2016 Grand Slam of Darts – Quarter-finals (3 & 4) Preview

The remaining two quarter-finals at the 2016 Grand Slam of Darts take place tonight; my preview has all angles covered.

Here’s the updated tournament draw.

grand-slam-qf-line_up

Now on the with games…

dobey-v-wade

Chris Dobey

  • In the last round Chris Dobey came through 10-9 in a very tense match against Jamie Hughes, he had led 9-5 only for Hughes to claw his way back into contention. Dobey missed 3 darts at double to win 10-7 and 10-8 but then had to withstand 5 missed darts at double by Hughes in the deciding leg.
  • In 10 winning legs against Hughes his highest checkout was only 48.
  • Against Hughes he hit a very impressive 10 dart leg; no other player in the tournament prior to the quarter-finals had finished a leg in fewer than 11 darts.
  • Dobey has scored a total of 14 180s on his way to this stage of the tournament, of the 8 quarter-finalists only van Barneveld and van Gerwen have a better 180 ratio.
  • This is only the 4th ranking quarter-final that he has reached since he joined the PDC in January 2015, though 2 of those previous quarter-finals have been in the last couple of months which includes his run to the final at a Players Championship tournament last month.

James Wade

  • Wade had the most comfortable win of any player in the last 16 as he dropped just 2 legs in brushing aside Benito van Pas. From the start of the match Wade won 8 legs without reply as van de Pas struggled for consistency. Wade averaged just under 93 at the end of the match but was averaging around 99 with 3 legs to go.
  • Wades double success percentage was marginally the lowest of any of the 8 quarter-finalists, partly due to taking a combined total of 12 attempts to hit his final 2 doubles against van de Pas.
  • This is the 3rd time that Wade has made it through to the quarter-finals at the Grand Slam (all 3 have been 3 years apart), back in 2010 he won 16-15 against Terry Jenkins and in 2013 he lost 16-12 to Phil Taylor.
  • This is only his 4th TV ranking quarter-final since October 2014 (a 15 tournament span), though he did reach the quarter-finals at the recent European Championship, on that occasion he defeated James Wilson before losing to van Gerwen in the semi-finals.

Head to Head (Dobey leads 1-0)

They have only met once previously and it was Dobey who took the honours, he won 6-5 in a Players Championship tournament back in April.

Verdict

This run to the quarter-finals will have exceeded all of the expectations that Chris Dobey had coming into the tournament and it has to be said he has deserved his place in the last 8, his match against Hughes did get nervy which is to be expected given the lack of experience but there is arguably less pressure on him here in a match he is considered to have less chance of winning. Wade hasn’t hit peak form during the tournament but has produced the key darts when it matters, for example his scoring for a 6 leg spell against van de Pas was very impressive and gave him complete control of the match, one of Wade’s key strengths is the timing of his big scores and high checkouts.

If this was a short format match Dobey’s chances of a win would be higher but this is new territory for him, Wade has the experience of long format matches and this could be a key factor. I expect a very good effort from Dobey but don’t think he will overturn Wade in this match.

 

anderson-v-van-barneveld

Gary Anderson

  • Anderson won a high quality 10-9 thriller against Danny Noppert in the last round; Noppert was deadly on his doubles and as the score proves pushed Anderson all the way. Anderson had to dig deep and showed his class by checking out 100 to win the last leg of the match.
  • The win against Noppert was his second last leg decider of the tournament; he previously defeated Glen Durrant in his opening group match. Anderson had the throw in the deciding leg in both of those last leg wins.
  • Anderson reached the quarter-finals in 4 of the first 5 years of the Grand Slam but this is the first time he has made it through to this stage of the tournament since 2011 when he went on to reach the final.
  • Of his 4 previous Grand Slam quarter-finals he has won 3 and lost 1, that sole defeat was a narrow 16-15 loss to Wayne Jones in 2010.
  • Anderson has won each of his last 8 TV ranking quarter-finals; the last time he lost at this stage in a TV ranking quarter-final was at the Players Championship finals in December 2013.

Raymond van Barneveld

  • Van Barneveld came through 10-7 in his last 16 match against BDO number one Glen Durrant. Barney was never behind in the match but Durrant was often in close contention.
  • Van Barneveld had the highest tournament average, highest double success percentage and highest 180 count of all 8 quarter-finalists.
  • In particular his finishing has been superb during his 4 matches so far; he has an overall double success percentage of 56.82%.
  • This is Barney’s 5th appearance in the quarter-finals at the Grand Slam and he has won each of his last 3 matches at this stage of the tournament. Over the best of 31 leg format Barney has won 3 out of 3 Grand Slam quarter-final matches. The only defeat came in 2008 in a 10-9 defeat by Terry Jenkins.
  • Van Barneveld has won each of his last 5 TV ranking quarter-finals; the last time he lost at this stage in a TV ranking quarter-final was at the Players Championship finals in December 2013 (the same tournament where Anderson last lost in a TV ranking quarter-final!).

Head to Head (Anderson leads 16-14)

Anderson holds a slender lead in overall matches against van Barneveld but he has dominated recent meetings, having won each of their last 9 encounters (stretching back to April 2015). Their last meeting was last month in the semi-finals at the Grand Prix when Anderson had a convincing 4-1 win (in sets). Most of their encounters have been in the Premier League but Barney has actually won only 2 knockout round games against Anderson in matches they have played during their time in the PDC.

Verdict

An excellent match is in store for the last quarter-final, van Barneveld has been the form player going into the quarter-finals but Anderson hasn’t exactly played shabbily and has had to come through some tough matches to reach this stage. One key factor could be their recent head to head record with Anderson having very much the upper hand, records though are made to be broken and van Barneveld has a real chance of breaking that streak with the level of performance he has shown this week. It’s a tough match to call as Anderson has responded in the right way to the challenges in front of him this week and van Barneveld might bring out the best in him. I do think Barney could be decent value on the handicap with 3.5 legs start. I also think Barney to have the highest checkout looks possible.

 

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