Darts results: Gerwyn Price beats Mikuru Suzuki 5-4 on day one of Grand Slam of Darts

Gerwyn Price and Mikuru Suzuki (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Mikuru Suzuki missed four match darts in a 5-4 defeat to Gerwyn Price as the Grand Slam of Darts began with a bang on Monday.

The BDO women's world champion began the event as a 33/1 chance to top Group G, quotes which looked all kinds of wrong as she took out 135 on the bullseye to lead 3-2.

Price - who won the title in both 2018 and 2019 - levelled with a 78 finish, his highest of the match, before a 13-dart leg appeared set to extinguish any hope of the upset.

But another fabulous finish from Suzuki, this time a 116 completed with double 18, saw here throw for the match and after visits of 81, 140 and 125, she was in control of he leg.

Price then let her go unpunished for a sloppy visit and the Japanese ace needed tops for a 110 finish and a famous win, only to miss that and then three more darts at double before Price finally settled matters on double 10.

The Welshman was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as 'The Miracle' came within touching distance of living up to her name.

"I didn't play well there at all. I was let off, fair play to Mikuru she was brilliant," said Price.

"I started poorly and I was chasing the game from then on. I shouldn't have done that given how I've been playing the last few weeks.

"Fair play to Mikuru for taking out two ton-plus checkouts to put me under pressure. I was lucky to get over the winning line but a win's a win."

There was more drama to come as Dirk van Duijvenbode got the better of a lacklustre Peter Wright to win their match 5-4.

Van Duijvenbode - tipped by our Chris Hammer to top Group E at 8/1 - looked a bag of nerves as the winning line approached, but Wright wasn't close enough to capitalise and his opponent finally hit double four for the upset.

Close calls were the order of the evening as Jonny Clayton beat Ryan Joyce 5-4 in the same group and Jose De Sousa also won a last-leg decider in his Group C clash with Krzysztof Ratajski.

In-form Michael Smith tops that table after a dominant display against Lisa Ashton, winning 5-1, while Michael van Gerwen averaged 105.85 despite failing to hit a single 180 in an impressive, 5-0 dismissal of Adam Hunt.

"I put on a good performance but I was maybe punishing myself too hard," Van Gerwen admitted.

"I feel good. The most important thing is I won today and I can move onto the next one.

"I'm not going to say 'I'm back' yet but I'm definitely heading in the right direction. I need a few more games like this."

In the final match on day one, Devon Petersen threw six maximums in a fine debut performance to beat Ian White 5-2.

Dancing Dimitri near perfect

Dimitri Van den Bergh was the star of the afternoon, setting a new tournament average of 114.85 and missing double 12 for a nine-darter in his 5-1 win over Ricky Evans.

After going 1-0 down, the World Matchplay champion won each of his five legs in five visits to the board or fewer to surpass the previous record of 114.65 set by Phil Taylor against Christian Kist at the 2014 event.

Van den Bergh came agonisingly close to doubling his tally of televised nine-darters, having struck his first at the 2018 Grand Slam.

"I didn't even realise my average was that high, so it's a nice surprise to break the record," Van den Bergh admitted.

"I'm surprised I played that well given how I felt before the game. My mind wasn't there in practice and I was very wary of the threat Ricky poses, he's smashed me before.

"But I always say when I go up on that stage I can play and I showed that today."

Cross cruises past Pipe

The opening game of the tournament saw Rob Cross get his campaign off to a perfect start, defeating Justin Pipe 5-1 as the former World Champion attempts to make it through the group stage for a fourth consecutive year.

Former runner-up Dave Chisnall recovered from 3-1 down and survived two match darts in a deciding leg as he edged out Luke Humphries 5-4.

Two-time runner-up James Wade impressed with a 102.44 average as he brushed aside Australian debutant Damon Heta 5-2 while three-time quarter-finalist Simon Whitlock punished eight missed doubles from Ryan Searle as he ran out a 5-3 victor.

Winter Series qualifier Jermaine Wattimena continued his good form by overcoming an out-of-sorts Glen Durrant 5-1 and Premier League runner-up Nathan Aspinall got his campaign off to a flying start as he whitewashed BDO champion Wayne Warren 5-0.

The final game of the afternoon saw a below-par Gary Anderson amble to a 5-3 victory over 18-year-old Czech debutant Adam Gawlas, after which he accused his opponent of cheating.

It appeared the Scot was angry at his opponent for sniffing during his throw - suggesting the youngster ought to take another Covid-19 test if he wasn't feeling well.

"It's nice to play darts but you get players that snark in your ear every time you throw. Always seems to come from the same team then it gets on your nerves a bit," he told Sky Sports.

"Would I pull out? Yeah, because darts isn't darts anymore. Call it gamesmanship. I call it cheating. I'll see him through there when I go through."

