World Grand Prix - Chisnall stuns MvG
DAVE CHISNALL knocked reigning World Grand Prix champion Michael van Gerwen out of the tournament with a thrilling 3-2 quarter-final victory on Friday night, as Phil Taylor, James Wade and Justin Pipe also won through to the semi-finals in Dublin.
World number seven Chisnall produced arguably the finest performance of his career so far as he hit ten 180s and held off van Gerwen's fightback from two sets down to rally and claim a five-set victory.
The St Helens ace will now play Pipe for a place in Sunday's final at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, but was able to savour a memorable win over the Dutch star.
Chisnall left the reigning champion reeling by taking the first set without reply, hitting 180s in all three legs, before taking the second set 3-1 by continuing his brilliant start.
Van Gerwen began his comeback by winning the third set 3-2, taking out a superb 127 finish in the deciding leg, only for Chisnall - a former Lakeside Championship runner-up and UK Open semi-finalist - to land an 11-darter as he moved 2-0 up in the fourth set.
Van Gerwen hit back to level as Chisnall missed one match dart, at double 16 in leg four, before the world number two took out 92 to win the set and level the game.
Chisnall, though, steadied himself by winning the opening two legs of the deciding set in 13 and 15 darts, and after van Gerwen won leg four, he posted a tenth 180 of the game and finished double ten to seal a fine victory.
"I'm over the moon, I can't believe it," said Chisnall. "This is my best win because I knew that if I produced what I can do then I'd have a chance, and I played well.
"Michael didn't play his best darts and even when he came back I felt I was scoring better than him. I'm really happy to be through and I've not shown my best yet - but that was close to it.
"You have to have a good start against Michael because if you don't, he'll get confidence from you not hitting your doubles, but I was building confidence from him not hitting his doubles.
"I've beaten Phil Taylor in the World Championship before and now I've beaten Michael here, so I've shown that I can beat the two best players in the world."
He added: "I'm going to take one step at a time, relax on Saturday and see how I go on against Justin. I've played Justin a lot of times before and I'll just focus on my own game, but it will be one of the biggest matches of my career."
Pipe's earlier 3-1 win over Andy Hamilton put him into the semis against Chisnall - with the winner not only guarateed a place in the World Grand Prix final but also a spot in next month's William Hill Grand Slam of Darts.
Pipe, who had not dropped a set in his victories over Andy Smith and Adrian Lewis, also won six of the game's first seven legs as he took a two-set cushion against Hamilton.
The UK Open finalist hit back to take the third 3-1, but Pipe won the fourth set in a deciding leg to seal his place in only a second major televised semi-final.
"It's a massive win for me. We're both grinders and I've learned a lot from Andy, and I'm so happy to beat him and reach the semi-finals.
"I think it's the biggest win of my career. Last night was massive to beat Adrian, and this is huge - it means a huge amount to me to be in the semi-finals. It shows how far I've come in the game in the last three years.
"I've got a big task in the semi-finals and it's going to be hard to beat Dave - but I can do it and I'll be confident."
Pipe had endured personal tragedy earlier this year when his brother Mark passed away suddenly in June, and he added: "Losing Mark was very hard and it would be amazing if I could win this tournament and dedicate it to him because he's a driving force for me."
Saturday's other semi-final will feature ten-time World Grand Prix winner Phil Taylor taking on two-time finalist James Wade.
Taylor booked his place in the last four with a comfortable straight sets victory over Gary Anderson with an imperious display.
The World Champion took the opening set in 12, 13 and 13 darts and took the second set 3-1, and though Anderson kicked off the third with a 160 finish, Taylor won the next three legs to seal the win.
"I wanted to lay down a marker and it was important to win that first set and put him under pressure, which I did," said Taylor. "It was a tough match but Gary missed a few crucial doubles and let me off.
"Gary's a great player, world class, and I want to shake him sometimes! He could be better than me, he's a better 180 scorer and when he hits his doubles then you might as well go home, but I took advantage tonight."
Taylor added: "It will be tough in the semi-finals but I'd love to go on and win this tournament now.
