World Darts Championship - Thursday Evening Round-Up
DOUBLE DUTCH DELIGHT AS LEWIS BATTLES PAST PAINTER
ADRIAN LEWIS continued his quest to complete a Ladbrokes World Darts Championship hat-trick with a battling 4-2 win over Kevin Painter at Alexandra Palace on Thursday, as Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld joined him in the quarter-finals.
Reigning champion Lewis will now take on van Gerwen in the last eight on Saturday, but had to produce a gutsy performance to see off the 2004 finalist 4-2.
Lewis took the game's first two sets before Painter hit back to level, but the fifth set crucially fell to the Stoke ace as he raised his game before sweeping through the sixth to remain on course for a third successive Ally Pally triumph.
"I'm very pleased to win the match because Kevin was in better form than me coming into the game," admitted Lewis. "We're now in to the business of the tournament and I've proved over the last two years that I know how to get the job done."
Lewis now plays number seven seed Michael van Gerwen on Saturday, with the World Grand Prix champion defying injuries to both feet to see off Colin Lloyd 4-1.
Van Gerwen has suffered a small fracture to a toe on his right foot, but by over-compensating on his left leg has developed an inflamed Achilles tendon - although he showed that there was nothing wrong with his throwing hand as he averaged almost 99 in Thursday's win.
"I'm so happy to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship for the first time," said van Gerwen. "I didn't expect to play as well as I did, but no matter how much my foot hurts the show must go on, and I did my best.
"I'm pleased to have a day off now before I play my quarter-final match and I'll get some treatment. Hopefully on Saturday I can continue the good form I've shown."
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, meanwhile, set up a quarter-final with Simon Whitlock on Friday by sweeping aside 2011 runner-up Gary Anderson in straight sets in just over half an hour.
Van Barneveld has now dropped only one set in his three matches to reach the last eight, and said: "The key was taking the first set, which gave me huge confidence.
"I'm playing well and enjoying myself, and I believe that I can win the World Championship again. With the confidence I have, I can beat anyone and I'm looking forward to playing Simon."
The Dutchman's clash with 2010 runner-up Whitlock will open Friday's quarter-finals, with 15-time World Champion Phil Taylor then meeting Andy Hamilton, last year's beaten finalist at Alexandra Palace.
Saturday will see world number three James Wade bidding to reach his third World Championship semi-final against number six seed Wes Newton, before Lewis faces van Gerwen.
The semi-finals will then be held on Sunday December 30, with the final taking place on Tuesday January 1.
Taylor, who won his most recent World Championship title in 2010, remains the 2/1 favourite with sponsors Ladbrokes to take
Van Gerwen is the 11/4 second favourite, with van Barneveld's odds now cut to 5/1, Lewis at 8/1 alongside Whitlock, Wade rated at 10/1, Newton 12/1 and Hamilton 20/1 to take home the prestigious title.
World Darts Championship
Thursday December 27
Wes Newton 4-1 Mark Walsh
Simon Whitlock 4-3 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 4-0 Vincent van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Colin Lloyd
Gary Anderson 0-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 4-2 Kevin Painter
Friday December 28 (7pm)
Simon Whitlock (5) v Raymond van Barneveld (13)
Phil Taylor (1) v Andy Hamilton (8)
Saturday December 29 (7pm)
Wes Newton (6) v James Wade (3)
Adrian Lewis (2) v Michael van Gerwen (7)
Best of nine sets, best of five legs per set
Seedings in ( )
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Colin Lloyd
(3-2, 3-0, 1-3, 3-1, 3-0)
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN defied injuries to both feet as he advanced to the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship quarter-finals for the first time in his career with a 4-1 win over Colin Lloyd.
The Dutch ace was visibly limped from the start of the game, having initially injured his right foot before then finding his left Achilles tendon become inflamed, partially as a result of over-compensating on the leg over the past tqo days.
He also found himself 2-1 down in the game's opening set, but took five successive legs - including winning the first set with a 116 checkout - as he moved 2-0 up in the contest.
