Michael van Gerwen had to come from one set down in his PDC World Championship second round tie with Chas Barstow to advance on Saturday evening. The legendary Dutchman is looking to win his fourth World Championship, but found the going tougher than expected against the Winchester-born debutant.
‘MvG’ missed seven darts at doubles in losing the first set, and he lost the first leg of the second in a slow start. ‘Mighty Mike’ would take the set 3-1 before making it six legs in a row in sweeping the third. The world number three ended his night with back-to-back 99 checkouts as his form well and truly returned, putting paid to a valiant effort from Barstow.
Former BDO championship runner-up Jim Williams enjoyed a dream Alexandra Palace debut, beating Ted Evetts 3-1. Evetts famously became the first man to lose to a woman at the World Championship in 2019.
Williams started brilliantly, hitting a 130 checkout on the way to winning the first set. ‘Super Ted’ struggled on his doubles badly, hitting just one of 19 as Williams took the second set. Evetts averaged 112 on the way to pulling one back, but ultimately it was not enough. Williams hit a superb Shanghai finish on the way to taking the fourth set, and a place in the second round.
Michael van Gerwen reacts to his second round win over Chas Barstow...
World Cup of Darts runner-up Rowby-John Rodriguez made a strong start to his World Championship campaign, beating Nick Kenny in straight sets. ‘Little John’ cleaned up the first three legs without reply, and met very little resistance from an opponent who seemed to struggle to settle on the Ally Pally stage.
Adam Hunt whitewashed the big Croatian, Boris Krcmar, in their first round clash. After taking the first set 3-1, Hunt turned up the heat in the second. The Chester man broke Krcmar’s throw with tops in a gripping first leg of the second, setting himself up to take the set.
Krcmar was averaging more than Hunt, but his finishing deserted him at times. The raw stats hinted at an even game between the pair, and they certainly provided entertainment, but Adam Hunt would win the third to cap a memorable whitewash.