December 3, 2021

Will De Sousa deny Wade Grand Slam glory?

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James Wade goes in search of a 10th major televised title when he takes on debutant Jose De Sousa in the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts final; coverage gets underway on Tuesday at 6pm; watch live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event

By Josh Gorton

Last Updated: 24/11/20 12:05pm

Following a remarkable eight days of darting drama, James Wade will take on debutant Jose De Sousa for the right to be crowned this year’s Grand Slam of Darts champion.

Prior to a dart being thrown, it was touted as a tournament that would be monopolised by the sport’s ‘big three’, although the reality was very different.

None of the world’s top six featured in Monday’s semi-finals, which saw De Sousa and Wade progress through their respective clashes against Simon Whitlock and Dimitri Van den Bergh.

‘The Machine’ is featuring in his third Grand Slam final, although we are guaranteed a new name on the Eric Bristow Trophy, and a sixth different TV champion of the campaign.

Sky Sports Darts runs the rule over Tuesday’s finale, with the action getting underway from the earlier time of 6pm, live on Sky Sports Arena and Main Event.

De Sousa vs Wade – The Stats

De Sousa Wade
Age: 46 37
PDC titles: 3 36
Major Finals: 1 23
Head-to-Head: 0 2
TV Nine-Darters: 1 2

Live Grand Slam of Darts

November 24, 2020, 6:00pm

Live on

Jose De Sousa

0:48
Jose De Sousa hit three impressive 100 plus finishes on his way to making the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

Jose De Sousa hit three impressive 100 plus finishes on his way to making the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

What a rise it has been for Jose De Sousa. Just over a year ago, the 46-year-old was balancing his darting commitments with fitting kitchens – now he’s into the world’s top 20 and is preparing to feature in a maiden televised final.

The man nicknamed ‘The Special One’ is the first debutant to feature in a Grand Slam final since Phil Taylor and Andy Hamilton locked horns in the tournament’s inaugural staging, and now he has his sights set on more history.

Darts is a sport synonymous with late bloomers and De Sousa is the latest in an ever-increasing line – his exploits are made even more incredible given his maverick tendencies, particularly in the doubling department.

Portugal’s ‘Man O’Scores’ bust a 126 combination midway through his clash against Whitlock last night, having refused the option of throwing for the bull in his last-16 clash against Dave Chisnall, with Chisnall sat on a double.

1:38
Jose De Sousa threw a lovely 136, but he should’ve gone for 126!

Jose De Sousa threw a lovely 136, but he should’ve gone for 126!

On both occasions, De Sousa won the leg, which is a testament to his unflappable nature that has seen him scoop three PDC ranking titles – the latest being a European Tour triumph sealed with victory over Michael van Gerwen in October.

He has maintained an average of 97 throughout the tournament, claiming the scalps of Krzysztof Ratajski, Chisnall, Smith and Whitlock, and he is within touching distance of capping off the best week of his career in fairy-tale fashion.

James Wade

0:57
James Wade didn’t lead at any point until he fired in a 12-darter to book his place in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

James Wade didn’t lead at any point until he fired in a 12-darter to book his place in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

Wade is bidding to become the third player in PDC history to capture his 10th individual televised title, just over two years on from his last success at the 2018 World Series Finals.

Throughout the last decade, ‘The Machine’ has forged a reputation for cleaning up in major events when Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor have fallen by the wayside, and history may be repeating itself at the Ricoh Arena.

The nine-time major winner is no stranger to Grand Slam finals, but he’ll be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky, following defeats to Scott Waites and Van Gerwen in 2010 and 2016 respectively.

2:09
James Wade also landed three ton-plus finishes during his quarter-final win over Damon Heta at the Grand Slam.

James Wade also landed three ton-plus finishes during his quarter-final win over Damon Heta at the Grand Slam.

His clash against Waites remains one of the most memorable in the tournament’s history. Wade stormed into an 8-0 lead but relinquished his commanding cushion, as the BDO star won 16 of the next 20 legs to complete the improbable comeback.

Having advanced to the quarter-finals in comprehensive fashion, Wade produced a vintage display to see off a spirited Damon Heta before holding his nerve to defeat Dimitri Van den Bergh in an epic, firing in a 12-dart hold in the decider.

The 37-year-old will also take plenty of encouragement from the fact he has won nine of his 10 finals against players without a televised title to their name. As Wayne Mardle said in commentary: “He always finds a way to win”. It’s an invaluable quality to have.

Delight for De Sousa

3:32
An emotional Jose De Sousa talked of his journey after reaching the final on his Grand Slam of Darts on debut.

An emotional Jose De Sousa talked of his journey after reaching the final on his Grand Slam of Darts on debut.

“My first final in a major venue. This is amazing. I cannot describe the feeling right now. This year in the PDC – it’s the best of my life, I’m really really happy to make a place here in the PDC.

“I’m really happy because all the people support me in Portugal, in Spain and other countries. Now I think my phone is about to explode. I’m really proud for myself and this is for all the fans and the people behind me. I really thank you, and I love you guys.”

Wade: I’m buzzing

2:45
James Wade showed his delight at reaching the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

James Wade showed his delight at reaching the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

“I’m so so happy. I’m unbelievably happy. I’m absolutely buzzing. I used to feel like this many years ago, and I haven’t felt like this for a long, long time. It hasn’t happened for me at times but I’m pushing forward and I’m so happy to win.

“I just did enough to win and I managed to cross the finish line. I’m buzzing. I’ve got there, and now I’m going to relax and now I’m going to enjoy myself.”

Experts Verdict

Wayne Mardle: “What (Wade) has got is composure under pressure. No one copes like James Wade does and we’ve said for that years. He is a special human being able to do that.

“I likened Jose to James earlier, and if they both do that, there’s going to be a lot of three-figure shots, there’s going to be a lot of turning points with big finishes. To call it is tough, but I’ll stick with my man Wade that I predicted from the start!”

2:31
Wayne Mardle believes James Wade has more courage than other players and backs him to edge Jose De Sousa in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

Wayne Mardle believes James Wade has more courage than other players and backs him to edge Jose De Sousa in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts.

Stuart Pyke: “I can’t see past Wade. As I said after the quarter-finals, experience will win the day. I was wrong about Whitlock, I was right about Wade.

“Whitlock ran out of steam, the only caveat I would say is De Sousa has no fear. He will just go up and play, he’ll be as cool as you like and if he really gets into it, you just never know.”

Mark Webster: “Wade suffered real heartbreak here before and I think that will spur him on. The other final he was just outplayed by Michael van Gerwen. He starts favourite tomorrow, he won’t be bothered by that, he’ll relish it. I’m going for Wade.

Don’t miss a dart from the Grand Slam of Darts on Sky Sports as the action reaches its conclusion on Tuesday – join us from 6pm for the final on Sky Sports Arena and follow us @SkySportsDarts for updates and clips throughout the tournament.