Raymond van Barneveld said he’s “not playing bad” after knocking Gerwyn Price out of the Grand Slam of Darts Watch every dart through to Finals Day on Sunday, November 20, while the World Championship at Ally Pally is coming to Sky Sports from December 15 until January 3
Last Updated: 19/11/22 7:04am
Raymond van Barneveld believes he can win this year’s Grand Slam of Darts – a decade after his last triumph in Wolverhampton – after knocking out reigning champion Gerwyn Price.
The Dutchman, who retired in 2020 but made his comeback in February having gone through qualifying school, found himself 8-3 down in his first televised quarter-final in three years.
However, he rallied with seven successive legs and never looked back as his 20th 140 and his sixth maximum then saw him move 13-10 ahead and a 10th leg in 12 edged him close to victory before holding off a late fightback from the
three-time defending champion.
A fairy-tale week for RVB
First major ranking semi-final since 2017
First player to beat Gerwyn Price in a knock-out match in Aldersley
Provisionally seeded for the World Championship
“I was struggling for many years, but I’m so happy right now. What a feeling,” reflected Van Barneveld, through to his first ranking semi-final since the 2017 World Championship.
“8-3 down and I’m thinking ‘OK Ray, win a couple more legs against the world number one’ and then it changed.
“I’m probably in the top five players of all-time along with Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Eric Bristow and John Lowe, and everyone knows I can do this.
“It’s all about belief and I worked unbelievably hard. I was struggling for many years and now with Julia (Evans) we’re going to marry next year. She’s the love of my life and I’m happy.
“I love to play darts, I love to play in front of this amazing crowd, and yes, I believe I can win this.”
‘Hawaii 501’ in awe of Barney
Speaking to Sky Sports, Wayne Mardle said: “I’m friends with Raymond, I like him as a human being and I love and admire him as a darts player, but I didn’t think he could do that!
“If I’m totally honest, I didn’t think he could play that well for that long. We know he can play that well, but not for that long against someone doing it to you. Full credit, absolutely full credit.
“Gerwyn Price really got punished for his missed doubles tonight. It was at 42 per cent but forget about the percentage – the timing of his misses was punished to the hill because it was all about the perfect time of Raymond van Barneveld.
“The 140s, the timing, the double-hitting under pressure just equated to what was the perfect performance. There were moments in that game where I don’t think Raymond has thrown so well in maybe his whole career.
“The fluency was just there for everyone to see and the authority in which he was throwing with. I don’t think many people ever feel like that in their darting careers or maybe their life in general – it was that good.”
Live Grand Slam of Darts
November 20, 2022, 1:00pm
Live Grand Slam of Darts
November 20, 2022, 7:00pm
Van Barneveld will now take on Michael Smith for a place in Sunday night’s showpiece, after Smith recovered from 15-13 down to edge out Joe Cullen in a gripping last-leg decider.
“I’m so pleased for him,” added Mardle. “He will feel now that if I carry on working hard, I will get the rewards. His reward is (a semi-final) against Michael Smith, who was incredible.”
Watch the Grand Slam of Darts at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton all the way through until the final on November 20 – with every session live on Sky Sports & don’t forget the World Championship is also coming to Sky Sports from December 15 until January 3.