World Grand Prix – Day Three Preview

Day three at the World Grand Prix means it’s the start of the second round, half of the field have exited the tournament as we are down to the Last 16.

Last night the 11 time Grand Prix champion Phil Taylor was put out of the tournament by Steve West, with James Wade and Robert Thornton also no longer left in, the only former winner of the World Grand Prix remaining is Michael van Gerwen.

Tonight there are 4 matches from the bottom half of the draw to be played, here are my previews…

jenkins-v-van-de-pas

Jenkins

  • In round one Jenkins came through a last leg decider against two time Grand Prix champion James Wade, he trailed by 1 set and 1 break in the 2nd set before winning 6 out of 8 legs to get over the line.
  • Both his starting and finishing doubles were impressive during his win over Wade, only 2 times in 14 legs did he fail to hit a starting double within 2 darts and he hit 8 out of 11 on his finishing doubles.
  • Jenkins is aiming to make it through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009; he has lost in the Last 16 in each of the last 2 years.
  • A win here would put him through to his first TV ranking quarter-final since November 2014.

van de Pas

  • His opening round match against Gerwyn Price turned out to be a comfortable 2-0 win with van de Pas only dropping 2 legs on his way to victory.
  • In truth it was a scrappy win vs Price especially on his doubling, van de Pas hit his starting double within 3 darts in only half of the legs they played and he was just over 31% on his finishing doubles.
  • This is his best showing at the World Grand Prix having exited in the opening round on his debut last year.
  • A win here would equal his best performance in a PDC ranking tournament, matching his effort at the Players Championship Finals last December.

Head to Head (They have won 2 matches each)

There is nothing between them on their head to head record, 3 of their meetings came in 2015. The only time they have played during 2016 was at the Austrian Open in June, that encounter went the way of Terry Jenkins (6-3).

Verdict

If this match was decided on their performances in round one then there is no doubt that Terry Jenkins would go through, he was excellent in starting and finishing legs against James Wade whilst van de Pas didn’t always find it easy and was helped by an opponent who was struggling with the double start format. If the match was decided on their form throughout 2016 then it would be van de Pas who would go through, he has been impressive throughout the year. The match really hinges of the consistency of Jenkins he still has the game as he showed against Wade but he doesn’t always bring it in consecutive matches. The bookies have van de Pas as the favourite but I would have to think there is some value in Jenkins, he is more at ease with the double start format and has to have a good chance.

 

bunting-v-huybrechts

Bunting

  • Bunting came from a set behind to defeat defending champion Robert Thornton in the opening round, having lost the opening set 3-1 he proceeded to win 3-1 in both of the next two sets.
  • Although Bunting did struggle to get away in the occasional leg against Thornton, when he did get started he scored well, hitting two 180’s in one of the legs and he impressively had two 12 darts legs.
  • The last time Bunting was in the Last 16 in 2014 he was excellent in defeating Peter Wright 3-2. During that game Bunting won 8 of his 10 legs in 15 darts or less and hit an incredible 12x 180’s.
  • A win here would put him in his first PDC TV ranking quarter-final since March 2015 at the UK Open.

Huybrechts

  • Huybrechts also had to come from behind in round one. He trailed Ian White by a set and was 2-0 down in the 2nd set; he somehow turned things around winning 6 out of the next 7 legs to come through.
  • Against White he struggled in the opening 2 legs to hit a starting double (he threw 15 darts in total during those 2 legs), after that he found his range and in the final 10 legs he hit his starting double each time within his first 3 darts.
  • The finishing of Huybrechts was impressive in his comeback; he only missed 1 dart at double in the last 7 legs of the match.
  • Victory would put him in only his 2nd PDC TV ranking quarter-final since December 2012.
  • Last year he faced MVG in the Last 16 of the Grand Prix, Huybrechts took the first set, although he was pegged back to 1-1 he was then 1-0 up in the 3rd set but proceeded to lose 6 legs in a row and lost 3-1.

Head to Head (They have won 2 matches each)

Not a lot to choose between them in previous meetings, their most recent encounter was in a Euro Tour quarter-final in September when Huybrechts edged it 6-5, prior to that they shared a 6-6 draw in the 2015 Premier League.