"James is there and thereabouts in every event and it's probably better for me to be playing him because I know what he's capable of. I've played him many times so I know what to expect."
2007 and 2010 champion Wade showed his class by twice coming from a set down against Simon Whitlock before winning a sudden-death leg in their clash with a 101 checkout.
Whitlock took the first set 3-2 before the left-hander won the second 3-1 to level, landing a 106 finish along the way, only for the Australian to punish his missed doubles by sweeping through set three without reply.
Wade, though, took out 160 as he won set four in a deciding leg, after Whitlock missed the bull to claim victory, as the game went into a fifth set.
Whitlock led 2-1 to move once again to the brink of victory, but Wade hit two 180s in a 12-darter to send the game into a one-leg shoot-out before progressing to the semis with a 101 checkout.
"I'm very happy," said Wade. "Maybe I was a bit lucky but I hit the right shots at the right times, and that's a good sign.
"I'm making myself dig deep; I'm not starting off with big shots but I'm due a good game and I'm looking forward to the semi-finals."
The format for Saturday's semi-finals sees the games extend to the best of nine sets at Dublin's Citywest Hotel. Tickets are available from the Citywest Hotel by calling 01 401 0500 or in person from 6pm on the Saturday and Sunday.
World Grand Prix
Friday October 11
Andy Hamilton 1-3 Justin Pipe
James Wade 3-2 Simon Whitlock
Phil Taylor 3-0 Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen 2-3 Dave Chisnall
Dave Chisnall v Justin Pipe
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Best of nine sets, best of five legs per set, double-start.
Andy Hamilton v Justin Pipe
First Set - 1-3 Pipe
Pipe hits tops to win the opener, with Hamilton opening the second with a 152 score before finishing 64 to level, but the Stoke ace misses double 19 to take out 158 in the third as double four puts the Taunton man 2-1 before he takes the set with a superb 12-darter, hitting a 180 and a 130 bullseye finish.
Second Set - 0-3 Pipe
Hamilton misses the bull to finish 122 and two further darts at double eight as Pipe steps in to hit the same bed to break throw and lead, before the Taunton man takes advantage of eight missed starting doubles from the UK Open finalist by finishing double 16 to move two legs up. Pipe then hits a second 180 of the game, before pinning double 16 to take the set with a fifth successive leg.
Third Set - 3-1 Hamilton
Hamilton misses nine darts to start the opening leg as Pipe edges ahead, but the second leg proves key as Pipe misses the bull to finish 83 and allows the Stoke star in to take out 103 on double 16. Hamilton's resurgence continues in leg three as he opens with a 152 score and takes out tops to break throw and move 2-1 up, and when Pipe misses his chance to level the set in two visits needing 80 - firstly bursting his score by hitting double 15 instead of double ten, before returning and missing double ten and five - the UK Open finalist lands double six to claim the set.
Fourth Set - 2-3 Pipe
Pipe misses the bull to take out 90 as Hamilton finishes 106 to win the opening leg, but Pipe levels and then finishes double eight - after his opponent misses two darts at double 19 for a 98 finish - to move to the brink of victory. The pair miss out on hitting an opening double in their first visits of leg four, with Hamilton then opening with a 152 - and in a dramatic ending to the leg he misses tops only to see Pipe miss one match dart at double 16 to allow him back to finish double five to level the set and stay in the game. The deciding leg of the set also proves dramatic as Hamilton misses double 16 for a 109 finish to level the game, and Pipe steps in to finish double eight with his third dart to claim the victory and his second televised semi-final appearances.
James Wade v Simon Whitlock
First Set - 2-3 Whitlock
Whitlock hits a 180 and double 16 to win the opening leg, before Wade levels with tops in the second leg. The two-time champion opened the third with a 160 score, but Whitlock finished 70 on double nine, and though Wade took leg four with an 86 finish, the Australian claimed the set by taking out 78 on tops in the decier.
