World Grand Prix: Nathan Aspinall, Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade suffer early exits on opening night

Megan Wellens

Digital Sports Journalist @MegWellensX

Nathan Aspinall was knocked out by Stephen Bunting as James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld also failed to progress; watch the double in, double out World Grand Prix Darts from the Morningside Arena in Leicester up until the final on October 8 – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 03/10/23 12:04am


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Take a look at what happened on Night One of the World Grand Prix in Leicester

Take a look at what happened on Night One of the World Grand Prix in Leicester

Nathan Aspinall, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld suffered first-round exits on the opening night of the 2023 World Grand Prix.  

Stephen Bunting overcame some poor finishing to knock out 2022 runner-up and world No 5 Aspinall in a 2-1 victory.

Bunting showed his strength on the doubles to cruise to a 3-1 win in the first set, a ghastly leg for Aspinall saw him take 12 darts to find the double.

Nathan Aspinall had a horror start to the third leg in the first set, needing 12 darts before hitting a double to get off the mark!

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Nathan Aspinall had a horror start to the third leg in the first set, needing 12 darts before hitting a double to get off the mark!

Nathan Aspinall had a horror start to the third leg in the first set, needing 12 darts before hitting a double to get off the mark!

Aspinall then found a clutch 140 to take the match to a deciding set but Bunting held strong under pressure, a huge maximum in the deciding leg helping him to the D16 finish for the victory.

World Grand Prix Results

Dirk van Duijvenbode 1-2 Brendan Dolan
Jose de Sousa 1-2 Gary Anderson
Krzysztof Ratajski 2-1 James Wade
Martin Schindler 2-1 Raymond van Barneveld
Nathan Aspinall 1-2 Stephen Bunting
Gerwyn Price 2-0 Danny Noppert
Michael Smith 2-0 Callan Rydz
Rob Cross 1-2 Andrew Gilding

Van Barneveld was defeated 2-1 by Martin Schindler, a disastrous opening leg foreshadowing his early exit.

‘Barney’ came back to take the second set, but Schindler’s scoring proved too much as he broke the throw on the deciding leg to seal the match and a second-round spot.

Martin Schindler brilliantly took out 160 to keep his hopes alive in the first set of his encounter with Raymond van Barneveld

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Martin Schindler brilliantly took out 160 to keep his hopes alive in the first set of his encounter with Raymond van Barneveld

Martin Schindler brilliantly took out 160 to keep his hopes alive in the first set of his encounter with Raymond van Barneveld

Krzysztof Ratajski pulled off an unlikely comeback to win 2-1 and knock out two-time winner Wade.

Two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade lost the last three legs as he suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Krzysztof Ratajski in the opening round

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Two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade lost the last three legs as he suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Krzysztof Ratajski in the opening round

Two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade lost the last three legs as he suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Krzysztof Ratajski in the opening round

Wade found himself 2-0 up in the final deciding set but Ratajski fought back and was near perfect on the trebles to take three legs in a row and clinch an astonishing victory.

Smith shows skill as Anderson and Price also progress

World champion Michael Smith showed his brilliance and dropped just one leg as he raced to a 2-0 victory over Callan Rydz.

Smith got off to a flying start against Rydz, a 124 checkout helping him to a first-set win that included two breaks of throw.

Michael Smith sent out a statement of intent, taking out 124 in the opening leg of his contest versus Callan Rydz

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Michael Smith sent out a statement of intent, taking out 124 in the opening leg of his contest versus Callan Rydz

Michael Smith sent out a statement of intent, taking out 124 in the opening leg of his contest versus Callan Rydz

Despite Rydz rallying with a brilliant 126 checkout to take a leg, Smith then won three more in a row to wrap up the match and lay down a marker in the competition.

Gerwyn Price demolished Danny Noppert in a 2-0 routing, ‘The Iceman’ showing his class to take the first set, 112 and 101 finishes to break the throw plus a dominant deciding leg giving him the upper hand.

From there, Noppert could not respond, and the Welshman cruised through three back-to-back legs to wrap up the win, his scoring on the doubles too good for the Dutchman.

Gerwyn Price won the first set against Danny Noppert thanks to finishes of 112 and 101

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Gerwyn Price won the first set against Danny Noppert thanks to finishes of 112 and 101

Gerwyn Price won the first set against Danny Noppert thanks to finishes of 112 and 101

Dirk van Duijvenbode was the first to be knocked out as he fell 2-1 to Brendan Dolan.

Van Duijvenbode got going quickly as he raced to take all three legs in the first set against the throw for a 1-0 lead but Dolan fought back to clinch the second set and take the match to a decider.

It was then his turn to take all three sets as he found the doubles much quicker than his opponent, sealing the win and the spot in the second round with a tops finish.

The next clash saw an in-form Gary Anderson take on the ‘Special One’ Jose de Sousa, the Portuguese No 1 averaging 102.5 to clinch the first set on a break of throw in the deciding leg.

Gary Anderson overcame Jose de Sousa in a deciding leg as he progressed to the second round at the World Grand Prix

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Gary Anderson overcame Jose de Sousa in a deciding leg as he progressed to the second round at the World Grand Prix

Gary Anderson overcame Jose de Sousa in a deciding leg as he progressed to the second round at the World Grand Prix

However, the ‘Flying Scotsman’ fought back and showed why he is one to watch in this year’s tournament, taking four legs in a row, with some huge maximums along the way, plus a nervy deciding leg for the 2-1 win.

The final clash of the night saw Rob Cross and Andrew Gilding in a tight, albeit low-quality, affair as Gilding sealed the 2-1 win in a last-leg decider.

Cross missed three match darts for the victory and Gilding held his nerve to hit tops and seal only his second-ever World Grand Prix win.

Rob Cross squandered three match darts in the deciding leg as Andrew Gilding fought back from losing the opening set to reach the second round at the World Grand Prix

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Rob Cross squandered three match darts in the deciding leg as Andrew Gilding fought back from losing the opening set to reach the second round at the World Grand Prix

Rob Cross squandered three match darts in the deciding leg as Andrew Gilding fought back from losing the opening set to reach the second round at the World Grand Prix

Tuesday at the World Grand Prix

Michael van Gerwen will begin his defence of the title against Josh Rock in a mouth-watering first-round tussle.

Van Gerwen, who lifted his sixth World Grand Prix title in 2022, will open his challenge against world youth champion Rock.

Live World Grand Prix Darts

October 3, 2023, 6:00pm

Live on Sky Sports Arena

World Grand Prix: Tuesday, October 3 from 6pm

Joe Cullen vs Mike De Decker
Dave Chisnall vs Luke Woodhouse
Damon Heta vs Ryan Searle
Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Chris Dobey
Peter Wright vs Gabriel Clemens
Michael van Gerwen vs Josh Rock
Jonny Clayton vs Ross Smith
Luke Humphries vs Daryl Gurney

Third seed Peter Wright will play German No 1 Gabriel Clemens in his opener, with Hungarian Darts Trophy winner Dave Chisnall up against Luke Woodhouse.

Watch the double in, double out World Grand Prix Darts at the Morningside Arena in Leicester every night up until the final on October 8 – live on Sky Sports. Stream the World Grand Prix and more with NOW for £21 a month for six months



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