Jonny Clayton rises to world No 7 after producing a sensational display to beat Gerwyn Price; ‘The Ferret’ lifts his third televised title of the year
By Paul Prenderville at the Morningside Arena, Leicester
Last Updated: 09/10/21 10:44pm
Jonny Clayton produced a spectacular display to end Gerwyn Price’s reign as World Grand Prix champion, beating the Iceman 5-1 to win the biggest ranking title of his career.
Ever since Clayton teamed up with Price to win the World Cup in November last year, the 47-year-old has gone from strength to strength and, having won two Pro Tour titles as well as The Masters and the Premier League, he produced some of his very best play to land the £110,000 first prize.
He was near flawless on his starting and finishing doubles, averaged 94 and took out five huge 100+ finishes on his way to a title which halts Price’s winning run at the tournament at nine matches.
The Ferret will also rise to seventh in the world rankings. Heading into the busiest time of year with a host of major titles in the coming weeks and months, he stands as one of the form players in the game with a joint-PDC-high five individual titles this year.
World Grand Prix – Roll of Honour
|5||Michael van Gerwen|
|1||Colin Lloyd, Alan Warriner-Little, Robert Thornton|
|Daryl Gurney, Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton|
Clayton puts his rise down to the World Cup triumph with the Iceman. However, his head-to-head record against Price makes for bad reading. The world No 1 has won each of the last eight matches between the pair. An early 14-dart break of throw by Price could have been ominous.
But Clayton hit back straight away breaking for the first of three successive legs that gave him the first set, much to the delight of the crowd, who made no secret of their favourite, and he was responding in style.
Hitting the starting double with his first dart in all six legs, Clayton took his tally of successive legs to five for a 2-0 lead in the second set and while Price upped the ante to force a decider, Clayton was calmness personified to pin double 14 and double his advantage.
The Iceman claimed the first leg of a set again, but was powerless as Clayton levelled with a sizzling 170 finish and then took out 164 with Price left on 24 after nine darts.
A spectacular stanza got the decider it deserved and despite averaging 115 for the set, Price watched on as Clayton took out double eight for a 13-dart leg and a barely believable 3-0 lead against the defending champion.
World Grand Prix 2021: The Stats
|Gerwyn Price||Jonny Clayton|
|102||100+ finishes||170, 164, 152, 116, 110|
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While Clayton has been the junior partner in the head-to-head, he has won the only final the pair have played – at the Austrian Open in 2018 – and looked to be heading to within one set of the finishing line when he took the first two legs of the fourth set.
Back came Price to force a decider for the third set in a row and this time the world champion hit the crucial double – but only after Clayton has missed a dart at bullseye for a 4-0 lead.
As the pair headed off for a break, the stats revealed nothing between them in the averages – both men playing at the 96 mark in a final played in great spirit, but Clayton’s 3-1 advantage meant the pressure was on Price.
It showed as Clayton again moved 2-0 in front before wobbling for the first time – four missed darts for the set, either side of Price missing a couple for the leg gave the Iceman a chance to kickstart a comeback.
But it wasn’t to be as The Ferret returned to take out his third three-figure finish of the match to restore his three-set advantage and crucially move one set away from the title.
He flew across the finish line in style – adding a superb 152 check-out to move within one leg of lifting the trophy and, fittingly, he took out another huge finish to seal a stunning victory.
Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens in November with nine days of action from the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton – the tournament gets underway on Saturday November 13.