• World Darts Championship

Wade completely outclasses Klaasen to reach last-16

ESPN staff
December 23, 2011
James Wade looks in Championship-winning form © Getty Images

James Wade, the two-time UK Open champion, is through to the last-16 of the PDC World Championship after a dominant victory over Jelle Klassen on Friday night.

Wade, who reached the semi-finals back in 2009, was in sparkling form as he put his wobbly first-round performance behind him to outclass Klaasen. The 28-year-old chalked up the first two sets for the loss of only one leg, and he dropped four in total as he saw out an impressive 4-0 victory.

Applying pressure from the very first throw, Wade raced into a quick-fire one-set lead against the 2006 BDO world champion, with double-10 very much proving his ally as he took the opening three legs despite being unable to find double-tops. Klaasen had no answer as he failed to even get a shot at a double until the sixth leg of the match, falling two sets behind when Wade hit tops for the first time.

Klaasen's best performance at the World Championship is his 2009 run to the quarter-finals, and he finally took a leg against the darts at the start of the third set. Playing with his trademark rapid-fire style the Dutchman suddenly peppered the treble-20s, but just when he looked like booking his ticket back into the match, he missed two shots at a double that would have won the third set. Wade, calmness personified, confidently stepped in to steal into a 3-0 lead, with double-10 once again his partner in crime.

The Machine was living up to his moniker, showing fierce anger at himself for misplacing a dart in the match-clinching leg, but it mattered little as Klaasen was swept aside in impressive fashion.

Kevin Painter, the 2004 runner-up, was forced to come through a nervy battle before he saw off Mark Walsh 4-3. Painter looked like he would race to victory when he took a 3-1 lead, but he lost his rhythm and only rediscovered it at the vital moment to see off his gritty rival.

World No. 11 Walsh started superbly, throwing 180 and 140 with his first two throws, but Painter took the first leg with a 120 checkout before clinching the set with a 112 finish. By the time he closed out set four with an 81 The Artist was well on his way to victory at 3-1.

Walsh was competitive throughout the match though and he battled back to level as both players suddenly struggled to hit doubles. They went to the deciding set at 3-3, where this year's Players Championship winner Painter found a 134 checkout to effectively set up victory, wrapping up the contest with an 83 finish.

In the night's other match, Steve Farmer won a poor-quality encounter 4-2 against Kevin Munch. Munch had the chance to move 3-1 ahead but missed multiple darts at the double, and Farmer never looked back from that moment to advance to round three.

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