World number one and defending champion Gerwyn Price (5/2 – to win World Grand Prix) became just the seventh player to average over 100 in a World Grand Prix match, but he was still not fully satisfied with his performance during his first-round victory over Michael Smith.
The Iceman is looking to become just the third player after Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen to defend the World Grand Prix title successfully and he certainly laid down a marker to his rivals by seeing off world number nine Smith in what was a blockbuster contest on the opening night at Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Price certainly had to be on his guard against Bully Boy, in a match perhaps more fitting for the latter stages of the event than the start, but despite coming through 2-0 and averaging as high as 104 during the opening set, the Welshman was still not fully satisfied with his display.
“I thought that I played pretty well, especially the first set,” Price told Online Darts. “The problem was I looked over and seen that I was averaging 104 and I thought I had to keep it up, put a bit too much pressure on myself.
“I know Michael slipped up in a couple of legs, I couldn’t start in one or two, but overall it was a good performance.
“After dropping down from 104, it was a little bit disappointing, but I’m just glad to get a win.”
Price’s reward for reaching round two will be a clash with Mervyn King (Match betting – Price 2/9, King 16/5), who also came through 2-0 in his opening contest with Martijn Kleermaker, while there were also victories for the likes of James Wade and Dave Chisnall.
However, Dimitri Van den Bergh was not able to advance, with the world number five proving the highest-profile player to lose on the opening night, going down 2-1 in sets to Ryan Searle.
Monday sees the first round reach a conclusion, with Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright among the players in action.
Five-time Grand Prix winner Van Gerwen is up against fellow Dutchman Danny Noppert (Match betting – Van Gerwen 1/4, Noppert 3/1), while Anderson faces off with Ian White (Anderson 4/9, White 7/4) and, in arguably the match of the night, world number two Wright takes on fellow former world champion Rob Cross (Wright 4/11, Cross 21/10).
Source: Darts – Betfred