Michael van Gerwen continued his World Championship title defence with an incredible whitewash win over a shell-shocked James Wilson, as Gary Anderson sealed his place in round-three with a memorable win over Paul Lim, who wired double twelve for an amazing nine-darter on a dramatic day of action at the Alexandra Palace on Friday.
However, Van Gerwen produced an astonishing display to storm into the third-round with a whitewash win over James Wilson. Van Gerwen averaged 108.65, fired in four 180’s and converted 57% of his attempts at double as he reeled off twelve consecutive legs without reply- to post the eighth highest average in World Championship history.
‘The Green Machine’ opened up the tie with a majestic 142 finish, before doubling his lead inside 14 darts after Wilson missed D16 for a 132 outshot. Van Gerwen then wrapped up the opening set with a 113 average which he maintained throughout the second, wrapping it up with a fine 13-darter to maintain his flawless start.
Wilson was doing little wrong but Van Gerwen was simply in unstoppable mood. The world champion crashed in a stunning 164 finish to kick off set three, before wiring the bull for a 170 checkout in the following leg. However, he returned to post D8 before dispatching a two-dart 68 combination to continue the procession.
The pair traded maximums as Van Gerwen clinched his tenth straight leg with a 14-darter, before he pegged D8 to move to the cusp of victory after Wilson missed the bull to open his account. Both men then posted their fourth maximums in the third leg, before MvG returned to nail D14 for a 13-darter to seal his emphatic progression.
Two-time world champion Gary Anderson sealed his spot in round-three with a 4-1 victory over the legendary Paul Lim- who came within millimetres of landing an incredible nine-dart finish, 28 years on from posting the first ever World Championship nine-darter in history.
Lim pocketed £52,000 for achieving that feat back in 1990 and although he came agonisingly close to re-writing the history books, Anderson claimed the overall bragging rights; averaging 97.46, landing four maximums and dispatching 36% of his attempts at double to triumph, as Lim bowed out in style.
Anderson raced to the opening set in a matter of minutes, before punishing more missed doubles from Lim to extend his sequence of winning legs to five. However, Lim then crashed in eight perfect darts in an incredible leg, which he went on to lose after missing a further three at double.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ secured his seventh straight leg with a 13-darter to kick off the third set, before the 63-year-old fought back magnificently. ‘The Singapore Slinger’ opened his account with a sublime 10-darter, before crashing in successive 14-darters to halve the deficit to 2-1.
However, Lim was unable to sustain this brilliance in the fourth. Anderson began the set with consecutive 17-darters, which he subsequently wrapped up after converting a classy 104 finish, to restore his two-set buffer with a 12-darter.
The pair exchanged holds early in set five, before the world number three fired in a 13-darter to move to the brink of victory. Nevertheless, Lim dispatched a pressure 80 outshot to force a set decider and piled in his sixth maximum in a bid to prolong the contest, but Anderson held his nerve; pegging a 73 checkout to seal the win.
Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic fought back from 2-1 down to defeat former World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton. The fifth seed averaged 90.66 in a topsy-turvy clash, but he capitalised on some wayward finishing from ‘The Thorn’ to keep alive his hopes of reaching the quarter-finals at the Ally Pally for the first time in his career.
Suljovic drew first blood with an 89 checkout, before Thornton reeled off three straight legs to claim the opening set with the help of a 110 checkout, with ‘The Gentle’ averaging a miserly 76. However, Suljovic responded; kicking off the second set with a clinical 116 kill, doubling his lead via D14, before pinning D8 to clinch the second set to nil.
‘The Thorn’ replied with a 14-dart break before dispatching a 92 checkout to hold, and although Suljovic dispatched a 120 finish to stay alive in the set, the Scot took out 57 to regain the initiative. Thornton then had an opportunity to move 3-1 ahead but missed tops for a 112 finish, which enabled Suljovic to draw level again with a tidy 13-darter.
Thornton kicked off the fifth set with a clinical 86 checkout to break, before missing four at double which enabled Mensur to level. The pair then traded classy ton-plus finishes, before the 28th seed was again punished for profligacy in the finishing department, as Suljovic rattled in D7 to claim the lead for the first time in the contest.
