PDC World Championship - Lewis enjoys whitewash
ADRIAN LEWIS began his bid for a World Darts Championship treble with a whitewash victory against Dennis Smith on Wednesday morning, as Michael Smith, Andy Smith and Justin Pipe joined him in the second round at Alexandra Palace.
Lewis, the 2011 and 2012 World Champion and a quarter-finalist last year, made an ominous start to his challenge in the £1 million tournament this time around by denying his opponent a dart at a double during a straight sets triumph.
The number three seed roared out of the blocks by winning the opening set with a 126 finish and successive 14-dart legs, and romped through the next two sets in comfortable fashion as he set up a second round date with Vincent van der Voort.
"I'm pleased with that and I did a good job tonight," said the Stoke ace. "Dennis didn't play his best darts but I had to stay focused, keep finishing and hitting the right scores at the right times.
"I'm feeling calm and relaxed and I'm here to win this. I'm not here to make the numbers up and I feel as if I've got a great chance this year - my preparation has gone brilliantly and I'm practising well, and I want to go up there and do a job.
"I'll be better against Vincent in the next round and there will be plenty more 180s."
While Swindon's Smith suffered defeat, there were wins for two other Smiths as Andy and Michael won through to the second round with 3-1 victories over Steve Brown and Morihiro Hashimoto respectively.
Andy lost the opening set of his clash with Bristol's Brown before edging the second set in a deciding leg to level.
Smith led 2-0 in the third before Brown hit two 180s in the third leg as he hit back with a 12-darter before missing double 12 for a nine-darter in the next, dramatically wiring his ninth dart before returning to hit the bed for a ten-darter.
However, that would be the last leg Brown would win as Smith took the set's deciding leg to move ahead in the match, before winning the fourth set without reply to earn his place in the second round.
"It was a scrappy game but I'm glad I came out the winner," said Smith. "I've not got the best of records on the stage here and knew I had a tough game against Steve, so when I lost the first set, I though 'here we go again'.
"Steve played brilliantly in patches but I got through and did it well."
Brown admitted: "It's gut-wrenching to miss a nine-darter and lose the match. If it had gone 2-0 then I think I'd have run away with the match, so it's disappointing."
World Youth Champion Michael Smith also had to come from a set down before taking victory in his clash against Japanese qualifier Hashimoto, who had completed a 4-2 preliminary round win over Singapore's Paul Lim earlier in the night with a 131 checkout.
Having lost out to Smith's manager Gary Anderson in the first round at Alexandra Palace three years ago, Hashimoto took the first set of this clash 3-1, only for the St Helens youngster to edge the next two in a deciding leg.
Smith then took the game's fourth set without reply as he sealed his first World Championship win, setting up a second round clash with reigning champion Phil Taylor on Friday.
"I'm glad I got the win but I'm not happy with how I played," admitted Smith. "Everything was flying in when I was practising but it didn't happen for me on stage.
"I thought that when I got the first set that I'd settle down, but I still missed too many doubles. I felt the pressure because I was expected to win, so I can relax now.
"I can't wait to play Phil and the pressure's off me now - I can just go up there and play darts. I will be a lot different because nobody expects me to win, so I won't be nervous."
Justin Pipe, the number 11 seed, was the night's other winner as he overcame former World Youth Champion Arron Monk in straight sets.
Pipe took the game's first set 3-1 before coming from a leg down to win the second in the same manner, and though Monk replied with a 100 checkout in the third, the Taunton ace took out an 11-darter as he sealed his second round spot.
Pipe's last 32 clash with South African star Devon Petersen will be the only second round game to be played after the Christmas break, with the five-time ranking event winner now looking forward to enjoying the festive period with his family.
"It was hard work and there were a few first round nerves there," said Pipe. "Neither of us got going and maybe we showed each other too much respect, but I'll look to put it right in the next round.
"I can relax now as it's a longer format and it's so hard in the first round. We all want to get through that first round, enjoy Christmas dinner and come back and play well.
"I can push on now and hopefully put it right after Christmas. I'll still do four hours of practice on Christmas Day, and the family will be right behind me with that.
"Devon's a great lad who's really dug deep to come back from injury, but I want to focus on my own game."
