Four of the world’s top ten were dumped out in the first-round of the World Series of Darts Finals in Glasgow, as Adrian Lewis, Mensur Suljovic, Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith were the victims of a night of shocks at the Braehead Arena on Friday evening.
Adrian Lewis’ woes continue as he suffered a shock 6-2 defeat to former World-Youth champion Max Hopp. The two-time world champion faces the prospect of dropping out of the world’s top 16 after the World Championship, and must now come through Monday’s Grand Slam qualifiers to seal his spot at the Wolverhampton Civic.
Hopp drew first blood with a fine 108 checkout and that set the tone for what would follow. Lewis kicked off proceedings with a sublime 177 but struggled for consistency throughout and the German number one closed out a comprehensive 6-2 triumph with an 85.84 average and a 43% checkout conversion rate.
Mensur Suljovic also suffered a surprise first-round exit in Glasgow, losing out to former Grand Slam quarter-finalist Chris Dobey. Suljovic stormed into an early 3-0 lead, but Dobey showed tremendous fortitude; reeling off six consecutive legs to stun ‘The Gentle’ and set up a second-round tie against his mentor and top seed Gary Anderson.
Suljovic eased into a 3-0 lead with an average pushing 101, but the world number seven was punished by ‘Hollywood’ for uncharacteristic doubling frailties. Dobey piled in four maximums in just six legs; completing the unlikely comeback with a 90.63 average and an impressive 60% checkout conversion rate.
Elsewhere, Justin Pipe recovered from 5-3 down and survived two match darts to dump out Dave Chisnall in a dramatic last-leg decider. ‘The Force’ averaged 93.17, fired in three maximums and dispatched 50% of his attempts at double to clinch one of his biggest televised wins in recent times, setting up a last 16 clash against third seed Peter Wright.
The first six legs all went with throw, before Chisnall hit the front with a 14-dart break in the seventh leg. However, Pipe profited from the St Helen’s star spurning two match darts in an edgy tenth leg, before ‘The Force’ held his nerve in the decider by sinking D5 to prevail, as Chisnall bowed out despite piling in five 180’s.
Corey Cadby will face eighth seed Gerwyn Price in an enthralling second-round tussle after defeating former Lakeside world champion Jelle Klaasen. It was a scrappy affair, but the Australian’s antics appeared to frustrate the Dutchman and Cadby prevailed with an 87.54, two maximums and a 40% checkout conversion rate.
Klaasen drew first blood in an edgy opener, but ‘The King’ reeled off three straight legs to seize control. The Dutchman conjured up an inspired 146 checkout to reduce the arrears to 3-2, but he was plagued by profligacy in the finishing department; converting just 25% of his attempts at double as Cadby capitalised to round-off a comfortable 6-3 victory.
Rob Cross continued his magnificent form to ease past Jonny Clayton in emphatic fashion. The Welshman kicked off proceedings with a tidy 14-darter, but Cross then secured six consecutive legs to prevail 6-1 and set up a tussle with Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson for a place in the quarter-finals.
Clayton started strongly, but he converted just one of his eight darts at a double, which was ruthlessly punished by last week’s European Championship finalist. ‘Voltage’ averaged 97.93, posted two maximums and successfully dispatched 55% of his double attempts to continue his dream debut year on the PDC circuit.
Dimitri van den Bergh produced the performance of the night to dismantle Michael Smith 6-1, with ‘Bully-Boy’ the fourth top ten player to bite the dust in Glasgow. However, Van den Bergh was in majestic form; averaging 100.11, landing two maximums, three 174’s and converting 40% of his darts at double to book his spot in the second-round.
The Belgian kicked off proceedings with a 14-darter, before doubling his tally on D5. ‘The Dream-Maker’ then followed up successive 174’s with a 13-dart hold and whilst Smith opened his account in the fourth, Van den Bergh reeled off three more legs on the spin to set up a second-round clash with five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Simon Whitlock will face Daryl Gurney in a repeat of last month’s World Grand Prix final on Saturday evening, after seeing off Mark Webster 6-3 in a sorry affair. Both players struggled throughout; Whitlock averaging 78.22 to Webster’s 77.44, but the off-colour Welshman was punished for missing 20 of his 23 attempts at double.
‘The Wizard’ landed four maximums and dispatched finishes of 128, 64 and 116 to establish a 3-2 cushion at the first interval, but the Australian was also plagued by double-trouble in the latter stages. Nevertheless, the former European Champion eventually found D1 to triumph and put Webster out of his misery.
Finally, Simon Stevenson sealed his first victory on the PDC televised stage with an impressive 6-3 win over former Lakeside semi-finalist Jan Dekker. ‘The Mirror Man’ averaged 90.21 and converted 55% of his attempts at double to set up a second-round showdown against fifth seed James Wade on Saturday evening.
Stevenson stormed into a 4-1 lead, before converting a clinical 117 kill to move to the brink of victory. Dekker then conjured up a fine 114 outshot to preserve his hopes, before capitalising on two-missed match darts from Stevenson to reduce the deficit to 5-3. However, the Plymouth ace dispatched a fine two-dart 71 kill to seal his progression.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals
Friday November 3 (7pm)
First Round x8
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Jan Dekker
Justin Pipe 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Max Hopp 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Dimitri Van Den Bergh 6-1 Michael Smith
Corey Cadby 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mark Webster
Chris Dobey 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals Schedule
Saturday November 4 – 7pm
Second Round x8
James Wade (5) v Simon Stevenson
Raymond van Barneveld (4) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gerwyn Price (8) v Corey Cadby
Gary Anderson (1) v Chris Dobey/Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright (3) v Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney (6) v Simon Whitlock
Kyle Anderson (7) v Rob Cross