William Hill World Darts Championship 2017 – Day 9

Brilliant Webster stuns Whitlock with career-best display

DARREN WEBSTER produced the performance of the William Hill World Championship so far, as Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis both continued their bids to win the title for a third time with comfortable wins at Alexandra Palace on Friday.

 

Webster, Anderson and Lewis all enjoyed whitewash victories as the second round action got underway, while Michael Smith, Benito van de Pas and Ian White also progressed to the last 16 on the final day of pre-Christmas action.

 

Last month’s Players Championship Finals semi-finalist Webster put on a display of the highest quality to shock Simon Whitlock with a straight sets victory.

 

The 2007 World Championship semi-finalist averaged 104.64 – the highest in the nine days of the event so far – to follow up his first round win against Stephen Bunting with an even more impressive triumph.

 

“It’s the moment of my career,” said the unseeded Webster, who rattled in eight 180s and sealed the win with a brilliant 140 checkout.

 

“I’ve always said that my best is yet to come and it’s coming. I’m happy with how I played. I’m still learning how to take my floor form on to the big one but I’m getting there.

 

“I know I’m playing really well and I’m happy with myself.”

 

Norfolk’s Webster will now return after Christmas to take on the winner of the second round tie between number one seed Michael van Gerwen and Spain’s Cristo Reyes.

 

“I’m a realist and I know how good Michael is,” added Webster, who lost out to Van Gerwen in the Players Championship semi-finals after leading the Dutch star 6-0 in the their race to 11 legs.

 

“If I play like I did, I’ll give him a game if I play him. It will be hard – people thought The Titanic couldn’t sink but it did, and I’m the iceberg to sink Michael.

 

“We are just a couple of humans with two arms and two legs so we will see what happens.”

 

Reigning champion Anderson has yet to drop a set after he followed up his first round romp against Mark Frost by easing past Andrew Gilding, winning all four sets with a 3-1 scoreline.

 

The number two seed remains on course to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for a third successive year after averaging 102.58 to set up a round three clash with Van de Pas.

 

“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” said Anderson, who hit six 180s and a beautiful 132 finish on the final night of Alexandra Palace action before Christmas.

 

“He never got going and I know how dangerous he can be.

 

“I really enjoyed it up there, though. The crowd were fantastic. I’ve never heard them so loud in all my time playing darts. That is what the World Championship is all about.”

 

Lewis produced an equally impressive display as he made light work of Joe Cullen to set up a last 16 clash with either Raymond van Barneveld or Alan Norris.

 

The two-time World Champion edged the first set 3-2 but only dropped two legs after that as he upped his standard in a warning to the field by averaging 102.65 and hitting five maximums.

 

“The game really suited me,” said Lewis, the 2011 and 2012 champion. “I said that I would play better after the first round and I did. It was good and solid but there is more in the tank.

 

“Joe has had a great year on and off of TV so to go up there and win 4-0 is special.”

 

Earlier in the day, Smith fought off the tenacious Mervyn King in an epic seven-set contest, which saw the St Helens ace fire in a huge 14 180s to reach the third round for the fourth consecutive year.

 

The former PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion missed five darts to take a more comfortable 4-1 victory before King hit back to force a deciding set tie-break, where Smith finally prevailed.

 

“I should have seen Mervyn off earlier,” said Smith, who went on to reach the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace last year.

 

“He just wouldn’t leave me alone. He was like a cat with nine lives. Mervyn is a fighter and he nearly got me there.

 

“Credit to him but I’m happy that I got the job done. That’s the main thing and whoever I play next has to play me, not the other way round.”

 

Smith will now take on the winner of the post-Christmas second round match between James Wade and Steve Beaton.

 

Dutch ace Van de Pas also came through a nail-biting encounter and survived a missed match dart from veteran star Terry Jenkins.

 

Van de Pas, who has won a trio of Players Championship titles in 2016, produced a gutsy 110 checkout in the tie-break to help him progress to round three for a third time.

