Gerwyn Price battled his way past Jamie Lewis in a last-set decider in Round Two of the World Darts Championship…
Gerwyn Price battled his way past Jamie Lewis in a last-set decider in Round Two of the World Darts Championship on Monday, as Kim Huybrechts knocked out Ian White.
World number three Price was below his best in a cagey opener at Alexandra Palace, but dug deep to recover from a set down and clinch a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
Lewis had his Welsh compatriot on the ropes early on, taking the first set, and after Price turned the tables to lead 2-1, Lewis hit back to force a decider.
However, the 2018 semi-finalist, was punished for a costly burst score of 68 in the final set as Price capitalised with some clinical finishing.
Price, World Grand Prix, World Series Finals and World Cup of Darts winner 2020, landed crucial checkouts of 72 and 116 in the final set to move into third round.
“That wasn’t my greatest performance and I probably got a bit lucky in that last set,” said Price, who also took out 160 on his way to victory.
“I couldn’t get going for whatever reason and he let me in when he bust 68, but I did what I do and took advantage.
“It’s not a brilliant start but I have to give credit to Jamie. He gave me a good game and I feel like I can grow into this tournament.
“It’s completely different without a crowd, I know they get on my back a lot but it gets me going.”
Huybrechts continued his resurgence with a brilliant victory over world number ten Ian White in a match which saw both players average above 100.
It was White who posted the highest average of the two with a 102.35, but could not stop the Belgian star claiming a 3-1 victory.
Huybrechts continually punished his opponent for missed darts at doubles as he set up a Last 32 meeting with Ryan Searle.
The former World Cup of Darts finalist countered White’s early 127 checkout with a 121 finish of his own en route to taking the first set 3-1.
He then edged the second set 3-2 after White blew three darts in the deciding leg, having come from 2-0 down to give himself a chance to level.
The Stoke ace did manage to find a way back into the match as a 105 checkout helped White to win the third set 3-1.
Huybrechts, though, sealed victory in the following set by landing a 13-darter in the deciding leg to move through to the post-Christmas action.
“I’m over the moon after beating one of the best players in the world,” said Huybrechts.
“Ian is an amazing player and he played well so I’m so happy with this win.
“I’ve been putting so much hard work in and it is paying off big time.
“I feel amazing after this and am not even thinking about the next match yet.
“I’ve put everything into this win but I will rest, practice and come back even better after Christmas.”
Gabriel Clemens won the William Hill World Championship’s first ever all-German encounter as he defeated emerging talent Nico Kurz 3-1.
Clemens defied four ton-plus checkouts from his compatriot, including stunning finishes of 160 and 161, to set up a show-down with reigning champion Peter Wright.
It was Clemens who hit the first of the game’s six three-figure checkouts as he took out 100 in the opening leg, before claiming the first set 3-2.
The 23-year-old hit back with consecutive finishes of 160, 123 and 161 to win a sensational second set 3-1, but Clemens was soon back ahead after winning set three by a two-leg margin.
The former German Darts Masters finalist kicked off the fourth set with a 108 checkout and didn’t look back, wrapping up the set 3-1 and winning the match by the same scoreline.
“I’m very happy. That was a difficult game for me so I’m really pleased with how well I did,” said Clemens.
“Nico is one of the most talented players in Germany and he showed it tonight – his finishing was amazing.
“I am good friends with Nico this was a special match for both of us and for our country. I know lots of fans were watching on television back home and I’m sure they enjoyed this game.”
Krzysztof Ratajski turned on the style to race past Ryan Joyce in straight sets, averaging 100.4 in the process.
Ratajski took out 91 to win the decisive fifth leg in the first set before edging the second set 3-2 with a classy 11-darter.
He went on to win the third set 3-1 to book his place in round three, which gets underway on Sunday December 27.
“I’m very happy to win,” said Ratajski. “It’s really to be hard to be here over Christmas because I would rather be with my family, but I would rather be here after winning than after losing.
“I played very well for two sets but I was a little bit nervous in the last set so I’m really happy to get the win.
“I think I can go far in this tournament if I play my best game and this is a very good start.”
William Hill World Darts Championship 2020/21 Results
Monday December 21
Krzysztof Ratajski 3-0 Ryan Joyce (R2)
Ian White 1-3 Kim Huybrechts (R2)
Gerwyn Price 3-2 Jamie Lewis (R2)
Gabriel Clemens 3-1 Nico Kurz (R2)