Peter Wright reaches World Grand Prix quarter-finals for first time

4 October 2017, 18:30

Peter Wright lived up to his billing as new World Grand Prix favourite by coming from a set down to defeat former finalist Mervyn King and reach the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Wright has a chance to follow up his UK Open success with a second major title, following Sunday's defeat for Michael van Gerwen and the withdrawal of expectant father Gary Anderson.

But the reigning UK Open champion and winner of 18 PDC ranking titles appeared to be in discomfort as he continually held his right elbow during a first set which he lost in the deciding leg as veteran King landed 68.

Wright suddenly looked more efficient and took out the second set to make it a level game thanks to a 116 finish.

He continued his form in the next with a 141 checkout the highlight of a set which he took 3-1 and 'Snakebite' quickly rattled off the fourth set, which included a 121 bull finish and 112 checkout, to take his place in the last eight where he will play Mensur Suljovic in a blockbuster encounter.

"Just before we went up in the back room I was practising on the bullseye and threw the dart a little bit too hard and something went in my elbow, it went 'twang' like that," Wright told Sky Sports. "I changed my throw after the first set to try and loop the dart, but lucky enough I got through."

And looking ahead to his match against Suljovic, Wright said: "Win! He's playing alright, but it's people not playing well against him, that's all."

Champions League of Darts winner Suljovic continued his exemplary form by seeing off James Wade's conqueror Steve West, who missed 27 darts at doubles, in a convincing 3-0 triumph.

'The Gentle' grabbed the opening set with a cool 108 finish, bedding his third dart in his favourite double 14. Every leg went against the throw in the next, but it was the Serbian-born Austrian who moved one set away from the match when he hit double 8.

A high-quality single 20, double top, double top 140 checkout enabled world No 6 Suljovic to crush a disheartened West during the final set before finding double 8 once again for victory.

In the opening match of the night, Benito van de Pas battered Gerwyn Price 3-0 with a 95.11 three-dart average in what was a rematch of their first-round clash from last year.

'The Ice Man' won on that occasion, but it was the Dutchman who made a storming start with an immaculate first set of arrows as Price failed to get a look-in.

Van de Pas took advantage of some further profligacy by his opponent with a 78 checkout before winning a sixth straight leg to take the second set.

He made it seven legs on the trot an 86 two-dart outshot before Price avoided the dreaded whitewash by winning his first leg of the match in the next. The set went into a decider and it was Van de Pas who took out 48 to complete an emphatic victory to reach the last eight for the second consecutive year.

"I know I'm good on my doubles, but I was also good on my trebles," said Van de Pas, who enjoyed 64 per cent checkout success. "I can beat anybody if I continue to play like this."

Simon Whitlock used all his experience to claim victory over Dublin debutant Richard North 3-0 and set up a last eight encounter against Van de Pas.

The Australian had encouraged the 27-year-old to join the circuit on a full-time basis, but he put their friendship to one side after dropping the opening game to ruthlessly sweep through the next three legs to take the set.

The second second went to a deciding leg and a fine 126 set up 18 for Whitlock, who nailed double nine at the first time of asking to close in on victory.

A quality 98 ending with double nine for the second leg in succession put 'The Wizard' in control and it wasn't long before he got the job done with a routine win.

Whitlock said: "It feels great [to reach the quarter-finals]. I need to pick my game up, I need to find a double to start. It will probably be 20 because if you're going to win this tournament then you need to start on double 20."

Wednesday October 4
Second Round Results

Gerwyn Price 0-3 Benito van de Pas
Mensur Suljovic 3-0 Steve West
Richard North 0-3 Simon Whitlock
Peter Wright 3-1 Mervyn King

The biggest names in darts are competing at Dublin's Citywest Hotel for the 2017 World Grand Prix and you can watch all the action with us only on Sky Sports throughout the week

Who will win the World Grand Prix Darts at Dublin's Citywest Hotel this year? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us @SkySportsDarts so follow us on Twitter & use #LoveTheDarts

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