Author: Dan Mason
Published: 12:46 16/11/2014
Four protagonists remain in the 2014 Grand Slam of Darts with a chance of lifting the trophy on Sunday evening, reigning champion Phil Taylor among those as he bids to defend his title in Wolverhampton.
'The Power' completed a darting demolition job of Michael Smith at the Civic Hall, avenging his World Championship defeat to the former World Youth champion with a comfortable 16-3 drubbing in Saturday night's quarter-final.
Although Taylor holds the least combined 180s total of the final four, his tournament average stays at a sensational 105.67, making his 4/11 BetVictor odds to win no surprise having witnessed the elimination of his main rival and pre-tournament favourite, Michael van Gerwen.
The Power's next opposition will be Mervyn King as Sunday plays host to both semi-finals and the final, the night kicking off with Dave Chisnall taking on Friday's nine-dart hero, Kim Huybrechts.
Imperious was the word used to describe the Belgian's quarter-final performance as he hit nine perfect darts against World Champion and #1 seed, van Gerwen, having raced into an early lead in stunning the Dutchman with a 16-10 victory.
Huybrechts' performance makes him 7/1 to win the Grand Slam with Betway and a very strong tip, while his semi-final opponent, Chisnall, had a tougher route to the final day.
'Chizzy' fell 8-2 behind rookie sensation Keegan Brown, but showed guts and determination to rally back and eventually scrape a late 16-14 victory. Chisnall's tournament has fluctuated in terms of performance, and 17/2 with Betfred makes him effectively the third favourite of the final four for success.
It is King in fact who comes into Sunday's action with the longest odds to win the whole tournament at this stage. 10/1 with Paddy Power is not representative of his current form as the former World Championship runner-up has recently looked as refined as he has ever seemed in his career, and he could give Taylor a shock if that form continues.
King's relentless finishing power helped him through both the group stages and more evidently past the barrier of high-scoring Gary Anderson, making it to the final four thanks to nine 180s in a 16-9 victory over BDO world champion, Stephen Bunting, in Saturday's quarter-finals.
The one thing which King must banish, should he make the final, is the trend of throwing away a lead when the title looks set to be heading his way, looking to make ameds following his slip against James Wade in the Masters final.
Many bookmakers are offering cashback from the tournament on losing bets, Boylesports offering refunds if a match is won via the bullseye, while Paddy Power will offer your money back should the match be won from a score of 100 or more.
Sunday's semi-final action gets underway at 1.15pm, with the final later that evening also shown live on Sky Sports.