The first round concludes on Thursday night with the final four games, including number six seed James Wade up against Darren Webster.
World number eight Wes Newton plays the winner of the preliminary round clash between Gino Vos and Ting Chi Royden Lam, while 2004 finalist Kevin Painter meets Germany's Tomas Seyler and Mark Webster takes on Austrian number one Mensur Suljovic.
World Darts Championship
Wednesday December 18
Andy Smith 3-1 Steve Brown
Morihiro Hashimoto 4-2 Paul Lim (P)
Justin Pipe 3-0 Arron Monk
Michael Smith 3-1 Morohiro Hashimoto
Adrian Lewis 3-0 Dennis Smith
Mark Webster v Mensur Suljovic
Gino Vos v Royden Lam (P)
James Wade v Darren Webster
Wes Newton v Vos/Lam
Kevin Painter v Tomas Seyler
Preliminary Round (P) - Best of Seven Legs
First Round - Best of Five Sets
ANDY SMITH 3-1 STEVE BROWN
(1-3, 3-2, 3-2, 3-0)
ANDY SMITH came from a set down to defeat Steve Brown by a 3-1 margin the opening round of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
Bristol ace Brown showed glimpses of his ability as he hit legs of 11 and ten darts during the game, including a missed dart at double 12 for a nine-dart-finish.
However Smith, who has failed to win beyond the third round in 12 previous World Championship appearances, produced the greater consistency and will now face James Wade or Darren Webster in the last 32.
"It was a scrappy game but I'm glad I came out the winner," said a delighted Smith, who revealed afterwards that he had undergone a session of hypnotism ahead of the game.
"I did it to help relax for televised games and hit more doubles," he admitted. "I missed eight doubles to win the first leg, so I think it's failed to work on me!"
Brown made the better start to the match as he took the first set in style with a fabulous 11-darter, but a missed dart at the bullseye for a 2-0 lead allowed Smith to draw level, after claiming a tense deciding leg to end set two.
Smith opened up a 2-0 advantage in the third set before Brown hit a total of four 180s over the next two legs, which included a missed dart at double 12 for a nine-darter.
Smith stopped his opponent's burst of form by taking out 81 to win the set in the decider, before cruising through the fourth set without reply to seal victory.
0-1 - Smith hits a 180 with his first three darts of the game but proceeds to miss eight darts at doubles and Brown steals the leg on double eight.
1-1 - The 27th seed puts the errors of the first leg behind him as he takes the second leg against the darts with a 96 finish, landing double 18.
1-2 - Brown hits a maximum before posting double ten to record a 15-darter.
1-3 - The Bristol ace wins the set in style with a fablulous 11-dart-finish, which featured another 180.
0-1 - Brown hits double top with a pressure third dart with his opponent waiting on the same double.
1-1 - Smith leaves 76 after 12 darts, and he takes out the finish to draw level.
1-2 - Brown takes control of the leg by firing in a third 180, but a missed dart at double eight gives Smith a chance at a 101 finish, only for a miss at double 18 to allow Brown to return and hit double eight.
2-2 - Smith leaves 36 after 12 darts before hitting double eight to force a deciding leg.
3-2 - The tension shows in both players as they struggle to find the big scores. Smith misses one dart at tops before Brown fails with one dart at the bullseye for a 2-0 lead, and the Studley ace holds his nerve to land double top with a pressure dart to level at one set apiece.
1-0 - Smith misses five chances to win the leg before finding double one bed with his third dart.
2-0 - The Warwickshire thrower takes out a 66 finish on double 18 to win his fourth leg in a row.
2-1 - Brown records consecutive 180s before landing top for a 12-darter to hit back.
2-2 - The Bristol ace keeps landing the 180s as he hits two in a row to raise hopes of a nine-darter. He hits a seventh treble 20 followed by treble 19, but his dart at double 12 is agonisingly just high of the target - although he returns to hit double 12 at the first attempt in his next visit to complete a ten-darter.
3-2 - Smith takes out a fine two-dart 82 finish on double 16, with his opponent waiting on a two-darter for the set.
1-0 - Smith wins the first leg against the darts thanks to an accurate attempt at double top.
