In a tournament in which underdogs have often upset the odds, Dan Fitch thinks Dirk van Duijvenbode is being underrated in the World Grand Prix final against Gerwyn Price.
"To put into context how unlikely it seemed that Van Duijvenbode would be in this final, he was meant to be working on Monday at the aubergine farm in Holland, where he does his day job."
Dirk van Duijvenbode 7/24.6 v Gerwyn Price 1/41.27
World Grand Prix Final
Monday 12 October, 20:15
Live on Sky Sports Arena
Aubergine farmer books place in final and day off work
Dirk van Duijvenbode makes his first appearance in a PDC final against a player in Gerwyn Price, who reaches them with regularity.
The 28-year old Dutchman was backed at 399/1400.0 to win the tournament before it began. It seemed a suitable price for a player making his debut in this unusual double-in, double-out format and who had never reached the final of a PDC competition, let alone a major. To put into context how unlikely it seemed that Van Duijvenbode would be in this final, he was meant to be working on Monday at the aubergine farm in Holland, where he does his day job.
Van Duijvenbode has not had an easy run either. He came through a low quality match against Mensur Soljovic in the first round, before beating the World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh in the second. Van Duijvenbode stepped up in class again in the quarter-finals to beat Gary Anderson and then swept Simon Whitlock away in the semi, winning 4-1 in a match in which his opponent neither scored nor finished well.
Price is not right for Gerwyn
We have to assume that Gerwyn Price will present sterner opposition than Whitlock mustered, but 'The Iceman' can count himself fortunate to be in the final at all. Price's semi against Dave Chisnall went the distance, with 'Chizzy' missing three match darts in the final leg of the final set, before Price clinched victory.
Price's route to the final has not been the toughest and Chisnall was the first player to put up much in the way of resistance. Van Duijvenbode had a history of underperforming in televised events, but on the evidence of this tournament he has put that behind him. If Van Duijvenbode can remain relaxed and play to the level that he has so far, then like Chisnall, he can put Price under some pressure.
There have been shock results throughout this tournament, but the odds here don't acknowledge that fact. Van Duijvenbode looks much too big at 7/24.6 to Price's 1/41.27. Based on what we've seen so far, Van Duijvenbode's odds will get shorter in-play and provide a trading opportunity at the very least. Price has won all ten of their previous encounters, but that might not count for much at a time when Van Duijvenbode is suddenly playing the best darts of his career.
Solid scoring can continue in final
The semi-finals saw both Van Duijvenbode and Price hit a large number of 180s. Van Duijvenbode delivered ten in his five-set semi against Whitlock, while Price scored nine in his seven-set thriller against Chisnall.
This final is the best of nine sets. Over 13.5 total 180s can be backed at 10/111.9, which seems like good value if the players can maintain the standards they set in their semi-finals.
Van Duijvenbode is 5/6 on the Sportsbook to average over 87.5. Apart from the first round, he's beaten that figure in every game.
Dan Fitch World Grand Prix P/L 2020
Staked: 28.00 pts
Returned: 24.46 pts
P/L: -3.54 pts
Back Van Duijvenbode to beat Price at 7/24.6
Back over 13.5 180s between Van Duijvenbode and Price at 10/111.9