Grand Slam of Darts | Anderson and Van Gerwen set up Semi-Final clash

Gary Anderson (pictured) will face Michael van Gerwen in tomorrow’s Semi-Final in Wolverhampton. Photo : Lawrence Lustig / PDC

Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen will face off on Sunday afternoon in what’s expected to be a mouth-watering Semi-Final clash at the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton. The pair have locked horns on 52 occasions with the Dutchman winning on 35 of those occasions. Anderson did manage to get the better of Van Gerwen at the Champions League of Darts as the Scot produced a 140 checkout to send the World no.1 home, but Van Gerwen has won seven out of their last ten meetings.

Gary Anderson booked his place in the last four as he enjoyed a comfortable 16-6 victory over Michael Unterbuchner in what was a solid display from the World Matchplay champion. Anderson averaged 100.48 in what was a fairly dominant display. Unterbuchner did get off to a great start as he moved into a 2-0 lead early on, but Anderson rallied superbly as he won seven of the next eight legs to move into a comfortable 7-3 lead at the second interval. At this stage, Anderson was in cruise control, and his lead was never under threat. The highlight for the German was a fantastic 160 checkout as he got his fifth leg on the board in what was a 12-darter for the debutant who’s had a fantastic tournament. But, overall Anderson will be reasonably pleased with his performance, a 100.48 average, a 50% checkout rate with 3 three-figure checkouts.

“It was hard but it was easy at the same time,” said Anderson. “I got a good lead and that can be hard sometimes, but there were some good darts in there and I got myself over the winning line.

“Michael didn’t play as well as he did in the last three games – he was great against James Wade but he had some blips tonight. He never got going tonight but he’s done well this week.”

Anderson is now aiming to scoop the £110,000 top prize on Sunday, when the semi-finals and final are held at the Aldersley Leisure Village.

“I’d love to win this event and it’s a tournament that’s close to my heart,” said the two-time World Champion. “It’s well documented that this is my favourite tournament and it’s a good new venue here.

“It would mean a lot to win this because I’ve played here for all 12 years, but we’ll see what happens on Sunday.”

As for Van Gerwen, he was involved in yet another high-quality clash with ‘The Ferret’ Jonny Clayton as the World no.1 prevailed in a 16-12 victory. The World no.1 averaged 101.65, but he really had to push hard to get over the finishing line. In my betting preview for Betfair, I tipped this one to be close, and it most certainly was that. Even after 20 legs there were no seperating the pair as the shares were spoiled at ten legs-a-piece. Clayton’s high scoring and nerveless finishing from their group A encounter was ever present, but the further the match went on, the more Van Gerwen got into his groove. The World no.1 reeled off four legs in a matter of minutes as he moved into a 15-11 lead, but he did have some nervy moments as he missed eight darts for a 16-11 victory, Clayton manged to punish those missed opportunities, and he missed more darts to move within two legs of Van Gerwe, but he was denied another bite of the cherry as MVG cleanly took out 66 to cement his place in the Semi-Finals. Considering that Van Gerwen missed thirty darts at a double, his average could’ve been 110+.


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