2-0 - Brown misses double top for a 157 checkout before failing with two more attempts to close out the leg, as Smith hits double 16 to move a leg away from victory.
3-0 - Brown fails with six attempts at doubles - spread over three visits - and Smith hits double nine to secure the win.
MORIHIRO HASHIMOTO 4-2 PAUL LIM
JAPAN'S number one Morihiro Hashimoto won three legs in a row from 2-1 down to defeat darting legend Paul Lim in their preliminary round clash at the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
Hashimoto, who became a huge crowd favourite in his debut appearance at Alexandra Palace three years ago, won the opening leg before Lim claimed the next two to establish a 2-1 lead.
Hashimoto won the fourth leg before regaining the lead in the next, thanks to an accurate attempt at double top, to edge closer to victory, which he secured with a brilliant 131 checkout to end the hopes of the Singapore legend, who was playing in his 20th World Championship.
1-0 - The Japanese qualifier hits double eight to win the first leg.
1-1 - Hashimoto misses the bullseye for a 90 finish and Lim hits double top to level.
1-2 - Both players struggle to find the winning double before the American hits double two to lead.
2-2 - Hashimoto hits double top to level the contest.
3-2 - The Japanese star misses double eight for a 136 checkout but returns to hit double four for a 14-darter.
4-2 - Hashimoto closes out the game in superb style with a 131 checkout.
JUSTIN PIPE 3-0 ARRON MONK
(3-1, 3-1, 3-1)
JUSTIN PIPE dropped just three legs in dismissing an out-of-sorts Arron Monk to progress to the last 32 of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
The Taunton ace, who reached his second major TV semi-final at the Players Championship Finals recently, failed to hit top form but did more than enough to enjoy a comfortable evening against the former World Youth Champion.
Pipe won the first set with a 13-dart-finish and then won the second by a 3-1 margin as Monk struggled to find any kind of rhythm.
The Taunton star hit a 14-darter to win the opening leg of set three, before Monk took a 100 finish to draw level.
Pipe regained the lead with a clinical 11-darter before ending the contest on double top to set up a second round clash against South Africa's Devon Petersen in the only last 32 game which will be played after the Christmas break.
"We both suffered from first round nerves out there," admitted Pipe. "I could see Arron was really struggling and I just had to get the job done, wihich I did.
"The main thing was to get the win and I can go home now, have a good Christmas, and prepare for my game against Devon next Friday".
1-0 - The 11th seed hits double eight to hold throw.
1-1 - Monk hits double top for a 71 finish to draw level.
2-1 - Pipe lands double eight with his third dart to regain the lead.
3-1 - The Taunton ace leaves 40 after 12 darts and hits double top at the first attempt to wrap up the set.
0-1 - Pipe misses a dart at double 15 to break and Monk wins his second leg of the match on double ten.
1-1 - Pipe is just off-target on the bullseye for a 130 checkout but Monk is unable to capitalise and the Taunton thrower returns to hit double four.
2-1 - Both players miss a dart at the bullseye before Pipe hits double 16 to secure a break of throw.
3-1 - Pipe takes out 61 on double 18 to win the set and leave an out-of-sorts Monk with a mountain to climb.
1-0 - Pipe makes a positive start to the set as he hits double top at the first attempt for a 14-darter.
1-1 - Pipe hits a 180 but Monk produces his best darts of the game so far, culiminating in a two-dart 100 finish.
2-1 - The Taunton man kicks-off the leg with a maximum before hitting double top for a superb 11-darter.
3-1 - Pipe misses double top for a 160 finish, but Monk fails with two shots at the same double and Pipe ends the contest to progress to the last 32.
MICHAEL SMITH 3-1 MORIHIRO HASHIMOTO
(1-3, 3-2, 3-2, 3-0)
MICHAEL SMITH came from a set down to defeat Japan's Morihiro Hashimoto 3-1 in the first round of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
Smith, who has risen into the top 32 of the PDC Order of Merit following another impressive year on the circuit, will now face 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor on Friday evening after overcoming the Japanese number one.
Hashimoto, who defeated Paul Lim earlier in the night to reach the first round stage for a second time, took out an 89 finish in the opening leg of the contest before winning the set on double five to give the PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion something to think about.
