Peter Wright wins battle of Anglian rivals to reach World Grand Prix quarter-finals
- Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG
Peter Wright defied an elbow injury to beat Mervyn King 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix for the first time in Dublin last night, writes Alex Moss.
The Mendham-based thrower came from a set down to get the better of his East Anglian rival, and set up a clash with sixth seed Mensur Suljovic in the last eight tonight.
But the world number three, who is the bookies’ favourite to claim the £100,000 first prize on Saturday night, was clearly struggling with an elbow injury in his throwing arm during yesterday’s second-round tie with Ipswich-born King.
“I was practicing and threw one dart too hard and just felt it go ‘twang’,” Wright said.
“It was really affecting me in the first set but I adjusted my throw and it got a little better and fortunately I’m through.
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“I’ll rest tonight and be ready to play Mensur, he’s playing alright at the moment but people aren’t playing well against him.”
King, a finalist in the double-start tournament five years ago, punished a slow start from the third seed, checking out 68 on double 16 to take the first set 3-2.
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Wright then started his comeback after the break by winning the second set 3-1, which included a 116 checkout on double 18 in the fourth leg.
The Scot, who is bidding to win his second major title and his 11th overall this season, wrapped up the third set in style with an excellent 141 checkout moving him into a 2-1 lead in sets.
The 47-year-old then claimed all three legs in the fourth set to secure his place in the quarter-finals, finishing with checkouts of 121 and 112 in the last two legs to end the contest having hit four 100+ finishes.
The reigning UK Open champion had won nine out of 11 legs since dropping the first set to King and finished with a 71% success rate on his finishing doubles, which was enough to earn him a spot in the last eight in Dublin for the first time in six appearances at the Citywest Hotel.