Lloyd showed his character to win the third set, but the World Grand Prix champion took six of the next seven legs as he raced to victory, ending the game with an average of almost 99.
"I'm so happy to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship for the first time," said a delighted van Gerwen, who will play either Adrian Lewis or Kevin Painter on Saturday evening.
"I never expected to play as well as I did, considering I am suffering quite a lot of discomfort in my left foot. I feel that this win is a big step for me in trying to win my first World Championship.
"I'm pleased to have a day off before I play my quarter-final match and I'll get some treatment on my leg, and hopefully on Saturday I can continue the good form I've shown."
Van Gerwen broke throw at the first opportunity to take the opening leg on double four, before Lloyd won the second with fantastic 132 checkout, ending on the bullseye.
Lloyd hit a clinical two-dart 80 finish to win the third leg before van Gerwen hit double top to complete a 13-darter to level in the fourth, and then took out a clinical 116 checkout to secure a high-quality opening set.
Van Gerwen continued the superb finishing at the start of the second set, as he converted checkouts of 78 and 121 to take command, before securing the set without reply by posting double eight to double his advantage.
Van Gerwen won his sixth successive leg at the start of the fourth set, thanks to a 65 finish, before Lloyd stopped the rot in the next by hitting double ten, after the Dutchman missed two darts at doubles.
Lloyd hit double top to win the third leg, and an accurate third dart at double 14 gave the Colchester ace the set, after van Gerwen missed three darts at doubles.
Van Gerwen held throw with a 14-dart finish to win the first leg of the fourth set, and repeated the feat to break throw in the next.
Lloyd hit double top to win the third leg, but three missed darts at doubles proved costly in the next as van Gerwen hit double top at the first time of asking to restore his two set advantage.
The 23-year-old started brightly in the fifth set as he won the opening leg with a 13-dart finish, before he took the second in only 11 darts to move a leg away from victory.
Van Gerwen kicked off the third leg with a trio of 140 scores, and when LLoyd missed two darts at double 18 to keep the game alive, the Dutchman posted double three to seal his quarter-final spot.
Gary Anderson 0-4 Raymond van Barneveld
(3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-0)
FIVE-TIME World Champion Raymond van Barneveld reached the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship after comfortably defeating Gary Anderson 4-0 in a 33-minute romp.
The Dutchman edged a high-quality first set which lasted a little over seven minutes, before dropping just three more legs to the 2011 finalist, who was left to rue 23 missed darts at doubles.
"The key to my win was taking the first set, which gave me huge confidence," said van Barneveld, who will now face Simon Whitlock for a place in the semi-finals.
"After that first set, Gary's level seemed to drop and he didn't produce the high scoring that saw him hit 19 180s against John Bowles."
Van Barneveld added: "I'm looking forward to playing Simon tomorrow night. He's a world class player and has few weaknesses, and he beat me in semi-finals three years ago, so I know I have a tough game on my hands.
"I believe that I can win the World Championship once again. With the confidence I currently have, I can beat anyone, and I'm playing well and enjoying myself."
Van Barneveld hit a 180 in the process of taking the first leg and posted another in the second, but a missed dart at double 12 saw Anderson take out a clinical two-dart 75 finish to level.
Van Barneveld hit double four to win the third leg, before Anderson replied with double 12 to win the fourth, which included a 180 from the Scot, but it was the 2006 champion who posted a superb 171 in the decider to leave 36 before taking out double 18 at the first time of asking to establish an early lead.
The Grand Slam of Darts champion hit his third 180 at the start of the second set, but three missed darts at doubles proved costly as Anderson hit double ten to edge ahead.
Van Barneveld hit double 16 to secure an immediate break to level, and the five-time World Champion hit double eight in the next after Anderson was guilty of missing three chances at double 16 before wrapping up another set with a 14-dart finish.
The Dutchman hit double ten to win the first leg of the third set, before capitalising on two missed darts at doubles from Anderson to break throw in the second with back-to-back 14-dart finishes.
