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Mensur Suljovic heads field into the semi-finals

Ruthless Mensur Suljovic became the first player to reach the bwin Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals at the Aldersley Leisure Village as he dashed Dimitri Van den Bergh’s hopes with a 16-9 success last night.

Ruthless: Mensur Suljovic at the Grand Slam      Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Ruthless: Mensur Suljovic at the Grand Slam Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Austrian star Suljovic went one better than last year, when he was a quarter-finalist in Wolverhampton, with a dominant performance to end the World Youth Champion’s hopes. Van den Bergh lit up the tournament with a nine-dart finish in Wednesday’s second round win over Stephen Bunting, but never recovered fully from a slow start.

Suljovic piled home an early 167 checkout as he opened up a 3-0 lead, before Van den Bergh took out 144 in back-to-back legs as he cut the gap.

The world No.7, though, pulled away to lead 8-3, taking out 101 and 81 in the process, as he took command.

A 100 finish helped Van den Bergh as he held his own in mid-game, pulling back to 12-8 at one stage, and a 13-dart leg saw him stay in touch at 13-9.

However, Suljovic had too much power as he took the next three legs without reply to seal his spot in Sunday afternoon’s semi-finals.

The quarter-finals conclude tonight, with reigning champion Michael van Gerwen on a revenge mission against Jonny Clayton.

Welshman Clayton claimed a brilliant victory when the pair met in the group stage last Sunday, and has won through to only his second TV quarter-final this week.

However, Van Gerwen showed that his bid for a record fourth straight Grand Slam title was back on track in his second-round win over Michael Smith, averaging over 108.

Tonight’s other quarter-final sees two-time World Champion Gary Anderson taking on German newcomer Michael Unterbuchner, who shocked in-form James Wade in round two with a superb 10-6 victory.

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