- PDC World Championship
Anderson eases through with Dudbridge whitewash
Gary Anderson was rarely troubled in the first round of the PDC World Championship as he saw off Mark Dudbridge 3-0 on the Alexandra Palace stage.
Dudbridge enjoyed an encouraging start as Anderson's double trouble was present from the off, but the 'Flying Scotsman' soon found his groove to break back with double ten. Anderson stretched his lead on double five before wrapping up an uneventful first set on double 16.
Anderson quickly built on his momentum with a 13-dart leg to break throw at the start of the second, but a 177 and 14-dart leg from his opponent ensured level pegging's in the second. Dudbridge edged ahead and looked a threat for the set before Anderson took out 100 to level and moved into a two-set lead with another classy 13-darter.
Crowd wowed by two-nine darters
- Earlier on Saturday, Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson achieved something remarkable on the Alexandra Palace stage; both hit perfect nine-dart finishes but lost their respective matches, in what was a crazy afternoon at the PDC World Championship.
- Read the full report here
While not at his fluent best, Anderson took advantage as 'Flash' struggled to combine scoring with finishing. The Scot, 18th seed in the tournament, soon wrapped up a whitewash victory with three consecutive legs, finishing double 16 to ensure his place in the last 32.
Robert Thornton responded to an early fright from teenage star Max Hopp, as the ninth seed eventually eased into the second round with a 3-1 victory.
It was the Scot who took the first leg of the match, but Hopp showed no signs of early nerves as he finished tops for the first break of throw to punish two Thornton misses. 'The Thorn' went close to repaying the favour when narrowly dropping inside on double seven for a 122, before Hopp swept up the first set with his favoured double 20.
The 17-year-old clinically made it four straight legs, but Thornton finally found range with his first maximum to end the rot. At two legs apiece in the second set, Thornton hit another 180 as Hopp wobbled and allowed his opponent to sink tops for a level game.
From there, Hopp struggled to regain his composure as he lost another three straight legs to Thornton, despite the 2012 UK Open winner not finding top gear. Thornton recorded his seventh straight leg when taking advantage of two missed doubles from Hopp, before the German finally checked out after Thornton missed three at tops. However, a 100 finish and 14-dart leg ensured the favourite eased into the next round.
"To be honest with you, I won the first leg and thought I was throwing alright," Thornton told ESPN. "But the next four legs he was on fire and couldn't miss. People don't see the way Max the way we see him on the floor. He throws like that very often. It's just a shame it doesn't come on the stage for him.
"He's a very impressive player, I like the guy. He's got a great attitude towards darts and gives you the respect you deserve. Max is still a young boy, he's still got a big, big future ahead of him and I'll watch with interest because he's a top class darts player."
Former world finalist Andy Hamilton booked his place in the second round with a 3-1 victory over Julio Barbero.
Barbero, who defeated Andree Welge earlier in the night in the preliminary encounter, dropped the opening set, and as Hamilton pinched the second set 3-2, he hit back to halve the deficit by taking the third.
Hamilton, though, closed out victory by storming to the following set without dropping a leg, finishing the match on an 86 checkout on double 16 to see off his impressive opponent.
Elsewhere, Paul Nicholson produced an solid performance to see off good friend Stuart Kellett 3-0.
Nicholson cruised in the first two sets before Kellett replied in the third, but 'The Asset' held his nerve in the deciding leg to land double 8 for a place in the second round.
"When I saw the draw I realised I had a very tough game on my hands. I've got to know Stuart pretty well over the last couple of years and he's a high quality player," Nicholson told PDC.tv. "To win in this fashion is a real boost to my confidence and I'll take that into the preparation for my next game."
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