Grand Slam of Darts Tips: Bully Boy is the one to beat

Michael Smith Darts
Bully Boy seems to be mentally stronger than ever

The Grand Slam of Darts reaches its conclusion today and Abigail Davies thinks Michael Smith is looking good to triumph...

"Clinical, business-like and unfazed by anything going on around him, Smith played like he was on the practice board not in the quarter-final of a major televised tournament"

The 2021 Grand Slam has provided us with countless breathtaking moments, Michael van Gerwen's record breaking display, Fallon Sherrock creating even more history, Bradley Brooks arriving on the big stage and James Wade's point getting stuck in the board. One thing's for certain though, the darting drama isn't over yet.

Despite not being at his best this week, Gerwyn Price is favourite to lift the trophy at 6/5, his opponent in the semi-final, Wade, is available at 5/1.

Two victories in best of 31 matches stand between the players and the trophy on Sunday. Something that only one of the four semi-finalists has managed to achieve in this tournament before, Gerwyn Price.

Bully Boy's mentality was key

Michael Smith started his match against Michael van Gerwen with a perfect visit and his treble 20 hitting remained relentless throughout the match. His stats were quite remarkable, 14 180s, 44.44% on doubles and he was the better player throughout.

He blew Michael van Gerwen away in the opening session, averaging 107.36 after 5 legs, five out of seven on the outer ring and playing with freedom. Despite finishes of 148, 164 and 170 from his opponent, Bully Boy just did not falter.

I'm not sure I've ever seen the 31-year-old keep his emotions in check like he did during Saturday's game. There was no berating himself after a miss and no celebrating key shots, he was in the zone.

Clinical, business-like and unfazed by anything going on around him, Smith played like he was on the practice board not in the quarter-final of a major televised tournament.

He'll face Peter Wright for a place in the final after he battled his way past Fallon Sherrock, who proved that she can also perform to a high standard over this longer format.

Snakebite produced his best display of the tournament to get the better of The Queen of the Palace, raising his game when he needed to.

I was more impressed with Smith in his quarter-final win than ever before and think that if he plays with the same mentality and intensity against Wright, he comes out on top. He is 20/21 to win.

Both Peter and Michael hit 14 180s in their quarter-final matches, and I think 5/4 is a great price for them to each hit nine or more 180s this afternoon.

Price needs to find his A game

Gezzy Price.jpg

Two time winner of this event Gerwyn Price takes on three time runner-up James Wade.

Gerwyn Price missed 22 darts at a double against Jonny Clayton, it just hasn't clicked for him yet in this tournament but like all great champions he's still made it through to the final day.

The world number one who recently took time away from the game to rediscover his hunger for competing survived match darts in his opening group game and a scare from Bradley Brooks in the last 16.

Whilst the customary roars have been as loud as ever, the performances haven't been up to scratch. I expect him to step it up tonight, this is where Price always comes into his own. He certainly won't be worried about or agonising over how he's played so far.

It's almost unheard of for Price to get five games into a tournament and not have produced a ton+ average but that's what's happened here this week.

He meets James Wade in the last four, a player the Welshman has lost to in their two matches in 2021.

By his own admission, Wade is a player who can often let things outside of his control impact his game and that's exactly what he did when forced to use a different set of darts after his point snapped off in the board.

He said after the match that he panicked and let himself use it as an excuse every time he had a poor visit but still managed to get the better of Rob Cross.

I'm backing Price to win the match and hit the most 180s at 5/6.

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