 

“What a game,” said the 23-year-old, who recently reached the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix and World Series of Darts Finals.

 

“I’m a real fighter and I know how to finish games. The pressure was high but I was very relaxed.

 

“I’m playing better and better on the stage and step by step, I’m moving closer to achieving my goals.”

 

White, meanwhile, claimed a comfortable triumph against Wales’ Jonny Clayton, who failed to recover from losing the first three sets as he eventually went down 4-1.

 

Number 14 seed White hit eight 180s to follow up his first round success against Kevin Simm with another convincing victory.

 

White will take on Peter Wright or Jamie Lewis in the last 16 as he bids to match his previous best run at the World Championship, having reached the quarter-finals in 2014.

 

The remaining competitors will return after a three day break for the festive period, with the action resuming on December 27 with a double session of second round action.

 

Mensur Suljovic and Mark Webster will kick off Tuesday’s play before Robert Thornton takes on Daryl Gurney and Dave Chisnall meets Chris Dobey.

 

The evening session sees number one seed Van Gerwen face Reyes and 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor go up against Kevin Painter in a repeat of the 2004 decider, while Raymond van Barneveld meets Alan Norris.

 

World number one van Gerwen remains the 8/11 odds-on favourite with sponsors William Hill to be crowned as World Champion on January 2, with Anderson now 11/2 and both Peter Wright and Phil Taylor rated 9/1.

 

Lewis’ whitewash of Cullen has seen his odds of winning a third World Championship cut to 20/1, while Webster’s pre-tournament odds of 500/1 have now been slashed to 125/1 following his superb second round win.

 

For the latest William Hill World Darts Championship odds, visit www.williamhill.com.

 

A very limited number of standard and Hospitality tickets are still available for the remainder of the William Hill World Darts Championship, with information at www.pdc.tv/tickets.

 

William Hill World Darts Championship

Second Round

Friday December 23

Afternoon Session

Ian White (14) 4-1 Jonny Clayton

Michael Smith (11) 4-3 Mervyn King (22)

Benito van de Pas (15) 4-3 Terry Jenkins (18)

 

Evening Session

Darren Webster 4-0 Simon Whitlock (17)

Gary Anderson (2) 4-0 Andrew Gilding

Adrian Lewis (5) 4-0 Joe Cullen (28)

 

Tuesday December 27

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Mensur Suljovic (8) v Mark Webster (25)

Robert Thornton (9) v Daryl Gurney (24)

Dave Chisnall (7) v Chris Dobey

 

Evening Session (8pm)

Raymond van Barneveld (12) v Alan Norris (21)

Phil Taylor (4) v Kevin Painter

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Cristo Reyes (32)

 

Wednesday December 28

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Kim Huybrechts (13) v Max Hopp

James Wade (6) v Steve Beaton (27)

Jelle Klaasen (10) v Brendan Dolan (23)

 

Evening Session (7pm)

Peter Wright (3) v Jamie Lewis (30)

Third Round

Gary Anderson (2) v Benito Van de Pas (15)

Adrian Lewis (5) v Van Barneveld (12)/Norris

 

Thursday December 29

Afternoon Session (1pm)

Suljovic (8)/M Webster v Thornton (9)/Gurney (24)

Chisnall (7)/Dobey v Klaasen (10)/Dolan (23)

Wade (6)/Beaton v Michael Smith (11)

 

Evening Session (7pm)

Wright (3)/J Lewis (30) v Ian White(14)

Taylor (4)/Painter v K Huybrechts (13)/Hopp

Van Gerwen (1)/Reyes (32) v Darren Webster

 

Friday December 30

Afternoon Session (1pm)

2x Quarter-Finals

 

Evening Session (7pm)

2x Quarter-Finals

 

Sunday January 1 (7pm)

Semi-Finals

 

Monday January 2 (8pm)

Final

 

Source: PDC

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