The Champions League of Darts winner then won the opening two legs of the sixth to close in on victory, but Thornton displayed impressive defiance; posting 13 and 14 dart legs to force a set decider. However, after the Scot wired the bull for the set, Suljovic conjured up a magical 121 finish on the bull to seal his progression to the last 16.
Vincent van der Voort produced a stunning performance to dismantle Steve Beaton 4-0 and storm into round-three. ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ followed up his straight sets thrashing of Dave Chisnall with a similarly dominant display against ‘The Adonis’, averaging 101.17, landing seven maximums and converting 57% of his attempts at double.
Van der Voort made a blistering start to the contest; kicking off proceedings with a 129 finish on the bullseye to wrap up the opening set to nil with a 110 average. He won his fourth straight leg on D3, before claiming an incredible 12-dart leg on D8, after the pair had fired in four maximums between them in the leg.
Beaton opened his account with a fine 102 outshot but then spurned four darts at double moments later, as the Dutchman sank D2 to double his lead. The third set was a topsy-turvy affair, but Vincent again came out on top; converting a clinical two-dart 100 combination, before firing in a 15-dart break in the decider to move 3-0 ahead.
The pair traded holds to kick off set four, before Beaton fired in a majestic 124 outshot on the bullseye to break. Nevertheless, his hopes of claiming a set were quashed by the imperious Van der Voort. The Dutchman followed up his seventh 180 with a 13-dart hold to break back, before firing in a sublime 177 en route to a 15-dart match winning salvo.
Elsewhere, Gerwyn Price breezed into round-three with a convincing 4-1 victory over 17th seed Ian White. ‘The Iceman’ averaged 96.93, piled in seven maximums and converted 46% of his attempts at double to set up a last 16 showdown against world number one Michael van Gerwen.
The Welshman converted clinical 102, 71 and 114 finishes to secure a tight opening set, before White incredibly bust a 121 checkout in the opening leg of the second. ‘The Diamond’ redeemed himself with a majestic 151 outshot to square the set, but Price conjured up a classy 85 kill in another set decider for a 12-dart break to double his lead.
The opening three legs of the third set all went against the throw, before White landed a fine two-dart 62 combination to halve the deficit. Nevertheless, Price kicked off the fourth leg with a 13-darter, before registering successive 16-dart holds to restore his two-set cushion.
White, usually one of the most consistent campaigners on the circuit, was plagued by error-strewn darts throughout the contest and Price capitalised. Although the Stoke star fired in a 13-darter in a bid to stay alive, the UK Open finalist dispatched impressive 72, 86 and 97 checkouts to cap-off a professional performance.
Dimitri van den Bergh sealed a spot in the last 16 of the World Championship for the first time in his career, after recording a battling 4-2 victory over Jan Dekker. ‘The Dream-Maker’ followed up his first-round win over Stephen Bunting with a clinical display; averaging 94.91, firing in six maximums and boasting a 50% checkout conversion rate.
The World-Youth champion stormed to the opening set without reply, wrapping it up inside 14 darts. However, Dekker levelled proceedings in a scrappy second set, taking out finishes of 72 and 67 along the way. ‘Double Dekker’ then kicked off the third set with a 14-darter, before the Belgian responded superbly.
Van den Bergh took out 108 to square the set, before sinking D18 to regain the initiative. ‘The Dream-Maker’ then dispatched a classy 126 checkout to clinch the set, before Dekker responded with a tidy 100 finish to draw first blood in the fourth.
Dimitri responded with a classy 13-darter before converting a nerveless 95 finish to continue his flawless finishing; landing D10 in the following leg to establish a 3-1 cushion. However, with his back against the wall, Dekker reeled off three consecutive legs in 14, 13 and 14 darts to reduce the arrears to 3-2.
The Dutchman had the advantage of throw in the sixth set, but he was unable to force a decider as Van den Bergh powered home. The Belgian hit the front after following up a fine 174 with a 13-dart break, before finding D10 to move to the brink of victory, which he duly sealed moments later, courtesy of a 14-dart leg culminating on D7.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Gerwyn Price 4-1 Ian White
Vincent van der Voort 4-0 Steve Beaton
Jan Dekker 2-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Evening Session (7pm)
Mensur Suljovic 4-2 Robert Thornton
Gary Anderson 4-1 Paul Lim
Michael van Gerwen 4-0 James Wilson