World No 1 Gerwyn Price averages 103.90 and hits eight maximum 180s in one-sided final to win Grand Slam for the third time and claim the GBP125,000 first prize as well as a seventh major televised title
By Paul Prenderville at the Aldersley Leisure Village
Last Updated: 21/11/21 9:30pm
Gerwyn Price underlined his status as darts’ world No 1 with a dominant display on Sunday to beat Peter Wright and win his third Grand Slam of Darts title in four years.
In the first major televised final between the top two players in the world since the 2017 World Championship, and also a meeting between the last two world champions, Price was untouchable in a tournament that he has dominated in recent years.
The Iceman began the day by beating James Wade in the opening semi-final and he then returned to triumph 16-8 over Wright in a repeat of their 2019 final to see him lift the Eric Bristow Trophy with a display of near-flawless darts befitting of The Crafty Cockney.
It is Price’s first major televised title since lifting the World Championship title in January and with the defence of his crown just a few weeks away, he heads to Alexandra Palace finding form at the right time.
“Three years I’ve played here and three times I’ve won – it’s disappointing that we didn’t play here last year but obviously [we didn’t] with everything that was going on. I’m thrilled to play here again.
“It’s tough to win against the best players in the world but I’m chuffed. Early on in this final, I thought that I put him under a lot of pressure, obviously Peter wasn’t playing very well, and I just carried on with my own game.
“I did let him back in but [overall] I was clinical today. Towards the end, I’m not sure why the doubles weren’t going in, they felt like they were going out of my hand pretty sweetly, but just dropping below and not going in.
“Then, Peter put in that 155 and I thought, here we go again. However, I’m thrilled to win this… I’m playing well and I’m world No 1.”
The Welshman has now won all three stagings of the tournament at the Aldersley Leisure Village and having won the Grand Slam in 2018 and 2019, Price joins Michael van Gerwen on three titles at the event, with only Phil Taylor’s six above him on the tournament’s illustrious roll of honour.
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Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals had seen Price overcome Wade in a battle between two players who had not lost a Grand Slam semi-final between them in five attempts, while Wright produced a spellbinding comeback to overcome Michael Smith.
It meant both men were through to their third Grand Slam finals – Price having won both of his and Wright having lost each of his, including the 2019 meeting between the pair where the Welshman had won 16-6.
In front of a boisterous crowd that booed him to the stage, Price claimed the opener with a brilliant 140 checkout, carrying on where he left off from the semi-final where he took out three huge finishes.
Two more legs followed as Price claimed an early 3-0 lead, hitting each of his first three darts at double before Snakebite – a runner up in 2017 and 2019 – got his first leg on the board.
The Iceman, beaten by Jonny Clayton at the World Grand Prix final last month, stayed perfect on the outer ring to move 4-1 in front and while Wright rallied to claim the next two, including a first break of throw, a nerveless Price powered on.
A brilliant 10-dart leg gave a dominant Price a 7-3 advantage and he took his tally to six in succession with the next three legs – a 16-point difference in the averages underlining the chasm between the players.
Wright, who has won his last four major TV finals including a dominant win at the World Matchplay in the summer heat of Blackpool, stopped the rot to trail 10-4, but only after the world No 1 offered a rare chance having missed a couple of darts at double top.
“I get booed week in and week out but at tournaments like today, that’s all that matters [that my family are there].
“They can boo me all they want I’ll keep on playing well. When my family are here supporting, that’s all that matters… I love them to bits and that’s all that matters to me.”
Gerwyn Price, 2021 Grand Slam champion
Price restored order when he hit the same target at the first time of asking in the next leg and while the pair split the next four to leave Wright on the same six-leg tally he reached in 2019, Price pinned double top to move within two of the finish line at the final break.
Another classy 13-dart leg from Price left his opponent at the point of no return and Snakebite picked up a seventh leg to go one better than two years ago and from nowhere – after Price had missed four darts to win the title – Wright landed a spectacular 155.
But he was too far adrift to make an impact, a 14-dart leg and double 12 gave Price the victory without the drama that was the hallmark of his first Grand Slam, and was more in tune with the controlled brilliance of his second title at the event.
It’s not long to wait until the darts returns to your screens and it’s the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace – join us on Sky Sports for every arrow from every session across 16 days which gets underway on Wednesday December 15.