- PDC World Championship
Lewis sets marker without dropping a leg
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis whitewashed Denis Smith without losing a leg and booked his place in the second round of the PDC World Championship, while Justin Pipe eased past Arron Monk and Michael Smith set up a tie with Phil Taylor.
Lewis stormed out of the blocks and, while previously struggling against slower-throwing opponents, had no problems in finding his rhythm back on the Alexandra Palace oche.
There is something about the Ally Pally stage that Lewis loves, and it showed as he hit two 14-darters and 126 checkout to take the first set in rapid time.
Three legs without reply soon became six as 'Jackpot' continued to show why he is one of the most feared players on the Pro Tour. Six legs in and two sets down, Dennis Smith did not have a single shot at a double.
Despite early trouble in the third, Lewis finished double two before kicking off with a maximum. Another 180 followed in his typically natural suit as he broke again, and finished off in style for a nine-leg victory.
Justin Pipe wasted no time in seeing off Arron Monk, defeating the former world youth champion 3-0 to set up a second round tie with Devon Petersen.
Pipe dropped just three legs in the victory, but was far from his best at the oche. Double top helped the Taunton ace seal the first set with a break of throw, before three straight legs after Monk's hold quickly gave Pipe the two-set advantage.
A 14-dart leg put Pipe on course for a second round spot, but Monk responded with a two-dart 100 finish to level proceedings in the third. However, an 11-darter from Pipe moved him within one and when Monk could not finish double ten, the world number 11 stepped up to seal victory.
"We both suffered from first round nerves out there," Pipe told PDC.tv. "I could see Arron was really struggling and I just had to get the job done wihich I did. The main thing was to get the win and I can go home now, have a good Christmas, and prepare for my game against Devon next Friday".
Michael Smith set up clash with Phil Taylor after overcoming qualifier Morihiro Hashimoto 3-1, although the St Helens star was no way near his high scoring best.
Hashimoto, who beat Paul Lim in the preliminary round, took the advantage in the first set after a poor spell of finishing from Smith, but 'Bully Boy' - who is managed by Gary Anderson -edged a close second to level the tie.
Smith landed double 20 to break throw in the third, but the Japanese ace hit back with a clinical 152 to send the set into a deciding leg; Smith once again held his nerve to take out 70 on double top.
Missed doubles became the crux of the match as Smith finally landed double one to break throw with a 28-dart leg in the fourth, before finally crossing the line and booking a date with the 'Power'.
Andy Smith capitalised on some poor finishing from Steve Brown to come through their first round match 3-1. Brown took the opening set with an 11-darter, but missed the bull for a two-set lead and allowed Smith to hit back.
Smith claimed four legs on the spin to move into a strong position, before 'Bomber' Brown hit back with four 180's in two legs. The Bristol ace missed a nine-dart finish attempt at the final hurdle of double 12, but Smith hit back next leg to lead.
Brown almost replied as a marvellous attempt at a 157 checkout fell short, but six missed darts at a double allowed the 'Pie Man' to return and hit double nine for the win - before he admitted he underwent hypnotism ahead of the match.
"It was a scrappy game but I'm glad I came out the winner," Smith said. "I did it to help relax for televised games and hit more doubles. But I missed eight doubles to win the first leg, so I think it's failed to work on me."
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