Luke Humphries knocks Michael van Gerwen out of Grand Slam

Luke Humphries kept his cool to defeat Michael van Gerwen 16-10 to reach the semi-finals of the Cazoo Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

Van Gerwen had impressed in his win over Josh Rock in the last round, but some wayward finishing during the opening legs saw Humphries, who settled to hit four 180s, lead 3-2 at the interval.

Successive checkouts of 140 and 167 extended Humphries’ advantage at 6-3 before ‘Cool Hand Luke’ headed into the next break 9-6 in front.

Dutchman Van Gerwen, a three-time Grand Slam winner, broke back with an 11-leg dart following the restart only for Humphries to swiftly halt the revival with a 132 checkout.

Humphries’ consistent scoring continued – as did van Gerwen’s poor doubles conversion – to move within one of victory before landing double top to pull off an unexpected victory.

“In the end it was a good performance, the doubles were very scrappy at the start,” Humphries, who revealed he had changed darts mid-match, told Sky Sports.

“I didn’t feel nervous I was just trying to get in front of him too early because I know how good Michael is.

“It (the victory) is up there because everyone discounted me before we played tonight, but I just proved again I can beat the top players.

“He missed a lot of doubles, but I was there to pounce and take the chances when I needed them.”

Nathan Aspinall
Nathan Aspinall held off a late fightback (Zac Goodwin/PA)

In Saturday’s opening match, Nathan Aspinall beat debutant Alan Soutar 16-12 to secure a place in the Grand Slam semi-finals for the first time, where he will face Humphries.

Aspinall took command early on as he opened up a 4-1 advantage heading into the interval, before Scotsman Soutar recovered to level at 7-7.

A 142 checkout helped the Englishman re-establish his lead as he claimed the next five legs before Soutar cut the deficit back to 14-11.

Aspinall, though, eventually closed out victory on double top, finishing with a match average of 95.18 having landed seven maximums.