Michael Van Gerwen saw off Nathan Aspinall to reach the semi-finals of the World Matchplay at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
Van Gerwen, who is bidding for his third World Matchplay and first PDC title of the year, secured a 16-9 win against an out-of-sorts Aspinall.
A slow start from Aspinall allowed Van Gerwen to race into a 5-2 lead and the Dutchman, who won his Matchplay titles in 2015 and 2016, took three successive legs to cross the winner’s line and reach the last four for the first time in five years.
Van Gerwen admitted it was far from his best display and was pleased to emerge victorious in the end.
He told Sky Sports: “I played a really poor performance and I am annoyed with myself. I had so many chances early doors to make it more difficult. What can I say? At least I won.
“Normally in the last year, I would have lost but I never give up, I always give 100 per cent and it is not always nice but you have to fight.
“People don’t know how much pressure I have, it is all the time, I have big shoulders and I can handle it but sometimes it gets a bit too much, but you have to keep fighting and believing and try to do something good and I am over the moon that I won and that is the most important thing.”
Wright produced an average of 100.3 and scored nine maximums in a comprehensive 16-7 victory over Michael Smith.
Looking ahead to his semi-final, Van Gerwen added: “I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s game but I have to cool down and analyse my game because I made a lot of mistake and I need to make sure I do better tomorrow.”