Van Barneveld was off-target with two chances to win the set in the third leg, and Anderson accepted his reprieve on double five.
The third dart came to Anderson's rescue again as he hit double four to win the fourth leg and level, but van Barneveld won the set's decider on double eight to pull further ahead at 3-0.
Van Barneveld continued his momentum in set four as he broke throw on double five, before landing double 16 in the next to move a leg away from victory.
He initially missed five match darts in the third leg, but Anderson was off-target on six doubles of his own to allow van Barnevend in to secure victory on double three.
Adrian Lewis 4-2 Kevin Painter
(3-0, 3-2, 2-3, 2-3, 3-1, 3-1)
ADRIAN LEWIS remains on course for a third successive Ladbrokes World Darts Championship title after overcoming the challenge of 2004 runner-up Kevin Painter with a 4-2 victory.
Lewis took early command of the game by taking the first two sets, only for Painter to fight back and claim the next two to level the match.
However, the reigning champion recovered by taking six of the next eight legs to come through and set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against Michael van Gerwen on Saturday.
"I'm very pleased to win the match because Kevin was in better form than me coming into the game," admitted Lewis, who won his 15th consecutive match on the Alexandra Palace stage.
"We're now in to the business of the tournament and I've proved over the last two years that I know how to get the job done.
"I'm really looking forward to playing Michael in the next round. He has had an incredible year with his win in the World Grand Prix, and is probably a World Champion in waiting.
"The bookmakers may well make Michael favourite on Saturday, but I'm the one who has won the big matches in this competition. Michael is yet to do that and I think that counts in my favour."
Lewis, who failed to convince in his opening two matches, started the better of the two players to take the opening set without reply.
After holding throw in the opening leg, the defending champion hit double ten to win the second in 14 darts before a successful attempt at tops gave Lewis the set.
Painter won his first leg of the match at the start of the second set, after landing double top, before Lewis hit double ten to claim the next.
Painter, who defeated Ronnie Baxter in a seven-set tussle to reach this stage, hit a 180 in the process of taking the third leg, before Lewis replied with one of his own as he won the fourth with a 14-dart finish.
The fifth leg saw Lewis miss a dart at double 14 for the set, but Painter was off-target with his attempt at double top to level the match and the Stoke ace returned to hit double seven at the first time of asking, to move two sets clear with a 13-darter.
Painter hit his stride at the start of the third set as he broke throw in the first leg with a 70 finish, which was completed on tops, before landing double nine in the second.
Lewis hit double top to convert a 66 finish before hitting consecutive 180s at the start of the fourth to leave the opportunity of a nine-darter.
His attempt at a seventh treble 20 was off-target, but he converted a crucial 87 finish to win the leg in 12 darts, with Painter waiting on tops for the set.
The deciding leg saw Lewis leave himself 36 to move further clear, but Painter held his nerve to take out 68 in two darts to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Painter won the first leg of the fourth set on double two after Lewis missed a dart at tops, before firing in a superb 11-darter in the second.
Lewis recorded a 109 checkout to win the third leg, with his opponent waiting on 32, before the number two seed hit a 100 finish on double ten to win the fourth, but Painter was again the better in the deciding leg and took out 62 to level the contest.
Lewis hit a 180 at the start of the fifth set, but two missed darts at doubles proved costly as Painter broke to win the opening leg.
The Stoke ace fired in another 180 in leg two, which he took in 12 darts with an 87 finish, before posting a 177 to leave double 12 for a 13-darter in the third, and double 18 saw him take the set in leg four as Painter was punished for three missed doubles.
Lewis' surge continued at the start of the sixth set as he broke throw on double four following two further misses from Painter, and a missed bull from the 2004 finalist allowed the reigning champion to post double ten to move two legs up.
Lewis missed a dart at double top to win the match in the third leg as Painter hit the same double to keep his slim hopes alive but scores of 180 and 140 from Lewis pushed him ahead in the next, and he finished an 11-dart leg to cross the finishing line in style.