Peter Wright overcomes elbow injury to reach World Grand Prix quarter-finals for the first time

Peter Wright defied an elbow injury to beat Mervyn King 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix for the first time in Dublin.

The third seed came from a set down to get the better of his East Anglian rival, and set up a clash with sixth seed Mensur Suljovic in the last eight.

But the world number three, who is the bookies’ favourite to claim the £100,000 first prize on Saturday night, was clearly struggling with an elbow injury in his throwing arm during his second-round tie with King.

“I was practicing and threw one dart too hard and just felt it go ‘twang’,” Wright said.

“It was really affecting me in the first set but I adjusted my throw and it got a little better and fortunately I’m through.

“I’ll rest tonight and be ready to play Mensur, he’s playing alright at the moment but people aren’t playing well against him.”

King, a finalist in the double-start tournament five years ago, punished a slow start from the third seed, checking out 68 on double 16 to take the first set 3-2.

Wright then started his comeback after the break by winning the second set 3-1, which included a 116 checkout on double 18 in the fourth leg.

The Scot, who is bidding to win his second major title and his 11th overall this season, wrapped up the third set in style with an excellent 141 checkout moving him into a 2-1 lead in sets.

The 47-year-old then claimed all three legs in the fourth set to secure his place in the quarter-finals, finishing with checkouts of 121 and 112 in the last two legs to end the contest having hit four 100+ finishes.

The reigning UK Open champion had won nine out of 11 legs since dropping the first set to King and finished with a 71% success rate on his finishing doubles, which was enough to earn him a spot in the last eight in Dublin for the first time in six appearances at the Citywest Hotel.

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Simon Whitlock whitewashes good friend Richard North to set up World Grand Prix quarter-final with Benito van de Pas

Simon Whitlock will face Benito van de Pas in the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix after the Australian beat debutant Richard North 3-0 in the second round.

Whitlock and North play local league darts together in Hampshire and were facing each other for the third time in the PDC, with North having won their two previous encounters on the Pro Tour.

Former major winner Whitlock opened the match by taking the first set 3-1, finding double eight to claim his first leg followed by tops to break in the third before pinning double nine to take a 1-0 lead.

North produced a fightback of sorts in the second set, taking the set to a deciding leg but, as in the opener, Whitlock found double nine to double his advantage.

With the score at 2-0, Whitlock stepped up his level and took out 98 to break throw in the opening leg of the third set.

Finishes of 20 and 45 followed to wrap up a comprehensive victory against a man Whitlock rates highly.

“Richard and I know each other very well from back home and he’s a great player,” he said. “I was a little bit nervous as he’s beaten me the last two times we’ve played.

“I probably practice more than anyone else on the planet so I don’t see why I can’t win this. I’m playing well and I’m feeling good.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Mensur Suljovic keeps up bid for second TV title with 3-0 win against Steve West in World Grand Prix last 16

Mensur Suljovic continued his hopes of winning two televised titles in as many months after beating Steve West 3-0 in the second round of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The sixth seed started slowly but survived six missed darts from West to break in the opening leg, before eventually going on to take the set 3-2 with a 108 finish on his favourite double 14.

The second set was also close, with each leg resulting in a break of throw as the Austrian claimed the decider to move into a 2-0 lead in the second-round tie.

West broke throw in the opening leg of the third set to restore some hope and after leaving 40 to take a 2-0 lead in the set Suljovic produced a moment of magic.

Needing 140 to break back, the recent Champions League of Darts winner found the treble 20 before going on to pin back-to-back double tops to level the set in style.

As with the previous two sets a deciding leg was needed, where Suljovic began with six perfect darts before eventually hitting double eight to secure his place in the quarter-finals.

“I played ok today but not great,” the world number six said. “The 140 was very nice but I have to do better.

“I need to be ready for my match tomorrow, all the players are so good so I will have to work hard.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Back-to-back World Grand Prix quarter-finals for Benito van de Pas after whitewash win over Gerwyn Price in second round

Benito van de Pas booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix for the second successive year after a convincing 3-0 win over Gerwyn Price.

The Dutchman rushed out of the blocks by winning the opening two sets without reply, hitting a maximum and two 177s on the way to taking a 2-0 lead in sets.

The third set was not quite as convincing for van de Pas, as Price battled back and missed a dart for the set in the final leg of the match before the world number 14 took out 48 on tops to progress.

