Grand Slam exit a setback for WadeBy Jon Couch
November 15, 2012
OFF-COLOUR James Wade saw his hopes of finally securing the Grand Slam of Darts title disappear in Wolverhampton on Tuesday night after crashing out at the round robin stage.
The Aldershot-based thrower failed to qualify from Group D after slipping to a 5-2 defeat to Mervyn King in the deciding match having already been beaten by Hampshire’s new young starlet, Arron Monk.
Wade, the PDC world number three, recently took a short break from the oche for health reasons, following his troubled exit from the World Grand Prix in Dublin last month.
Yet the left-hander was still widely expected to progress from the group and make a strong challenge in his bid to go one better than his runner-up place in 2010.
His campaign got off to the worst possible start on Sunday night when he crashed to a 5-1 defeat to Monk, the son of Basingstoke’s Lakeside legend Colin Monk and the former World Youth champion.
A 5-1 win over Dutchman Jan Dekker in his second game put Wade back on track, only for unbeaten King to come out on top in the deciding match to claim a place in the last 16 against Kevin Painter.
Wade, a seven-time major winner, now has a little under four weeks to complete his recovery and prepare for a shot at the biggest prize in darts, the PDC World Championships at Alexandra Palace.
He said earlier in the week: “This week is all about building for the future. The last few weeks have been a very important time since the Grand Prix.”