Gerwyn Price (11/5 Outright) secured his first Betfred World Matchplay semi-final appearance on Friday night with a 16-14 win over Jose de Sousa, a result which also saw him return to the top of the world rankings
After a blistering start from both players, Price started to draw away, opening up 9-6 and 13-8 leads before the “Special One” clawed back the deficit by winning five legs on the bounce to level the match at 13 apiece.
However, it was “The Iceman” that held his nerve to secure the narrow win to reach the last four, and Price was in no doubt of the merit of him returning to the top of the rankings.
Price told Sky Sports: “I think it is where I deserve to be.
“I believe I am world No 1, I might not have been for the past few months but on performances like that, I was consistent throughout the whole game.
“I don’t know how he held on at the end there, I just like giving drama to the crowd I think.”
Price will face Danny Noppert in the last four at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens after the UK Open champion came through a ding-dong battle with World Cup team-mate Dirk van Duijvenbode, ultimately winning 16-11.
Despite early double trouble for Van Duijvenbode, “Aubergenius” was very much in the contest as he reeled off four successive legs to take an 8-7 lead.
However, “The Freeze” found another gear and took out six consecutive legs on his way to securing his progression to a first World Matchplay semi-final.
Noppert (5/1 Outright) admitted that playing against a friend made life difficult for him, but he is understandably delighted to still be in the hunt for the title.
“It means everything for me to stay here in the quarter-final and now I am in the semi-final,” Noppert said.
“It was two friends against each other and it is sometimes hard to beat a friend.
“I am here and enjoying my time and speechless.”
Price and Noppert will take to the oche for Saturday’s first semi-final at around 20:10 at Winter Gardens with the 2021 world champion the 8/15 favourite to come out on top, while the Dutchman is on offer at 6/4.
Dimitri van den Bergh and Michael van Gerwen will then take to the stage for their mouth-watering last-four clash (Van den Bergh 6/5, Van Gerwen 4/6 – Match Betting), with both having come through their quarter-finals 16-14 on Thursday night.