What a fantastic performance from Anastasia Dobromyslova – who secured arguably the most high profile win ever by a woman in the history of professional darts.
Ana came from 3-1 down with a brilliant darting display to win a last leg decider against Vincent van der Voort – a result which rocked the Grand Slam to its foundations!
It was that good.
“I am thrilled,” she said. “I have come very close in the past to a big win against one of the top players and I think I deserved it.”
“I missed so many doubles early on, I thought my chance had gone but it is a great feeling and the crowd reaction was unbelievable,” Ana added.
Aside from her World Championship triumph, this is the biggest win of her career and to do it on live TV makes it extra special.
She found herself trailing 3-1 at the break, having hit just one double from 12 attempts but then it all changed.
Anastasia was simply brilliant….her first 180 and D6 pulled one leg back and then came a fabulous 12 darter, which included a 180, 140 and a 121 finish on the bull.
Van der Voort was clearly feeling the pressure. The next two legs were shared against the throw and three x 140s in the 8th leg from the Russian forced the nail-biting decider.
You could feel the tension….it was real darting drama….first the Dutchman missed D16 for a 110 finish and the match and up stepped Anastasia needing 100 to create her own slice of tungsten history.
And she produced two of the best darts of her life…..treble 20 and tops - cue the celebrations after a two-dart 100 finish.
And Anastasia now knows that if she can upset the odds in her last group match against Mark Webster, she will win through to the knock-out stages!
Phil Taylor became the first man to reach round two – demolishing Webster 5-0 and he is still to lose a leg in the tournament!
Taylor started with a 180 and Webster kept missing doubles…..the Welshman could have been level at two apiece at the break but couldn’t buy a priceless double on the big stage.
Taylor won it in style with an 11 darter and an average of 105.85
There was drama in Group D, where Kevin Painter blew it big time against Raymond van Barneveld. He led 3-1 and knew victory would seal a spot in the 2nd Round but Barney pinched it in dramatic fashion.
Painter missed two darts to go 3-0 in front with a double break of throw, as the Dutchman struggled to keep pace in the all Unicorn clash.
And when Painter led 4-2, it looked to be game over….incredibly though, at 4-3 up, he then proceeded to miss five darts at D8 and D4 to win the match…..Barney stole the leg and despite a fourth maximum from Painter in the decider, Barneveld nailed 96 for the win.
And that result was bad news for John Part, because the Canadian will now have to come up with a big win against Barney to qualify, after the Canadian survived a heck of a scare against Ladies World Champion Francis Hoenselaar.
She received a standing ovation from everyone in the Players Room at the Wolverhampton Civic after coming so close to causing a huge upset.
She actually led 2-0 and missed four darts at D20 to go 3-1 in front before Part hit back and in the end, it took some precision finishing to seal the win.
“It was scary,” he admitted. “Francis was excellent and put me under pressure but I hit some important doubles.”
He certainly did……he won three consecutive legs with finishes of 70, 100 and 80 to keep alive his hopes of qualifying.
Kirk Shepherd is also still very much in the hunt.
A rare TV win but an impressive one nonetheless, as he beat Darryl Fitton 5-3 and a win over Steve Maish could well see him through to the knock-out stages.
One thing’s for sure – Colin Osborne needs a big win in his last game against Brian Woods on Tuesday, if he wants to stay in the Grand Slam.
A 5-2 defeat at the hands of Tony O’Shea was a big blow, especially when you consider that he was 2-1 up and missed darts for a 3-1 lead…..but O’Shea then reeled off four consecutive legs as Osborne struggled to match the Stockport man’s heavy scoring.
Sunday evening results:
John Part 5-3 Francis Hoenselaar
Colin Lloyd 5-0 Brian Woods
Vincent van der Voort 4-5 Anastasia Dobromyslova
Darry Fitton 3-5 Kirk Shepherd
Raymond van Barneveld 5-4 Kevin Painter
Phil Taylor 5-0 Mark Webster
Tony O’Shea 5-2 Colin Osborne
On Monday night, after defeats in their opening games, it’s must win for Unicorn’s Andy Hamilton and Gary Mawson, who clash at the Wolves Civic, and also Adrian Lewis as he faces Denis Ovens.
Meanwhile, James Wade and Terry Jenkins would qualify for the knock-out stages if they can beat Robert Thornton and Darin Young respectively.
Monday night schedule (6pm):
Co Stompe v Kevin McDine
Andy Hamilton v Gary Mawson
Adrian Lewis v Denis Ovens
Ted Hankey v Wayne Mardle
Gary Anderson v Steve Beaton
James Wade v Robert Thornton
Darin Young v Terry Jenkins
Simon Whitlock v Scott Waites
By STUART PYKE at the Grand Slam
Photo courtesy Lawrence Lustig / PDC