Grand Slam of Darts 2020: Group standings

Group A

  1. (1) Michael van Gerwen P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +5 Pts 2
  2. Gabriel Clemens P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +3 Pts 2
  3. Joe Cullen P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff -3 Pts 0
  4. Adam Hunt P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -5 Pts 0

Group B

  1. Simon Whitlock P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +2 Pts 2
  2. (8) Gary Anderson P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +2 Pts 2
  3. Adam Gawlas P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -2 Pts 0
  4. Ryan Searle P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -2 Pts 0

Group C

  1. (4) Michael Smith P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +4 Pts 2
  2. Jose De Sousa P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
  3. Krzysztof Ratajski P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -1 Pts 0
  4. Lisa Ashton P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -4 Pts 0

Group D

  1. (5) Rob Cross P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +4 Pts 2
  2. Dave Chisnall P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
  3. Luke Humphries P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -1 Pts 0
  4. Justin Pipe P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -4 Pts 0

Group E

  1. Devon Petersen P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +3 Pts 2
  2. Dirk van Duijvenbode P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
  3. (2) Peter Wright P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -1 Pts 0
  4. Ian White P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -3 Pts 0

Group F

  1. Jermaine Wattimena P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +4 Pts 2
  2. (7) James Wade P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +3 Pts 2
  3. Damon Heta P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -3 Pts 0
  4. Glen Durrant P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -4 Pts 0

Group G

  1. Jonny Clayton P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
  2. (3) Gerwyn Price P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +1 Pts 2
  3. Mikuru Suzuki P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -1 Pts 0
  4. Ryan Joyce P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -1 Pts 0

Group H

  1. (6) Nathan Aspinall P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +5 Pts 2
  2. Dimitri Van den Bergh P 1 W 1 L 0 LegDiff +4 Pts 2
  3. Ricky Evans P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -4 Pts 0
  4. Wayne Warren P 1 W 0 L 1 LegDiff -5 Pts 0

Scoring System: Each competitor plays each other once in a best-of-nine legs match, with two points going to the winner. The top two from each group will then progress to the knockout stages. Any two-way points tie in any position, the player with best leg difference will finish higher. If two players are still level then the winner of the match between them will progress. There is the potential for a Nine-Dart Shoot-Out should three or more players be tied for points and leg difference. For more details see the format section further down.

Daily Schedule & Results

Click for Sky Bet's darts odds

Monday November 16
Afternoon Session (1pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Rob Cross 5-1 Justin Pipe (D)
  • Dave Chisnall 5-4 Luke Humphries (D)
  • James Wade 5-2 Damon Heta (F)
  • Simon Whitlock 5-3 Ryan Searle (B)
  • Glen Durrant 1-5 Jermaine Wattimena (F)
  • Nathan Aspinall 5-0 Wayne Warren (H)
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-1 Ricky Evans (H)
  • Gary Anderson 5-3 Adam Gawlas (B)

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches A-D (Best of 9 legs)

  • Jonny Clayton 5-4 Ryan Joyce (G)
  • Joe Cullen 2-5 Gabriel Clemens (A)
  • Krzysztof Ratajski 4-5 Jose De Sousa (C)
  • Michael Smith 5-1 Lisa Ashton (C)
  • Michael van Gerwen 5-0 Adam Hunt (A)
  • Gerwyn Price 5-4 Mikuru Suzuki (G)
  • Peter Wright v Dirk van Duijvenbode (E)
  • Ian White v Devon Petersen (E)

Tuesday November 17
Afternoon Session (1pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Ricky Evans v Wayne Warren (H)
  • Luke Humphries v Justin Pipe (D)
  • Ryan Searle v Adam Gawlas (B)
  • Glen Durrant v Damon Heta (F)
  • Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock (B)
  • James Wade v Jermaine Wattimena (F)
  • Rob Cross v Dave Chisnall (D)
  • Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh (H)

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Lisa Ashton (C)
  • Joe Cullen v Adam Hunt (A)
  • Ryan Joyce v Mikuru Suzuki (G)
  • Peter Wright v Ian White (E)
  • Devon Petersen v Dirk van Duijvenbode (E)
  • Michael van Gerwen v Gabriel Clemens (A)
  • Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton (G)
  • Michael Smith v Jose De Sousa (C)

Wednesday November 18 (3pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • 8x Group Matches

Thursday November 19 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • 8x Group Matches

Friday November 20 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • 4x Matches

Saturday November 21 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • 4x Matches

Sunday November 22
Afternoon Session (1pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Quarter-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2x Matches

Evening Session (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Quarter-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2x Matches

Monday November 23 (7pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Semi-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2x Matches

Tuesday November 24
Afternoon Session (6pm)
TV Coverage: Sky Sports
Final (Best of 31 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

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