• PDC World Championship

Whitlock and Wright edge rollercoaster ties

ESPN staff
December 28, 2013
Simon Whitlock managed to scrape through after an majestic comeback from Ian White © PA Photos

Simon Whitlock survived a huge scare in his PDC World Championship quarter-final with Ian White, winning through 5-4 despite being 4-1 up against the Brit at Alexandra Palace.

White opened his evening with a cool 100 finish, but was soon pegged back as the Australian steadily saw out the first set. That quickly became a two-nil lead for Whitlock, who punished his opponent's missed doubles with sound accuracy.

The Stoke ace looked dead and buried after Whitlock supremely finished 136 in the third, before advancing into a comfortable 3-0 lead. However, White importantly edged a tight fourth set in order to reduce the deficit.

A 118-finish and 13-dart leg helped Whitlock to restore a three-set advantage, but White continued to deal with the pressure by issuing the immediate break and gain advantage in the sixth. The 21st seed quickly saw off his opponent to move within one, putting away double eight to make it 4-2.

A superb 134 checkout looked to be the key for Whitlock as he broke at the start of the seventh, but White responded immediately and pounced on a missed 118 checkout from his opponent to move within a set.

With the momentum clearly on White's side, more missed doubles cost Whitlock the eighth. A 108 on double 16 helped the Brit's cause and he held off the nerves to land double four and send the match into a deciding ninth set.

However, White crumbled at the crucial moment despite surviving the first break, as Whitlock finally closed out a match on double eight against an opponent who showed nothing but character.

Peter Wright continued his magnificent run at Ally Pally with an incredible 5-4 win over world number eight Wes Newton to book his place in the semi-final.

Newton drew first blood on the biggest stage in darts, closing out the first set with minimal fuss. Wright responded with a brilliant 140 checkout to take the second to a fifth leg, almost levelling with a 170. However, Newton stayed cool to finish 40 and move into a two-set lead.

Despite missing four darts to win the third set, Wright returned to hit double two with his last dart to close the gap before drawing level with a superb 164 out. The number eight seed responded to claim the fifth after five tight legs, but again the in-form Wright hit a tonne-plus checkout to level; this time it was 120 to clinch the sixth set.

Wright's finishing remained clinical as a superb 107 put him in firm control in the seventh set, with another calm 62 checkout enough to move within one set of the semi-final.

However, the Fleetwood ace had the crowd on their feet with a show-stopping maximum 170 finish to seal the eighth set and deservedly send the match into a decider.

Four chances to win the match passed Wright by as tension mounted on the oche, with the Scot squandering a 2-0 lead in the last. That meant the final set had to be won by two clear legs, but the 16th seed held his nerve before booking his place in the last four with a superb 121 checkout on the bullseye.

Peter Wright's finishing was epic on the Alexandra Palace stage © PA Photos

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