Second Set - 3-1 Wade
Whitlock misses double 19 to finish 158 and is also unable to land two further doubles as Wade steps in with a 106 finish, before the Australian lands tops to level. Wade posts a 180 in the third leg, and when Whitlock misses two more darts at doubles, this time at tops, the left-hander hits the same bed to move 2-1 up before landing another maximum to leave 65 as tops gives him the set to level the game.
Third Set - 0-3 Whitlock
Wade misses nine opening doubles in the first leg, with Whitlock hitting double four to move in front before hitting a 180 and double ten to take leg two and double six to seal the set, after the left-hander missed double 16 to level.
Fourth Set - 3-2 Wade
Whitlock misses 13 darts at his starting doubles as Wade moves ahead on double three, before the left-hander posts a 180 in leg two, only for Whitlock to level on double 16. A brilliant 160 checkout gives Wade the third leg, but he misses the bull in the fourth as Whitlock takes out 65 on tops to move a leg away from the win. The Australian misses the bull to finish 90 for victory in the deciding leg, as Wade hits tops to take the set and send the game into a fifth set.
Fifth Set - Wade 3-2
Wade hits a 180 in the opening leg, but can only watch on as Whitlock finishes 90 on double 15 to move ahead, and though Wade levels on double ten, the Australian hits double five to move 2-1 up and once again to the brink of victory. Wade shows his class with a superb 12-darter to send the match into a sudden-death leg, hitting two 180s and finishing 61 on tops, and scores the better to be first to a checkout, taking out 101 to claim a remarkable win - having never led until hitting the winning double.
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
First Set - 3-0 Taylor
Taylor makes a thrilling start to the game, hitting a 180 and taking out 101 to win the opening leg in 12 darts before trading maximums with Anderson in the second as double 12 for a 13-darter sees him level. Taylor adds another 180 in leg three, and when Anderson misses double top, ten and five to hit back, double 14 - for another 13-dart leg - gives the ten-time champion the first set with a 118 average.
Second Set - 3-1 Taylor
Taylor continues in the same manner as he hits another 180 and an 84 finish, but misses three darts to win a fifth successive leg as Anderson hits tops to win his first leg of the game. Taylor, though, restores his lead on double 16 and then hits another maximum and double four to take the second set.
Third Set - 3-1 Taylor
Anderson hits a 180 and a 116 finish for a 12-darter to whitewash Taylor, who misses nine opening doubles for a rare blip, but the Scot misses doubles in the next two as Taylor hits double two and double six to move 2-1 up, and the World Champion seals victory by posting double 16.
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
First Set - 0-3 Chisnall
Chisnall makes a sensational start by winning the opening set without reply, hitting 180s in each leg as well as finishes of double 16, double eight and double 18.
Second Set - 1-3 Chisnall
The world number seven continues his brilliant form by opening set two with a 160 and a 180, hitting a seventh perfect dart only to miss the treble 17 on the 161 combination, settling instead for winning the leg in 12 darts. Van Gerwen takes advantage of two misses from Chisnall to level in the second leg, but sees his opponent hit double 18 and tops to take the next two for a two-set lead.
Third Set - 3-2 van Gerwen
Chisnall landed another 180 in the third set's opening leg, but saw van Gerwen post tops to lead before the pair both opened the second leg with 160 scores, as tops saw Chisnall level. The next two legs are also shared before van Gerwen hits a 180 in the decider before taking out 127 on double eight to win the set and begin his fightback.
Fourth Set - 3-2 van Gerwen
Chisnall hit a 160 score and double 18 to win the fourth set's opener, and landed two 180s in a brilliant 11-dart leg to move a leg away from victory, only for van Gerwen to reply on tops in leg three. Chisnall hit a 180 in the fourth, but missed double 16 for the match as van Gerwen took out double 12 to level the set and hit a 177 and a 92 finish to win the deciding leg and square the match.
Fifth Set - 1-3 Chisnall
Chisnall composes himself with a 13-darter to win the opening leg of the final set, and takes out 86 on double eight to move a leg away from victory. Van Gerwen hits the same bed to reply, but Chisnall lands his tenth 180 of the game in leg four and posts double ten to complete a brilliant triumph.