A review of Monday's action at the World Grand Prix as Dave Chisnall beat Gerwyn Price in a thrilling clash as Glen Durrant won on his Dublin debut.
- World Grand Prix draw, schedule & TV guide
- Click here for Chris Hammer's betting tips
- Follow @ChrisHammer180 on Twitter
Dave Chisnall kept his hopes of a first televised PDC crown alive in dramatic fashion as he came through a thrilling first-round clash against Gerwyn Price at the World Grand Prix.
Both players have enjoyed tremendous seasons although Grand Slam of Darts champion Price headed into the encounter as marginal favourite having bagged his fourth title of 2019 as recently as Friday in Dublin.
And it looked as though he would defy the crowd's almost unanimous support of his ever popular opponent when edging a high-quality opening set 3-2 which featured a 12-darter from the Welshman and an 11-darter from Chizzy.
The St Helens thrower was averaging over 100 at this point and he maintained his levels to race through the second set 3-0 before holding his nerve from 62 to break the Price throw in the decider and go 2-1 up.
Back came Price with a superb 14-dart break of his own to take the match into a sudden death leg but despite having the advantage of throwing first, he failed to hit a starting double with his first nine darts to gift Chisnall victory.
Chizzy, backed on these pages at 50/1 pre-tournament, must not be underestimated in Dublin having bagged three titles this season including, crucially, his first on a stage environment since 2013 at the Danish Darts Open while he's also managed a trio of nine-dart finishes in 2019.
The 39-year-old averaged 92.5 - highly impressive in a double-start format - compared to Price's 79.69 while he hit four more 180s with five. It was only as close as it was because the Welshman made five of his seven attempts at doubles - including a pair of ton+ checkouts - as Chizzy missed six of his 14.
Glen Durrant's dream debut season on the PDC circuit reached another high point as he showed great determination to come from a set down to defeat Krzysztof Ratajski in his first ever match at the World Grand Prix.
The three-time BDO world champion, who has won two titles since earning his Tour Card back in January and also enjoyed a fairytale run to the World Matchplay semi-finals, made a sluggish start adapting to the double-start nature of this unique major as the dangerous Polish Eagle took the opening set 3-0.
Ratajski recently took his tally of PDC tournament victories in the last 18 months to six when landing the Gibraltar Darts Trophy and his momentum was showing no signs of slowing down until he missed two darts at double 18 to force a deciding leg in the second.
Durrant punished him to take the set 3-1 and the same happened in the decisive third when Ratajski spurned two at double 19 before the Teesider clinically took out 98 to book himself a spot in round two.
Both players averaged 84 and neither hit a single maximum but Duzza's finishing was far more clinical, pinning six of his nine double attempts as his opponent spurned seven of his 12.
Earlier, the 2017 champion and last year's semi-finalist Daryl Gurney was sent packing by Danny Noppert in the upset of the round.
Gurney looked to be on a role at 2-1 up in the opening set but spurned five darts to take it over the next two legs as Noppert made him pay.
That clearly knocked the Northern Irishman and his Dutch opponent raced through the second set 3-0 to claim his first victory on this stage.
World Matchplay champion Rob Cross finally broke his duck on the Dublin stage with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Mensur Suljovic.
Voltage had crashed out at the first hurdle to Steve Beaton in both 2017 and 2018 so he won't have been too happy to be handed such a tough draw against a player who had reached the semi-finals in three of the last four years.
Cross started well enough as he took the opening set 3-1 but missed nine darts at finishing doubles in the next as Suljovic took it 3-0 to force a decider.
With the advantage of throwing first, the Austrian moved into pole position by taking the opening leg in 14 darts but after Cross levelled matters, he then failed to to hit a starting double with his first four darts of the third leg to hand Voltage the initiative.
The 2018 world champion broke the throw in 14 darts before closing out the match - albeit only after Suljovic missed two chances from 40 to force a deciding leg.
Peter Wright had few problems as he defeated Max Hopp in straight sets.
Last year's runner-up was heavily expected to win having enjoyed a hot streak of form during the second half of the season including three titles in a row prior to reaching the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay while recently he's made four semi-finals on the circuit.
