Damon Heta proved his Brisbane Masters triumph was no flash in the pan as he made it back-to-back wins over James Wade to reach the Quarter-Finals of the Melbourne Masters on Friday.
Heta enjoyed a fairy-tale victory in Brisbane last weekend, marking his 32nd birthday with a first televised title, and turned on the style upon his return to action in the World Series.
The DPA number one had edged out Wade in a deciding leg a week ago but pulled off a ruthless 6-1 rout in Melbourne, averaging 99.6 with five 180s and six from eight on the doubles.
Heta opened up with a 116 checkout and raced into a 5-0 lead before Wade averted the whitewash with an 86 checkout.
The Australian, however, soon sealed the win with a 13-darter on double eight, and admitted: “That pretty much proved it [Brisbane] wasn’t a fluke.
“I take no notice of what people say. To perform like that again is unreal, that’s where I’m at and happy days.”
“Things just feel so good right now, I’m just in the moment and absolutely loving it.”
Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld produced the performance of the day as he recorded his first televised ton-plus average in 12 months in thrashing Haupai Puha 6-1.
Van Barneveld, who defeated Puha in Brisbane last week, averaged 106 and landed six from eight on the doubles in a clinical display to dispatch the New Zealand World Cup star.
“I felt really relaxed up there,” said Van Barneveld. “I took a few days off after Brisbane to get my mind in the right place and it seemed to have worked.
“I’ve been doing it on the practice board and I always feel confident there but it’s nice to finally do it out on the stage.”
Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will face off in a mouth-watering Quarter-Final on Saturday after the box office duo brushed aside Tim Pusey and James Bailey respectively.
An average of just 93 was enough for MVG to see off Pusey 6-2, while Anderson whitewashed Oceanic Masters champion Bailey 6-0 with a 97 average.
“It’s getting there,” admitted Anderson. “I had six months off and in the past I could just get right back into it.
“It has not turned out that way and it has been a hell of a difference.
“It’s going to be hard work I think, I need to get back into it. I know what I need to do.”
Van Gerwen has now gone seven PDC events without winning a title but will be hoping to end that run on Saturday night in front of a 3,000-strong crowd.
“Gary and I always have great games and I can’t afford to make any mistakes against him,” said the Dutchman.
“I have not played my best but I just have to keep giving myself chances and doing the right things at the right moments.
“I’m happy to get the win today but now I have to focus on playing Gary.”
Defending champion Peter Wright booked his place in the Last Eight with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Corey Cadby.
Both players struggled to find their range in a scrappy affair, but it was the number one seed who held firm to progress, landing a high checkout of 142 and hitting 66 per cent of his attempts at doubles.
“Tonight was diabolical,” admitted Wright. “I don’t know what happened up there tonight but sometimes it just doesn’t go.
“I have to play Barney tomorrow and if I play anything like that then I won’t be the champion anymore.”
Rob Cross eased through to the final day of action after a 6-2 win over debutant qualifier Robbie King despite an average of just 86.
Home hero Simon Whitlock opened up the evening’s play with a routine 6-3 win over World Series newcomer Mick Lacey.
The Australian ace will meet Daryl Gurney in the Quarter-Finals after he overcame Kyle Anderson 6-3.
Gurney charged into a 3-0 lead before Anderson battled back to trail 4-3 but crucially missed a chance to level, allowing the Northern Irishman to go on and complete victory with a 97.5 average and six from eight on the doubles.
“I was pleased with the way I started so I was happy with that but it was my own fault that I let Kyle back in,” said Gurney.
“I’ve been working really hard at home and while I’ve been away so beating quality players shows the hard work is paying off.”
Melbourne Darts Masters 2019 Results
Friday August 16
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mick Lacey
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Haupai Puha
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson 6-0 James Bailey
Peter Wright 6-4 Corey Cadby
James Wade 1-6 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Tim Pusey
Rob Cross 6-2 Robbie King