last night when he bowed out to the impressive Ian White. It can’t be denied that all the players who have reached this stage have deserved to be here, van Gerwen is a big favourite and it is his tournament to lose but who can say with confidence what will happen along the way?

Here are my previews for this evening.

White vs Thornton

Ian White
• This is White’s 5th appearance in a PDC major ranking tournament quarter-final (all in the past 2 years and all in different majors).
• Although he has lost all 4 of the previous quarter-finals in major ranking tournaments all have been close. 2015 Matchplay – Lost 16-13 vs van Gerwen, 2014 UK Open – Lost 10-8 vs van Gerwen, 2014 World Championship – Lost 5-4 vs Whitlock and 2013 Players Championship Finals – Lost 9-6 vs Hamilton.
• White leads Thornton 8-7 in their head to head meetings, having won the last 3, and 5 of their last 6. They have played twice in PDC major ranking tournaments; White won the most recent of these winning 10-3 at the World Matchplay in 2013.
• This is White’s 13th ranking quarter-final of the season, in the previous 12 he has won 8 and lost 4.

Robert Thornton
• This is Thornton’s second appearance in a quarter-final at the World Grand Prix. In his previous one in 2012 he lost 3-0 to Mervyn King.
• Since winning the UK Open in 2012 Thornton has appeared in 3 PDC ranking major quarter-finals and hasn’t won in any of them.
• Due to his UK Open triumph Thornton is one of only two PDC major tournament winners left in the tournament (the other is MVG of course), he also reached the final of Players Championship finals in 2009 and the final of the Grand Slam in 2013.
• This is Thornton’s 9th ranking quarter-final this season; he has won 4 and lost 4 of the 8 he has played.

Suljovic vs van der Voort

Mensur Suljovic
• This is the 3rd consecutive appearance at the quarter-final stage in a PDC major for Suljovic having also reached the last 8 in both the UK Open and World Matchplay this year. Only one other player (MVG) has also reached the quarter-finals of these tournaments. Suljovic is looking to get past the quarter-finals for the first time in a TV major however.
• This is his 10th ranking quarter-final appearance during this season, he has won 2 of the previous 9 played, though did win his most recent one at the Players Championship event played on the Friday before the start of this tournament.
• Suljovic can claim a 5-1 advantage in their previous encounters. They first met over 13 years ago at the BDO World Championships where Suljovic won 3 sets to 2 in the last 32. Their last meeting was in February earlier this year at UK Open qualifier when Mensur won 6-2.

Vincent van der Voort
• Vincent van der Voort has reached this stage of the tournament for the first time, he has played in the Grand Prix 7 times previously.
• This is his 7th appearance in a PDC major ranking event quarter-final, he has won 3 and lost 3 of the 6 played, 2 of those wins coming at the UK Open (one on his way to winning the UK Open in 2007). Most recently he reached back to back quarter-finals at the end of last year at the Players Championship finals and at the World Championship.
• In 8 previous ranking quarter-finals this season he has only won 1, he has failed to win his last 6 quarter-finals on the tour.

Webster vs Klaasen

Mark Webster
• This is only the second time Webster has reached the quarter-final of a major ranking tournament since he lost in the final of the Players Championship in December 2011. His other appearance was at the World Championship in 2014.
• Webster has been to this stage of the World Grand Prix before; he lost to Phil Taylor 4-0 in the quarter-finals back in 2011.
• He has reached the quarter-final stage at least, in all the current PDC TV major ranking tournaments except the European Championships since he moved over to the PDC and he is of course a former World Champion having lifted the BDO trophy.
• This is his first appearance in a ranking quarter-final since May, and only his second this season. The first came early in the season at a UK Open qualifier.

Jelle Klaasen
• This is the 6th time Klaasen has reached a PDC major ranking quarter-final; he has just won one of the previous five, which was in the European Championship in 2009.
• Klaasen has won 4 of his 9 ranking quarter-finals this season, in each of those that he won he went on to reach the final.
• Klaasen trails Webster 8-7 in their previous meetings. He has won 2 out of the last 3 but they haven’t played each other since May 2013 when funnily enough all 3 of those matches took place.
• With Klaasen also being a previous World Champion in the BDO this tie brings together a battle of the 2006 and 2008 BDO World Champions.

van Gerwen vs Lewis

Michael van Gerwen
• Michael van Gerwen is unbeaten at the PDC TV major ranking tournaments in the 2015 season; this is a total of 13 wins in a row. He has also only lost 1 of his last 15 matches on the World Grand Prix stage.
• Since reaching his 1st PDC major ranking tournament quarter-final at the World Matchplay in 2012 van Gerwen has now only failed to reach this stage 3 times from 20 consecutive PDC major ranking tournaments. He has only lost in 3 of his previous 16 PDC major ranking quarter-finals.
• MVG has won 7 of their 8 previous encounters including all 4 times they have played during 2015. Their most recent match was at the World Matchplay in July when van Gerwen won 13-2. Lewis played a lot better than that score suggests though.

Jamie Lewis
• This is Lewis’s best performance in a PDC major ranking tournament, bettering his previous best a Last 16 at the World Matchplay where he also ran into MVG.
• Lewis has now reached the quarter-finals in 5 ranking tournaments in 2015, in his previous 4 quarter-finals this year he won 2 and lost 2.
• He is the only player left in the tournament who has been taken to a deciding leg in the deciding set in both of his matches. Having edged out both O’Connor and Smith in the last leg.

That’s it for tonight’s matches, don’t forget to catch me on twitter too!


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