Seeds Tumble as We Reach Grand Slam of Darts Semifinals

Although we have had 13 previous Grand Slam of Darts tournaments, we have only ever had five winners of the event. Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price, Raymond van Barneveld and Scott Waites are the five players to have won the title in the past but this year there will be a new name etched onto the trophy for the first time after a dramatic opening week of action.

Seeds have tumbled by the wayside in what has been one of the most open Grand Slam of Darts events in the history of the competition, and we have had more than our fair share of drama too, with a number of nail-biting last leg deciders seeing some of the biggest names in darts eliminated from the tournament in extraordinary fashion.

We are now at the semifinals stage of the tournament and over tonight and tomorrow night we will discover first who makes the final and then who will be named the Grand Slam of Darts champion for the very first time. If you are a huge darts fan and would like to enjoy a bet on these semifinals and final and want to sign up with a bookmaker that offers safe, secure and responsible gambling, then a great place to start is with the latest bet365 New Player Offer.

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Let us now take a look at how the Grand Slam of Darts progressed and how some of the pre-tournament favourites eventually went out of the tournament.

Grand Slam of Darts Review

The biggest surprise of the first round of the tournament, the league phase, was second seed and current World Champion Peter Wright didn’t make it out of the group stages, losing to both Dirk van Duijvenbode and Devon Petersen which eliminated him from the tournament.

However, by the second round, seeds had started to tumble a little more readily. Gary Anderson (8) went out thumped 8-2 by Michael van Gerwen (1), while fifth seed Rob Cross was beaten 10-9 in a cracking game with Michael Smith (4). Reigning champion Gerwyn Price (3) also saw their two-year hold on the title come to an end when he was beaten 10-8 by sixth seed Nathan Aspinall.

Four seeds remained in the quarterfinals on Sunday but only one of them would make it through to the semifinals. Michael van Gerwen was sensationally knocked out of the tournament by Aussie wizard Simon Whitlock in one of the best Grand Slam of Darts matches ever, with Whitlock winning 16-15 against Mighty Mike.

He will face Portuguese ace Jose de Sousa in the semis after he upset fourth seed Michael Smith in another fine game, winning 16-14.

The second semifinal will see James Wade (7), a beaten finalist here before, take on up and coming Belgian ace Dmitri Van den Bergh after Wade defeated Damon Heta 16-13 and Van den Bergh edged another superb contest with Nathan Aspinall winning 16-15.

Let us now take a look at both semifinals, giving you our tips for each before we tell you who we think will eventually lift the title in what has been an extraordinary competition for the Grand Slam of Darts this year.

Grand Slam of Darts Semi Finals Preview

Simon Whitlock (Aus) v Jose de Sousa (Por)

The renaissance of Simon Whitlock has been a joy to watch in the tournament so far. The Wizard of Oz came through Group B in style, winning all three of his games, including a 5-1 win over eighth seed Gary Anderson, to top the group. A solid 10-6 win over qualifier Adam Hunt then set him up for that epic quarterfinal with Michael van Gerwen yesterday.

He will face perhaps the most surprising name in the semifinal, Portugal’s Jose de Sousa, who finished second behind Michael Smith in Group C but then beat Dave Chisnall in the Second Round and then avenged his loss to Michael Smith in the quarterfinals, winning 16-14 to earn a place in the semis.

By almost every measurable here you’d assume that Whitlock has the edge, he is more experienced and has a greater pedigree of the two but De Sousa starts as the 4/6 favourite after his win over Smith, but having not lost a game in this tournament so far, I am backing Whitlock at 6/5 to claim the win and reach the final.

James Wade (Eng) (7) v Dimitri Van den Bergh (Bel)

Perhaps nobody has played better in this tournament than the Belgian ace Dmitri Van den Bergh. After winning all three of his group games by a 5-1 scoreline, he then crushed Welshman Jonny Clayton 10-3 in the second round before being pushed all the way before beating Nathan Aspinall 16-15 in the quarterfinal. He faces James Wade who is another unbeaten in this competition, winning all three group games and securing wins over Ian White and Deta Hedman to reach this stage.

Wade may have the edge in terns of experience and he is also a beaten finalist in this competition previously, but he has only hit a three dart average of over 100 twice en route to the semifinal, whereas Van den Bergh has done so four times and even recorded a tournament high average of 114.85 in his first game of the tournament against Ricky Evans.

If Wade plays to his best then he could land the win but the way Van den Bergh is playing at the moment, ti is hard to see the Belgian losing this one. As such I am backing Van den Bergh to win at 8/11 and in truth he’s the one I’d be backing to win the tournament as a whole too.

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