Jose De Sousa is hoping to complete a meteoric rise to the top as he gears up to face James Wade in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts on Tuesday (Match betting – Jose De Sousa EVS, James Wade 4/5).
The 46-year-old was fitting kitchens and playing darts part-time just over 12 months ago but us now a top-20 player and could wrap up his first major title at the Ricoh Arena.
De Sousa (11/4 Win Match, Hit Most 180s & Highest Checkout) won two of his three matches in the group stage, losing to Michael Smith, but he avenged that defeat in the quarter-finals when earning a 16-15 victory over Bully Boy.
The Portuguese then downed qualifier Simon Whitlock, who had beaten Michael van Gerwen in the last-eight, when they squared off in the semi-finals and he needs just one more win to be crowned champion in Coventry.
He is the first debutant to feature in a Grand Slam final since Phil Taylor and Andy Hamilton met in the inaugural edition of the competition.
“This a feeling I cannot describe – my best moment in darts,” said De Sousa. “It’s a dream come true and I feel like my heart will explode – it’s amazing.
Wade (5/6 Highest Checkout), who has won both previous meetings with De Sousa, is vastly more experienced and will hope that works in his favour when stepping up to the oche on Tuesday.
The nine-time major winner lost to Scott Waites in the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts final, while he came away on the wrong side of the result when facing Van Gerwen in the 2016 final.
“Jose is phenomenal,” added Wade. “I don’t think he cares what he’s doing or how he’s doing it, he enjoys darts and is a big scorer and a great finisher – but I’m not bad!”
Source: Darts – Betfred