Adrian Lewis marked his return to the World Grand Prix with victory over Jose de Sousa in Leicester on Monday,…
Adrian Lewis marked his return to the World Grand Prix with victory over Jose de Sousa in Leicester on Monday, as Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen also enjoyed straight sets wins.
Lewis, the 2010 Grand Prix runner-up, was making his first appearance in the double-start event since 2019 and landed three ton-plus checkouts on his way to an impressive defeat of De Sousa.
The two-time World Champion produced finishes of 152 and 101 in sealing the first set, and a brilliant 147 checkout sparked his revival in the second, as he reeled off three straight legs to prevail.
“I need to put a lot more work in but I’m just trying to enjoy it,” admitted Lewis. “As long as I can enjoy it, there’s a good chance I can do well.
“I seemed to fall out of love with darts, I hated it to be honest because I put that much work in and it was demoralising.
“Maybe I am turning the tide and maybe I can win this.”
Lewis will now face Chris Dobey in the Second Round, after the Tyneside thrower produced a spectacular display of finishing to stun Luke Humphries and secure his first win at this event since reaching the 2019 Semi-Finals on debut.
Humphries paid the price for squandering 20 darts at a starting double in a dramatic opening stanza, as Dobey rallied from 2-0 down to snatch the set with an inspired 94 outshot, secured via two double 19s.
Dobey continued his formidable finishing with successive 136 and 138 checkouts to move to the brink of victory, and he made it six legs without reply to go through.
Jonny Clayton survived a scare as he began his title defence with a comeback victory over Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Clayton was handed a tough assignment against the 2020 runner-up, but recovered from a shaky start to book a showdown with Dimitri Van den Bergh at the Morningside Arena.
Van Duijvenbode dominated the opening exchanges, punishing a lacklustre start from the reigning champion to draw first blood with a sublime 156 checkout.
Clayton’s terrific 130 finish midway through set two shifted the pendulum, and as an increasingly frustrated Van Duijvenbode faltered late on the Welshman capitalised to move through to a meeting against Van den Bergh.
“I’m glad to get through obviously, but Dirk should have won that game,” conceded Clayton.
“I just couldn’t get going tonight, but thankfully I managed to scrape through.
“Dimitri is a brilliant player, just like Dirk. Hopefully my game will improve on Wednesday. I’m going to come out of the blocks better than I did tonight.”
Van den Bergh secured only his second victory on the World Grand Prix stage with a deciding-leg win over two-time finalist Dave Chisnall, who bows out in round one for the first time since 2014.
Chisnall – a winner at the recent Belgian Darts Open – recovered from a sluggish start to force the first deciding set of this year’s tournament, producing a brace of 160 starts in the process.
The pair exchanged four straight holds in set three to create a thrilling finale, but it was Van den Bergh who booked his spot in the second round, courtesy of a fine 13-dart hold in the decider.
Elsewhere, Van Gerwen – chasing a sixth World Grand Prix success – ran out a resounding 2-0 winner against two-time World Champion Gary Anderson in a repeat of the 2016 final.
The Dutchman reeled off a scrappy first set without reply, despite Anderson missing darts to win every leg – squandering 11 darts at double in total.
The Scot responded with a clinical 84 kill to seize control of the second set, but after firing back with a 15-dart riposte, Van Gerwen followed up his third 180 with a 106 finish to seal the deal in 12 darts.
“The first round at the World Grand Prix against Gary Anderson is never going to be easy,” admitted Van Gerwen.
“You never know with Gary. He still has a lot of talent and is a brilliant player, so you have to perform well.
“We both missed so many doubles in the first set, but the second set is something to build on for the next round.”
World Champion Wright defied a spirited fightback from Kim Huybrechts to begin his bid for a maiden World Grand Prix crown with a 2-0 win in a high-quality affair.
After defying a significant disparity in the averages to win the first set, Wright moved 2-0 ahead in the second, only for Huybrechts to preserve his hopes with skin-saving 128 and 101 checkouts.
However, the Belgian was unable to conjure up a third consecutive ton-plus finish to force a deciding set, and 2018 runner-up Wright regained his poise to pin double nine and advance with a 94 average.
Two-time semi-finalist Stephen Bunting will meet MVG in Wednesday’s Last 16 after producing a blistering burst in the latter stages of his clash against 2011 runner-up Brendan Dolan.
Bunting drew first blood in a tight opening set which saw all five legs go with throw, before wrapping up proceedings with a stunning 11-darter to complete a straight-sets success.
Meanwhile, Poland’s number one Krzysztof Ratajski will play Wright for a place in the Last Eight after kicking off this year’s tournament with a convincing 2-0 victory over Callan Rydz.
Ratajski converted all three of his attempts at a finishing double to claim a hard-fought opening set, before punishing a series of missed opportunities from Rydz in the second to ease through.
18+ | T&Cs apply | Geo restrictions may apply | Be Gamble Aware | #Ad
World Grand Prix 2022 Day One Results
Monday October 3
Callan Rydz 0-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Brendan Dolan 0-2 Stephen Bunting
Chris Dobey 2-0 Luke Humphries
Dimitri Van den Bergh 2-1 Dave Chisnall
Jonny Clayton 2-1 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Peter Wright 2-0 Kim Huybrechts
Michael van Gerwen 2-0 Gary Anderson
Jose de Sousa 0-2 Adrian Lewis