Van de Pas averaged 95.13 and hit 11 out of 16 attempts at his opening doubles and nine out of 14 attempts at finishing doubles as he comfortably made it through to Thursday’s quarter-finals.

“I’m happy with my performance tonight,” van de Pas said. “I don’t think I had a leg with no score on the starts so that is really important.

“If I carry on finishing like that, this could be a very good week for me but I’m not looking any further ahead than tomorrow’s match.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Raymond van Barneveld breezes past Steve Beaton in straight sets to reach last eight in World Grand Prix

Eighth seed Raymond van Barneveld cruised into the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix with a straight sets defeat of Steve Beaton in the second round in Dublin.

The two-time World Grand Prix finalist followed up his 2-0 win over Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson on Sunday with another dominant performance as he raced into the last eight having yet to drop a set.

Beaton won the opening leg of the first two sets between the two former world champions, but let the Dutchman back in on both occasions as van Barneveld moved clear, winning the opener 3-1 and the second in a deciding leg after two missed doubles from Beaton to level.

Barney took the third set’s opening two legs, and though he missed three match darts to allow Beaton’s brief respite, an 80 finish sealed the five-time world champion’s last eight spot.

“I was never comfortable but Steve wasn’t at his best tonight and I feel like the luckiest guy on the circuit,” said van Barneveld, who will now play Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror John Henderson in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

“Steve started well but I managed to win the first two sets, which could have easily gone either way. I won and that’s what’s most important.

“I felt a lot of confidence coming into this tournament and Sunday was good against Kyle Anderson. This game wasn’t as good but I won and I’ll be practising hard ahead of the quarter-finals.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

MVG’s conqueror John Henderson reels off three straight sets to beat Alan Norris in World Grand Prix last 16

John Henderson backed up his surprise win over top seed Michael van Gerwen with a comeback 3-1 victory against Alan Norris to reach the quarter-finals of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The world number 32 ended his 700+ day drought without a win on TV to knock out the world number one van Gerwen in the first round on Sunday, and is now through to the last eight in Dublin for the second time after reeling off three straight sets to see off Norris in the last 16.

Former World Championship finalist Norris had earlier capitalised on an edgy start from the Scot to claim the opening set 3-1, but Henderson settled his nerves with a 96 checkout and a 13-darter to lead 2-0 in set two before hitting double 16 to level the tie.

Henderson punished two missed doubles from Norris to lead in set three and then took out 124 on the bull to double his advantage, with Norris replying to force a decider, only for double 12 to give the Scot a key 2-1 cushion in sets.

Finishes of 60 and double ten moved Henderson clear in set four, before he landed a 180 and tops to seal his quarter-final place, matching the achievement he enjoyed on his debut in the double-start tournament back in 2011.

“To get through a hard game like that is fantastic,” Henderson said. “After beating Michael there was a lot of pressure on me tonight but I think I played better tonight.

“Alan missed a lot of doubles to start and you’ve got to punish these top players for that and luckily I did.

“I believe I’m a far better player than I was in 2011 but other players will say the same so I’ll have to play outstanding darts in every round.

“I’m playing steady darts and I’m still in the competition so let’s hope I can go all the way. I’m enjoying it – I’ve not been in a quarter-final here since 2011 and hopefully I can take that one step further.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Daryl Gurney sees off Joe Cullen in World Grand Prix to advance to third major quarter-final of the season

Daryl Gurney continued his excellent 2017 by reaching a third major quarter-final of the season, beating Joe Cullen 3-1 to progress to the last eight of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

The Northern Ireland number one, who has enjoyed runs to the semi-finals of both the UK Open and World Matchplay this year, made it through to the quarter-finals in Dublin for a second successive year after seeing off Cullen in four sets at the Citywest Hotel.

The world number 12 took out 76, a 13-darter and 88 for an 11-darter as he took the opening set 3-1, before finishing 107 and 74 to claim set two in a deciding leg, despite a 116 checkout from Cullen.

Cullen swept through set three without reply and took the lead in set four to keep his hopes of getting to a second-ever major quarter-final alive, but his missed finishing doubles in leg two proved costly as Gurney took out a stunning 127 on the bull, 72 and tops for victory.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Gurney, who will face 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

“Joe’s got a great record against me and he came back well in the third set, but the 127 was a big shot.

“I’m in the quarter-finals again but the way I look at it its that it’s just the same as round one and I’ve got to try and get to three sets before the other person.”

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC