Tournament favourite can send message in World Grand Prix darts

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Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor became the highest-profile casualty at the darts World Grand Prix last night, leaving Adrian Lewis 5/2 favourite to win the tournament outright.

In Lewis’s way of a semi-final berth is Michael van Gerwen, but the reigning two-time world champion should be expected to progress at 8/13.

Both men arrived at this stage by virtue of 2-1 wins, but with the matches now extended to the best of five sets, Lewis’ experience should tell against the 23-year-old.

Van Gerwen has never gone further than a PDC quarter-final before, but those fancying him to secure only a second-ever last-eight berth here can back him at 11/8.

Meanwhile, Andy Hamilton will kick off proceedings, with ‘The Hammer’ 4/9 to overcome Steve Beaton.

Hamilton is one of only three remaining seeds in the tournament, and with Taylor eliminated, he will fancy his chances of a tilt at a first televised major.

In Beaton he does face a former world champion however, though it should be noted that the 13/8 shot’s triumph came back in 1996.

Beaton has gone past the last-16 stage of PDC events only three times in the past eight years too, and thus Hamilton looks the best bet in the opener.

Elsewhere, 4/7 Paul Nicholson faces a tough challenge in the form of James Wade’s conqueror, Colin Osborne.

Osborne is a 5/4 chance, and will enter this match in high spirits after his surprise win over Wade, hoping to further enhance a career-best performance in this event.

But it looks wiser to side with Nicholson, who has dropped only two sets all tournament, and appears in majestic form.

And Wes Newton will round off proceedings opposite Ian White, with the former 8/13 favourite to advance.

In what promises to be a tight clash, White will hope to replicate the form he displayed in a shock straight sets victory over Raymond van Barneveld to reach this stage.

That performance will encourage many punters to side with ‘Diamond’ at 6/5, though White must be wary of the calibre of his opponent, who is ranked number six in the world.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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