Mervyn King posted the highest televised average of his illustrious career as he stormed through to the last 16 at the World Series Finals in Amsterdam with a sensational whitewash win over 2018 champion James Wade.
The 55-year-old rolled back the years in front of a partisan Dutch crowd at AFAS Live in Amsterdam, producing a stunning 115.62 average to demolish a helpless Wade, who was unable to register a single dart at double.
‘The King’ was incredibly making his World Series debut, and he began by sending out a statement to his title rivals; posting the highest average in the history of the World Series Finals.
The six-time major PDC finalist kicked off proceedings with a majestic 144 checkout, before doubling his advantage with a 14-dart break of throw.
King was finding the treble 20 with ominous regularity and Wade had no response, as the former Premier League finalist reeled off legs of 12, 11 and 12 darts to forge into a 5-0 cushion at the interval.
The intermission only provided ‘The Machine’ with a temporary reprieve, as King landed another 14-darter on tops to cap off a sensational display, which also saw him fire in four 180’s and convert 66% of his attempts at double.
King will take on Latvia’s Madars Razma on Saturday evening, and the winner could potentially take on top seed Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals, with ‘The Green Machine’ pitted against his compatriot Maik Kuivenhoven in his opener.
Kuivenhoven delighted his home crowd with a flawless display of doubling against World Cup winner John Henderson. ‘The Highlander’ started strongly but Kuivenhoven secured six of the next seven legs to prevail in emphatic fashion, sealing the deal with an inspired 146 checkout.
Dirk van Duijvenbode will take on world No 1 Gerwyn Price in a repeat of the 2020 World Grand Prix final, after closing out a convincing 6-2 win over his fellow Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan in a rapid affair.
Following a sluggish start, De Zwaan reduced the arrears to 3-2 courtesy of a brilliant 170 finish followed by seven perfect darts in leg five, only to see Van Duijvenbode register consecutive 14-dart legs to defy any hopes of a late revival from ‘The Black Cobra’.
Vincent van der Voort recovered from 2-0 down to stun Nathan Aspinall and set up a showdown against Premier League and World Grand Prix champion Jonny Clayton on Saturday evening.
‘The Asp’ continued his sparkling form to establish a 2-0 cushion, but Van der Voort came roaring back, winning five legs without reply to leave the former UK Open champion on the brink, and although Aspinall stopped the rot in leg eight, Van der Voort wrapped up proceedings with a 16-dart hold on tops.
Elsewhere, Niels Zonneveld punished a below-par display from Dave Chisnall to book a meeting with two-time world champion Gary Anderson for a place in Sunday’s last eight.
Chisnall crashed in four maximums but struggled for consistency throughout, and after claiming a crucial break of throw in leg four, the young Dutch qualifier maintained his cushion to cap off a dream World Series debut.
Nevertheless, while the Dutch contingent enjoyed a profitable night on home soil, 2019 runner-up Danny Noppert was unable to join his fellow countrymen in the last 16, succumbing to an imperious Jose De Sousa.
Noppert landed 13 and 14-dart holds to open up an early 2-1 advantage, but the reigning Grand Slam champion won the next five without reply, prevailing with a 103.86 average and four 180’s to set up a mouthwatering clash against World Matchplay finalist Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Krzysztof Ratajski will meet Nordic Darts Masters runner-up Fallon Sherrock in round two, following his 6-3 success over Gabriel Clemens.
Clemens enjoyed the better of the early exchanges; converting a 117 kill and conjuring up an 11-darter to lead 2-1, but he was unable to continue his positive start and ‘The Polish Eagle’ swooped to triumph with a solid 93.89 average.
Meanwhile, in the evening’s opener, Kim Huybrechts piled in five maximums to account for 2018 runner-up Michael Smith and maintain his recent resurgence.
Five-time major finalist Smith led 2-1 at one stage, only for ‘The Hurricane’ to blow ‘Bully Boy’ away with legs of 14, 13 and 13 darts to prevail with a 98 average, which sets up an enticing tie against world No 2 Peter Wright.
Image Credit: Kelly Deckers/PDC
Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals
Friday October 29
First Round x8
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Michael Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-2 John Henderson
Mervyn King 6-0 James Wade
Niels Zonneveld 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Vincent van der Voort 6-3 Nathan Aspinall
Jose de Sousa 6-2 Danny Noppert
Saturday October 30 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x8
Madars Razma v Mervyn King
Gary Anderson v Niels Zonneveld
Jonny Clayton v Vincent van der Voort
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Jose de Sousa
Fallon Sherrock v Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
Gerwyn Price v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen v Maik Kuivenhoven
Best of 11 legs
Sunday October 31
Afternoon Session (1245 local time, 1145 GMT)
Best of 19 legs
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)
Best of 21 legs