The St Helens youngster edged the second set in a deciding leg to draw level and opened up a 2-1 lead in the third set before Hashimoto took out a brilliant 152 finish to level.
Smith held his throw to take the deciding leg, with the aid of a 177 score, before claiming the fourth set without reply to complete his first World Championship victory.
0-1 - Smith hits a 180 only for Hashimoto to reply with a maximum of his own. The Japanese thrower then takes out an 89 finish.
1-1 - Hashimoto fails with five opportunties to break throw and Smith holds on double ten.
1-2 - Hashimoto regains the lead after Smith missed double ten for a 140 checkout.
1-3 - The Japanese qualifier misses two chances to win the set but Smith is guilty of five missed shots at doubles and Hashimoto returns to hit double five.
1-0 - Smith misses three chances to win the leg but gets the opportunity to return to the oche to hit double two.
1-1 - Hashimoto levels by taking out a 98 finish in two darts.
2-1 - The St Helens youngster lands double ten with his third dart to regain the lead.
2-2 - Hashimoto forces a deciding leg thanks to an accurate third dart at double eight.
3-2 - Smith fails with two attempts at double top but returns to land double ten to square the game.
0-1 - One missed dart at double top from Smith proves costly as Hashimoto hits the same double for a 69 finish.
1-1 - Smith misses three chances to win the leg, but Hashimoto fails with one shot at double top, allowing Smith to return and hit double five.
2-1 - Hashimoto is off-target on double 16 for a 110 finish and Smith hits double top to break throw.
2-2 - Smith misses a dart at tops for the set and the Japanese ace hits a brilliant 152 checkout.
3-2 - Smith hits a 177 to leave 70, which he takes out on double top.
1-0 - Smith defies a 180 from his opponent to win the leg on tops.
2-0 - The winning double proves a major challenge as both players miss 13 attempts at doubles before Smith finally hits double one to go a leg away from victory.
3-0 - Smith fails with three chances to win the match, but the Japanese ace misses four darts at doubles to allow Smith in to hit double four to win the game.
ADRIAN LEWIS 3-0 DENNIS SMITH
(3-0, 3-0, 3-0)
ADRIAN LEWIS created the first whitewash victory of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a 26-minute win over Dennis Smith at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday evening.
The two-time World Champion denied his opponent a shot at a double throughout the match, and will now play Vincent van der Voort for a place in the last 16.
Lewis came out of the blocks quickly as he recorded a 126 checkout to win the opening leg, and followed that with consecutive 14-darters to win the set with ease.
The European Champion continued the procession in the second set as he hit a third 14-darter of the game to establish a two-set lead.
Smith continued to struggle and Lewis moved to within touching distance of victory as he hit three 180s in claiming the opening two legs of the third set, before rounding off a convincing performance in the next leg as he hit double top to progress.
"Dennis never got going tonight and can perform much better, but I did the job and took my chances," said the Stoke star, who lost his world title in an epic quarter-final encounter against Michael van Gerwen last year.
"I'm pleased with my professionalim tonight. First round games are always tough and nerve-wracking but I kept my concentration throughout, even when I was comfortable at two sets up.
"I'm looking to win a third World Championship title this year and I think it would be the greatest achievement of my career if I could do it."
1-0 - The two-time World Champion comes out of the blocks quickly as he converts a 126 checkout.
2-0 - Lewis breaks throw on double eight to complete a 14-darter.
3-0 - Lewis hits a 180 before landing double top for another 14-dart finish to wrap up the first set with ease.
1-0 - Lewis hits a brilliant 171 to leave 70, which he takes out on tops to break throw.
2-0 - The world number three hits double four to win his fifth leg in a row, with Smith yet to have a shot at a double.
3-0 - Lewis hits double top for a third 14-darter of the game to establish a two-set lead.
1-0 - Lewis wastes five chances to win the leg, but Smith is unable to set up a shot at a double and the European Champion returns to hit double two.
2-0 - Lewis hits two 180s before Smith registers a maximum of his own, but the Stoke star wins the leg on double six.
3-0 - Double ten confirms a whitewash victory for the number three seed.