Michael van Gerwen denies Michael Smith in Grand Slam of Darts thriller to reach Quarter-Finals

Smith congratulates MVG after an epic contest (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen held off Michael Smith 10-8 in a pulsating contest to reach the Quarter-Finals of the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts on Thursday, as Michael Unterbuchner stunned James Wade in Wolverhampton.

Reigning champion Van Gerwen, who is bidding for a record-breaking fourth consecutive Grand Slam crown, booked his place in the Last Eight with a stunning 108.32 average as the eight players who qualified from Groups A-D returned to the stage at the Aldersley Leisure Village.
 
Former Grand Slam semi-finalist Smith led in the opening stages of the Premier League final re-match before Van Gerwen, who landed an incredible eleven 180s, took the lead for the first time at 5-4.
 
With the world number one leading 9-8, Smith missed a dart at double top for a 160 checkout and Van Gerwen punished to march into the Quarter-Finals - where he will take on Jonny Clayton in a repeat of the Group A clash which saw Clayton prevail.
 
"It was an incredible game against an incredible player who produced some great darts but I did the right things at the right moments," said Van Gerwen.
 
"I played so well but at times I thought I wasn't going to be able to break his throw but I love playing games like this for the crowd, this is why we play darts.
 
"I want to keep playing to this standard for the rest of the tournament and I want to win."

Smith admitted: "Michael is the best player on the planet and I knew I had to put another ten points on my average. 

"It was a really good game and I am glad to be part of it." 

Clayton produced a magnificent performance to brush aside Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski 10-3 in the opening match of the night.
 
Welshman Clayton ended Van Gerwen's 21-game Grand Slam winning run in the group stage in dramatic fashion and continued his run thanks to a magnificent 103.65 average.
 
"This is massive for me, I'm loving every minute of my time spent in this tournament," said Clayton.
 
"Anything beyond the group stage is a bonus for me, I just wanted to make sure I kept straight and thankfully I managed to play really well again so I'm delighted with that."

BDO star Unterbuchner caused one of the biggest upsets of this year's tournament by dumping out European Champion and World Series winner James Wade.
 
The German debutant claimed a shock 10-6 victory to book his place in the Quarter-Finals, ending Wade's hopes of a third consecutive televised title and setting up a show-down with Gary Anderson.
 
Wade was hoping to extend his winning run on TV to 14 matches but Unterbuchner punished his misses to upset the odds and claim a famous win.
 
"It's unbelievable to beat James Wade, such a fantastic player on this amazing stage," said Unterbuchner.
 
"I booked my flights home for tomorrow morning because I didn't think I would win but I don't mind staying longer, hopefully until Monday!"
 
Former Grand Slam runner-up Gary Anderson continued his quest for a maiden triumph in Wolverhampton as he saw off BDO qualifier Wesley Harms 10-2 with a ruthless display.
 
World Matchplay and UK Open champion Anderson took a narrow 3-2 lead into the first break but blew away the Lakeside Championship semi-finalist from there on in, ending the contest with six 180s, a 101 average and a high checkout of 136 to his name.

"There was some good stuff and some absolute rubbish but we got there in the end," said Anderson.

"I play darts for fun, there's no pressure on me.

"I'm going to try 110 per cent every time I'm up there, if it goes, I win, if it doesn't go, I'm going home. I'm not going to lose sleep over it," he added.
  

Grand Slam of Darts 2018 Results


Thursday November 15

Second Round

Jonny Clayton 10-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael Unterbuchner 10-6 James Wade
Gary Anderson 10-2 Wesley Harms
Michael van Gerwen 10-8 Michael Smith


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Michael van Gerwen denies Michael Smith in Grand Slam of Darts thriller to reach Quarter-Finals

Michael van Gerwen held off Michael Smith 10-8 in a pulsating contest to reach the Quarter-Finals of the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts on Thursday, as Michael Unterbuchner stunned James Wade in Wolverhampton.

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