By Olly Allen | Contributor
The temperatures are falling, and darts’ very own Iceman is coming to the fore. Cardiff-born Gerwyn Price is on a hot streak of four titles in four weeks, moving up to second in the world rankings in the process.
The first two of those wins came in consecutive days in mid-September in events 17 and 18 of the Pro Tour Players Championships.
The first final was particularly entertaining, as Price defeated Devon Petersen 8-7, despite finding himself 7-4 down in the game. Petersen, who had earlier thrashed world number one Michael van Gerwen 6-0, missed four match darts to allow the Welshman to take the contest to a 15th deciding leg. Once there, Price was clinical and decided it with 14 darts to achieve his first Players Championship since February.
He did not have to wait long for the next one, claiming victory again 24 hours later, this time beating Krzysztof Ratajski in the final. It was enough to ensure he topped the Autumn Series Order of Merit.
But the best was yet to come from the Iceman, as he travelled to Salzburg for the World Series of Darts Finals and once again came out on top via a series of thrilling encounters. A win over Vincent van der Voort (6-3) was followed by victory against world number six Nathan Aspinall (10-9).
Number two seed Peter Wright was next to be knocked out (11-6) in a semi-final of the highest quality as both men averaged over 100 across the game.
The final against world number five Rob Cross was equally breath-taking, as Price trailed 8-4 but turned it around to win 11-9, hitting tops to complete a superb victory and claim the £70,000 prize.
Heading into this year’s World Grand Prix, Price had only gone beyond the second round of the tournament once before – a quarter-final appearance in 2018. However, he defeated Jermaine Wattimena and Kim Huybrechts without dropping a set, before beating Jeffrey de Zwaan 3-1 to become the only seed in the final four. That victory was clinched by a magnificent 164 check-out.
His semi-final against Dave Chisnall became an instant classic as Price took a 3-1 lead but let his opponent back in the game to force a decider. The Welshman then survived three match darts before finishing with his favourite double 12 to cap an astonishing tie.
In comparison, the final against debutant Dirk van Duijvenbode was a much more straightforward affair as he won 5-2, claiming victory with a 102 checkout. Now only van Gerwen stands above him in the rankings.
Price’s success of the last month means he has now won 22 of his last 23 games, only losing to Devon Petersen in the European Tour. It is a remarkable record.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the best player in the world now, but I believe that my A-game is better than anybody else’s,” Price said after winning the World Series. “That’s all that matters, I’m confident with my own game.”
“I’m playing well, practicing well and giving 100 percent every single time. Whoever is going to beat me is going to have to play really well and take their chances, because if not then I will.”
The Iceman now has one eye on the winter’s World Darts Championship that is the calendar’s showpiece event, admitting that the Alexandra Palace trophy is “the one I want”. Win that, and he may even become world number one.
Price made it all the way to the semi-final in the last edition, before losing 6-3 to eventual champion Peter Wright.
With the Grand Slam of Darts also coming up, a competition which Price has won in the previous two years, he is certainly the one to watch in the next couple of months.