Verdict

Both players had to come from behind in tough first round matches to set up this Last 16 clash. Neither have made a great impression in TV ranking tournaments over the last 17 months but certainly have the quality to reach the latter stages. I think it’s all set up for an even and competitive battle with not much to separate them.  To be honest I am struggling to pick a clear favourite and a winner. I certainly think it has the potential to go the full 5 sets and hopefully it will be a very entertaining game.

 

g-anderson-v-k-anderson

Gary Anderson

  • Gary Anderson steamrollered his way through to the Last 16 with a comfortable 2-0 win over Jamie Caven, he only dropped 1 leg during the match.
  • There were plenty of impressive parts of Anderson’s performance vs Caven. His starting doubles were formidable (never taking more than 2 darts to get away), his scoring imperious and his finishing high quality with two ton plus checkouts.
  • A win here would put him through to his 4th World Grand Prix quarter-final.
  • He has made only 3 TV ranking quarter-finals from his last 9 TV ranking tournaments but did of course win the World Championship during this time and reached the semi-finals at July’s World Matchplay.

Kyle Anderson

  • Kyle Anderson had to come from a set down to win against Cristo Reyes on his World Grand Prix debut. Anderson eventually won the final set on a last leg decider against the throw with a 13 darter.
  • It was a very patchy performance from Anderson in his first round win, especially on his finishing doubles where he had a 29% success rate
  • This is his 3rd consecutive appearance in the Last 16 of a PDC TV ranking tournament, he won through to the quarter-finals at the UK Open but lost to van Gerwen at the this stage at the World Matchplay in July.

Head to Head (Kyle Anderson leads 1-0)

Their one and only previous encounter was very recently, it was last Friday at a Players Championship tournament and was won by 6-4 by Kyle Anderson.

Verdict

Gary Anderson was in superb form in round one against Caven, giving his opponent little chance; he has looked comfortable in this format over recent years although he has yet to reach the final. Last year it took an excellent performance from Ian White to beat Gary Anderson at this stage of the tournament and Kyle Anderson will have to play much better than he did in round one if he is to compete with the world champion. Kyle Anderson does have ability and when he gets in his rhythm he is a very good scorer I just think his lack of experience in the double start format will hold him back. I’m going for a 3-1 win to Gary Anderson.

 

lewis-v-van-barneveld

Lewis

  • Lewis came through a tricky first round match against Jelle Klaasen winning 2-1 having previously missed a dart at double to win 2-0 he was forced into a final set which he won with a break of throw in the 4th
  • It was an excellent performance from Lewis the highlight being a 157 checkout to take the opening set; he had taken out a 116 in the previous leg also. Overall he hit over 61% of his finishing doubles.
  • He is aiming to get through to his first Grand Prix quarter-final since 2010. Lewis has exited the tournament at the Last 16 stage in 7 of his previous 11 appearances at the Grand Prix.
  • In the last 6 PDC TV ranking tournaments Lewis has gone through to the quarter-finals 5 times.

van Barneveld

  • van Barneveld won 2-0 in the first round against Mervyn King, it probably wasn’t as comfortable as the score suggests with King competitive in virtually all the legs played.
  • Some crisp checkouts from van Barneveld were the key factor in his win over King, he took out a 130 finish in the opening set and hit a 164 against throw in the second set and finished off the match with an 80 finish also on the King throw.
  • Barney is also aiming to reach his first Grand Prix quarter-final since 2010.
  • His last defeat on the Grand Prix stage came against Lewis in the first round of last year’s tournament.
  • He has only managed to reach the quarter-finals in 2 of the last 9 PDC TV ranking tournaments he has played.

Head to Head (van Barneveld leads 30-20)

Barney has the overall lead in their head to head meetings and has won each of the last 3, the most recent being in August at the Perth Masters. Prior to Barney winning the last 3 Lewis had won 5 in a row. This will be their 4th meeting at the Grand Prix, last year Lewis had a comfortable 2-0 win in round one, previously Barney had triumphed in 2007 and 2008.

Verdict

Both of these players have had a lean spell in terms of winning matches at the Grand Prix and are aiming to win back to back matches at the tournament for the first time since 2010. There can be no doubt they have the ability to go all the way in this tournament but consistency has been a problem for both players. Not an easy match to predict and personally I can’t with confidence say what the outcome will be. The overall performance of Lewis was higher in round one and I would make him favourite. One thing to look out for could be high checkouts, their finishing was their strength in round one and should they back up that in this game we may see some big outs.

 

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