Wayne Mardle on the World Grand Prix: Suljovic to head into the quarter-finals
The second round heads to a conclusion tonight in Dublin. Wayne Mardle takes his pick on who joins Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Daryl Gurney in the final eight...
"There is no doubt in my mind, if the game was being played in a leisure centre's basketball court I'd be backing White, but on the big stage he just doesn't relax."
White can't handle the cameras
Mensur Suljovic v Ian White
If ever a tie summed up the difference between the standard tour events and major televised events in world darts... this is it.
Tour events are played predominantly in leisure centres on boards that are configured in a bank of sixteen, in a quiet sterile and somewhat soulless environment.
This is only my take on it, obviously.
The other, well you can see, it's full of razzmatazz and freedom to express yourself. You have to be confident and have the ability to feel at home to produce the goods when the world is watching on. It's like a different sport up on the big stage compared to the toil of the tour events.
Suljovic and White have played each other ten times, four times in tour events and the other six times on a stage in front of a large raucous audience and/or in front of the television cameras. White has won all the tour events, while Mensur has won all the staged matches.
Mensur recently beat Ian 11-8 in the world Matchplay in Blackpool and also beat Ian here last year in the first round.
On ability alone I think Ian may be more consistent, but when it comes to producing the goods on the main stage, Suljovic is head and shoulders above white.
In their first round matches, Mensur beat James Wade handsomely, while White scraped over the line against an out of sorts Josh Payne.
There is no doubt in my mind, if the game was being played in a leisure centre's basketball court I'd be backing White, but on the big stage he just doesn't relax. If he's to get to the next level he'll need to realise his potential and start reaching the semifinals and finals of these big events.
Snakebite is too strong
Peter Wright v Jermaine Wattimenae
No mucking around here, Peter Wright is a far superior dart player than Jermaine Wattimenae. I expect a professional job from Snakebite. A clinical, efficient job.
In Wright's first round win over Steve West, he hardly made a mistake and every aspect of his game was spot on.
Wattimenae beat an oddly sedate Mervyn king, he took his opportunities well but to win here he'll have to raise his game to some tune.
Peter is tried and tested at every level, Jermaine is making his debut here and looked a little unsettled in his scrappy win over Merv.