World Grand Prix of Darts 2017: Simon Whitlock, Daryl Gurney Advance on Friday

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20:  Simon Whitlock of Australia celebrates during the first round match against Dragutin Horvat of Germany on day six of the 2017 William Hill PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace on December 20, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Simon Whitlock and Daryl Gurney advanced to the final of the 2017 World Grand Prix of Darts as Mensur Suljovic and John Henderson were defeated, respectively, in Dublin, Ireland, on Friday.

Whitlock and Gurney produced a classic, with the Wizard prevailing 4-3 and Gurney overcoming Henderson 4-1.

Here are the semi-final results from the Citywest Hotel:

            

Simon Whitlock 4-3 Mensur Suljovic

Daryl Gurney 4-1 John Henderson

                                     

Recap

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23:  Simon Whitlock of Australia looks on, after losing his match against Darren Webster of Great Britain during day nine of the 2017 William Hill PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace on December 23, 2016 in London,
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The Wizard was quickest out of the traps, grabbing the opening set as his opponent failed to settle.

Suljovic appeared sluggish as Whitlock showed intensity, and the Australian was all business as he rattled through the legs.

The Gentle won back a set to trail 2-1, but Whitlock's finishing was deadly, and he scooped the fourth.

A lethal 137 checkout kept Suljovic in the fifth set, and the Austrian overpowered Whitlock as the Aussie stood on the brink of victory to make it 3-2.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Mensur Suljovic of Serbia reacts during his first round match against Ron Meulenkamp of the Netherlands on day seven of the 2017 William Hill PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace on December 21, 2016 in London,
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Whitlock collapsed in the sixth, appearing crestfallen as Suljovic moved through the gears to win three consecutive legs to level at three apiece.

A maximum from the Gentle gave him control in the seventh, but Whitlock countered with a maximum of his own as the crowd roared, with the Wizard claiming the set in style.

Whitlock produced his best darts in the deciding set, hitting double tops to earn a place in the final.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17:  Daryl Gurney celebrates victory over Jamie Lewis during the first round on day one of the 2016 William Hill PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace on December 17, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heath
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In the second semi-final, Gurney rarely produced his best form but did more than enough to eliminate Henderson.

Gurney skipped to the first three legs without reply to dominate the set, and Henderson made a slow start.

Henderson had the crowd going at the beginning of the second, and he almost produced a nine-dart finish as he suddenly clicked into gear.

DPC Darts passed comment on the near miss:

Henderson made it 1-1, but this triggered Gurney to up his quality and scrutinise his own finishing.

The crowd favourite quickly made it 3-1, and Henderson was failing to hit the doubles and trebles after his comeback.

The Highlander produced a maximum as he earned a break of throw in the fifth, and SuperChin began to consistently have trouble on his second dart.

Henderson was enthused by this technical issue, and the Northern Irishman briefly wobbled, but Gurney quickly grabbed the contest by the throat.

Gurney won the final two sets with ease and booked his place in the final as Henderson bowed out after a magnificent tournament.