Phil Taylor began the defence of his Tokyo Darts Masters title with a comprehensive victory over Japan’s number one Haruki Muramatsu, as all eight Japanese players were eliminated on the opening day of the World Series event at the Yoyogi Olympic Hall on Wednesday.
Taylor averaged 97.20 en route to a 6-2 victory against a dogged Muramatsu, who fought valiantly but was unable to produce his best game. The opening three legs went with throw, but Taylor secured the first break of throw with a clinical 106 finish in leg four, and ‘The Power’ was in cruise control from this moment onwards.
Last year’s finalist Peter Wright progressed to the last eight by virtue of a 6-0 whitewash against Chikara Fujimori. Snakebite averaged 92.97 and converted 66% of his double attempts to breeze through. Fujimori missed doubles for 96 and 154 finishes, but the Scot was in clinical mood, with the highlight being a majestic 140 finish in leg four.
Michael van Gerwen overcome a spirited performance from Masumi Chino to move into the quarter-finals. Van Gerwen averaged a modest 93.24, and Chino kept himself in contention with wonderful finishes of 140, 66 and 101. However, MvG produced a timely 14-darter in the ninth leg, to wrap up a 6-3 victory.
World champion Gary Anderson kept alive his hopes of winning a third World Series title in 2016, with an emphatic 6-1 win against an under-par Seigo Asada. Asada has competed in the BDO Lakeside World Championship and the World Trophy over the last twelve months, but he averaged just 77.38 against ‘The Flying Scotsman’.
Anderson endured double-trouble in the second leg, squandering six darts at double as Asada levelled up proceedings at 1-1. Nevertheless, Anderson responded with three maximums in as many legs; reeling off five legs in succession to set up a last eight clash against five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Barneveld defeated Japan’s number two Keita Ono 6-1 to set up a clash against the world number two on Thursday. Van Barneveld averaged 92.87 and hit 54% of his doubles to defeat the dangerous Ono, who represented Japan at the recent World Cup of Darts.
Ono delighted the home crowd by posting a magnificent 116 finish in the second leg. However, Van Barneveld produced a professional performance, hitting finishes of 76, 76 and 62 in successive legs en route to a comfortable triumph.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis romped to victory against debutant Tsuneki Zaha. Lewis stormed into a 5-0 advantage and a whitewash appeared inevitable. Despite this, Zaha opened his account on D2 after Jackpot missed match darts, before Lewis completed a regulation 25 checkout to secure victory.
Shanghai Darts Masters finalist James Wade also overcome another big-stage debutant at the Yoyogi Olympic Hall. ‘The Machine’ averaged 88.90 in defeating Masahiro Hiraga 6-1, who delighted the home crowd by firing in two 180’s throughout the contest. However, it wasn’t enough to trouble Wade, who faces Phil Taylor in the last eight.
Dave Chisnall kicked off Wednesday’s proceedings with a 6-1 victory against Shintaro Inoue, who was the most impressive of all the Japanese performers in round-one. Inoue enjoyed a dream start, taking out 50 to break Chizzy’s throw in the opening leg.
Despite this, the St Helen’s ace responded superbly, winning six straight legs to book his place in Thursday’s quarter-finals. He seized the initiative in the third leg with a classy 11-darter, before finishing the contest in style, with a fine 118 checkout.
Zipang Casino Japan Darts Masters
Wednesday July 6
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Shintaro Inoue
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Keita Ono
Peter Wright 6-0 Chikara Fujimori
Phil Taylor 6-2 Haruki Muramatsu
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Tsuneki Zaha
James Wade 6-1 Masahiro Hiraga
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Masumi Chino
Gary Anderson 6-1 Seigo Asada
Best of 11 legs
Thursday July 7
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Phil Taylor
Anderson/van Barneveld v Lewis/Wright
van Gerwen/Chisnall v Wade/Taylor