• World Darts Championship

Whitlock destroys Anderson to book semi-final spot

ESPN staff
December 30, 2011
Simon Whitlock swept Gary Anderson aside © Getty Images

Simon Whitlock powered into the semi-finals of the World Darts Championship after thrashing fourth seed Gary Anderson 5-1.

Whitlock, still hampered by an ankle injury, produced the better finishing throughout the contest as Anderson struggled to adapt to the slow nature with which his opponent retrieved his arrows from the dartboard.

It could have been so different for Anderson; a magnificent 151 checkout was the highlight as he claimed the opening set. However, Whitlock soon settled and after the break reeled off back-to-back legs to send a warning to his rival. Anderson quickly levelled matters but it was Whitlock who closed out the set, the Wizard pumping his fist in a rare sign of emotion as he walked off the stage.

The 2010 finalist never looked back after drawing level, the Australian pouncing on mistakes from his opponent to move a set to the good. A nine-darter looked to be on the cards for Whitlock at the start of the fourth set until he missed the treble 20 with his seventh arrow. Still, the Wizard took the leg with his opponent stranded on 113. Trailing 2-0, Anderson threatened a comeback when back-to-back 14-darters saw him pull level, only for Whitlock to move further clear when taking out double seven.

The next set went by in a flash, before Whitlock showed his grit by coming back from a 2-0 deficit to claim the sixth and, ultimately, final set.

"It's all a bit hard to believe, but I always had that belief in myself," Whitlock told Sky Sports. "I wasn't going to let my leg be a handicap to me. In fact, I'm using it to be a positive. Gary didn't play his best game - he missed a lot of doubles. I don't think my game suited him tonight.

"I had to play slow because of my leg, and I know he doesn't like to play slowly because he can't get in a rhythm."

Defending champion Adrian Lewis was forced to dig deep to survive an inspired fightback by Terry Jenkins in the evening's other quarter-final clash, with Lewis eventually prevailing 5-3.

Bidding to claim back-to-back world titles, Lewis got off to a flying start and was in little trouble at 3-0 up. However, Jenkins - now appearing relaxed with the match seemingly out of reach - rallied and, urged on by the crowd, stunned Lewis by roaring back to draw level at three apiece.

Lewis, now being booed by the crowd for no apparent reason, showed his quality to put the setback behind him and take the next two sets, finishing matters by taking out 90 with bull and then double 20.

"I thought they [the crowd] were very disrespectful - every time I was throwing, they were booing," Lewis said. "But, at the end of the day, I got the job done. But I wasn't very happy with them [the crowd] at all, in fact I'm fuming.

"Even when I was missing I was on the wire every time. But the crowd played a big part in that - they were shouting 'miss!' every time I was throwing. I didn't get any respect up there. Like I say, I was disappointed."

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