Although Hopp took the opening set to a deciding leg, Snakebite ran away with it in 14 darts and the second was more straightforward, winning it 3-1 even if the final leg was a calamitous affair.
The German took 11 darts to get away while Wright missed his first four before spurning six at the other end of the leg to go out in 25.
Jermaine Wattimena produced a minor upset as he came from behind to beat Adrian Lewis.
From 2-2 in the second set, the Machine Gun won four legs in succession to progress to round two for the second straight year and add an impressive scalp to his collection.
Lewis looked good early on, throwing 160, 100 and 140 in a dominant opening leg, taking the second without breaking sweat and eventually winning the first leg 3-1.
And when Wattimena couldn't get in at the start of the deciding leg of set two, Lewis threw 75 and 140 to establish a healthy lead to move within touching distance of a straightforward win.
But Wattimena kept in touch, then threw back-to-back 140s to leave himself requiring 50, which was dealt with in two darts to force a third set.
Thought Lewis again started it on the front foot, more heavy scoring and an 88 finish saw Wattimena take control and he won the set ruthlessly, all three darts at winning doubles finding their target.
Stephen Bunting didn't have to be anywhere close to his best to beat Jonny Clayton in the first match on the oche.
Clayton began the match with seven missed darts at double which, in this unique 'double in' event, was always going to put him in trouble.
The World Matchplay quarter-finalist required just two, taking the first leg with appropriate ease, and a 72 checkout in the second put him in full control of the opening set.
Clayton started to find his range in the next, throwing 111 to leave himself on a finish, but Bunting responded by hitting tops to wrap up the set.
The second set began almost identically, Clayton missing three darts for double as Bunting moved ahead, eventually taking out 96 to make it four legs from four.
At last, Clayton contributed with the highlight of the match, a 110 checkout, to stop the rot, but a 13-dart leg from his opponent was the ideal response as Bunting inched towards the second round.
A quality 64 finish from Clayton took the set to a deciding leg, only for him to miss four darts to force a decider and allow Bunting to steal it.
It was a match lacking in real quality, one which further underscored the importance of getting in - which Bunting did far more frequently. He'll need to up his own levels to beat Dave Chisnall in the second round.
If the first match was one-sided, the second was a "drubbing" according to Sky Sports' John Part as UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall impressively beat Vincent van der Voort 2-0.
Once again, the first leg set the tone - though van der Voort had no trouble getting away, he missed six darts to win it and allowed Aspinall to get away with a sloppy start having thrown first.
From there, Aspinall took the first set in the blink of an eye, taking out 76 and 75, and a 13-dart leg got him away in the second set as he set a tempo his opponent could not match.
Aspinall, who has enjoyed a stunning season by also winning the US Darts Masters, wasn't punished for needing four darts to get away in the fifth leg of the match, throws of 111 and 100 thereafter getting him back into position, before van der Voort finally stopped the bleeding with his only successful finishing double in 10 attempts.
That was as good as it got for the veteran Dutchman as Aspinall threw 108 to start the next leg, closing out the match in 14 darts on double 20 in a performance up there with the best of the tournament so far.
World Grand Prix: Monday results & Tuesday schedule
Monday October 7 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
First Round (Best of three sets)
- Stephen Bunting 2-0 Jonny Clayton (3-0, 3-2)
- Nathan Aspinall 2-0 Vincent van der Voort (3-0, 3-1)
- Jermaine Wattimena 2-1 Adrian Lewis (1-3, 3-2, 3-0)
- Glen Durrant 2-1 Krzysztof Ratajski (0-3, 3-1, 3-1)
- Danny Noppert 2-0 Daryl Gurney (3-2, 3-0)
- Dave Chisnall 2-1 Gerwyn Price (2-3, 3-0, 3-2)
- Rob Cross 2-1 Mensur Suljovic (3-1, 0-3, 3-1)
- Peter Wright 2-0 Max Hopp (3-2, 3-1)
Tuesday October 8 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Second Round (Best of five sets)
- James Wade v Mervyn King
- Michael Smith v Ian White
- Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey De Zwaan
- Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey