Semi Final 1 – Stephen “The Bullet” Bunting (26) vs Gerwyn “The Iceman” Price (3)
Stephen Bunting has had a remarkable run through the tournament. Considering his previous lack of form and his lack of big match experience at the Alexandra Palace stage, Bunting has kept his game together incredibly well in getting through to the Semi Final. His section of the draw opened up when Peter Wright, the defending World Champion, was knocked out in Round 3. Bunting beat James Wade, a vastly more experienced and in-form player, at the same stage in order to set up a match with the unseeded Ryan Searle. Searle was a player highlighted on this site pre-tournament as a threat and he lived up to his billing by making the 4th Round, despite being unseeded. Bunting needed a final leg decider in the final set of that match but survived it and got through a Quarter Final against Poland’s finest, Krzystof Ratajski. That one was more comfortable with a 5-3 victory, averaging 101.01 during that match. He’ll need to average something similar against the dangerous Welshman.
The Iceman, Gerwyn Price, hasn’t been as dominant as he would have wanted to have been or as clinical as he’d have expected to be. He’s gone the distance three times in four matches, the sole exception being his 4-1 win against Mervyn King in the 4th Round. Price has underperformed in terms of his match averages, his highest being the 99.74 in the 3rd Round win over Brendan Dolan. He would have expected better from himself but he might be delivering himself to his best form at the right time.
The Semi Finals are best of 11 sets, and each set is best of 5 legs. There are a lot of darts to be thrown in the match and Price will fancy himself the deeper the match goes if it’s tight and goes the distance. Bunting will fancy himself if he can maintain his scoring from the previous rounds and if he can ignore Price’s on stage antics. Price is well known for celebrating loudly and frequently. He isn’t necessarily every player’s favourite opponent.
Semi Final 2 – Dave “Chizzy” Chisnall (8) vs Gary “The Flying Scotsman” Anderson (13)
Dave Chisnall has largely come from nowhere to challenge for the title in this tournament. He wasn’t really in the conversation pre-tournament, despite being the 8th seed. He’s a fantastic player on his day but he hasn’t really shown it over the course of 2020. In this tournament, however, he’s rolled back the clock a little bit to his best form. He hasn’t really been tested in his matches so far, never being taken the distance to a final set and took van Gerwen apart in the Quarter Final, winning 5-0 with an average of 107.34. He was clinical on his doubles and was scoring impressively throughout. Anyone who can beat MVG without dropping a set will feel confident and Chisnall himself has said that nobody wants this title more than him. If he can carry forward his self-belief and confidence into the Semi Final he’ll be very difficult to stop.
Gary Anderson hasn’t had an easy time of it so far. He specifically didn’t enjoy his 3rd Round match with Mensur Suljovic amidst a tables and slow play row. He responded brilliantly by thrashing Devon Petersen 4-0 in the 4th Round and before coming up against the brilliant and Dirk van Duijvenbode. That match looked like being a potential banana skin for Anderson, but he performed at his very best in a 5-1 win, averaging 101.07 with three darts over the course of the match.
Anderson has the experience, the two time former World Champion in 2015 and 2016 is the final remaining man with this title under his belt. He will feel confident going into the match as Chisnall is not a slow player, which will suit Anderson’s rhythm, and Chisnall also has no interest in gamesmanship. Anderson’s mentality has been questioned over the last couple of years, and he’s looked emotional at various times in this competition but he has the game, the experience and the class to see him through. For Chisnall, his game is simple – score as well as you can and be as sharp on your doubles as you can be. It doesn’t matter who he plays, he won’t get involved in any antics and this will be a magnificent match to watch.