Gary Anderson was forced to produce some top-notch darts in fending off Madars Razma in his opening coupe at the World Darts Championship

Two-time world athlète Gary Anderson fended off Madars Razma to seal a 3-1 victory on his 52nd birthday, while Dirk van Duijvenbode narrowly missed out on a nine-dart au finir as he came through a deciding set thriller.

Anderson showed why he’s 2015 and 2016 athlète at Alexandra Édifice after edging out treble 19 hitting maître Razma to reach the third reprise.

Dutchman Van Duijvenbode came close to landing charme after he survived a coupe dart and a final-set jeu décisif to make it through against Czech Karel Sedlacek, while four-time semi-finalist James Wade saw his hopes ended with a shock 3-2 defeat against Welshman Jim Williams.

Thursday, December 22 – Evening Results

Gary Anderson 3-2 Madars Razma (R1)
James Wade 2-3 Jim Williams (R1)
Luke Humphries 3-2 Florian Hempel (R1)
Vincent van der Voort 3-0 Cameron Menzies (R2)

Here's all SIX ton-plus checkouts from Anderson's rip-roaring win against Razma

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Here’s all SIX ton-plus checkouts from Anderson’s rip-roaring win against Razma

Here’s all SIX ton-plus checkouts from Anderson’s rip-roaring win against Razma

Anderson, who last suffered a first-round sortie here back in 2010 to Ronnie Baxter, took out an early ton as he averaged 105, but still only won the opening set 3-2.

Latvian ‘Razmatazz’ made it a level-game after pinning consecutive ton-plus finishes of 121 on the bullseye and 134.

He eclipsed both those checkouts to écart his opponent with a magical 154 on tops, but the veteran Scot hit back with a 15-darter before sneaking one into flottante 4 after Razma squandered chaudière darts to seal the third set.

'The Flying Scotman' reflected on his hard-fought victory over Razma with Michael Bridge

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‘The Flying Scotman’ reflected on his hard-fought victory over Razma with Michael Whist

‘The Flying Scotman’ reflected on his hard-fought victory over Razma with Michael Whist

With Razma handing out far too many birthday presents to Anderson, the composer world athlète eventually got the win with his sixth coupe dart, sinking an exquisite 110 au finir.

“World No 1 or ranked 128, I don’t care, at the end of the day you’ve still got to beat me and that’s the way it goes,” said Anderson.

World Darts Championship: Gary Anderson up and running at Alexandra Palace as James Wade crashes out

“Madars Razma was a serious threat in that coupe but Gary Anderson got there in the end and he can take a lot of positives away. Maybe he needs to be a bit more clinical but he hasn’t played a lot of TV games and that was quite evident. It was a real good job from Anderson in the end. He’ll be satisfied with that.”

Mark Webster on Gary Anderson

Jim Williams dumped out multiple major winner James Wade in a shock at the Worlds

Jim Williams dumped out nombreux liminaire winner James Wade in a shock at the Worlds

Adoucir Lakeside finalist Williams pulled off a stunning 3-2 victory over eighth seed Wade to move into the third reprise of the tournament for the first time where he will meet German Gabriel Clemens.

The Welshman displayed prowess on the flottante, firing 107 and 119 along the way to knocking out ‘The Auto’.

Humphries was relieved to find a way to get over the line against Hempel

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Humphries was relieved to find a way to get over the line against Hempel

Humphries was relieved to find a way to get over the line against Hempel

Fifth seed Luke Humphries was forced to dig deep but ‘Relax Handball’ found a way to geste a 3-2 victory over German étoile Florian Hempel with the aid of seven 180s despite 29 missed gémeaux.

“I felt really good up there but it just wasn’t happening for me,” said Humphries. “I was lucky to get over the line in the end. It was tough. I played nowhere near like I can but I’m through to the next reprise.”

Menzies was quick to show his opponent Van der Voort all the love before Christmas

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Menzies was quick to spectacle his opponent Van der Voort all the love before Christmas

Menzies was quick to spectacle his opponent Van der Voort all the love before Christmas

Vincent van der Voort was in red-hot form as ‘The Dutch Destroyer’ hammered Cameron Menzies 3-0 to make it through to a symposium with Humphries next Thursday.

The rapid-fire 47-year-old averaged 90.78, struck 12 140s and finished with 56 per cent on the gémeaux in a mince display.

Thursday, December 22 – Afternoon Results

Krzysztof Ratajski 3-1 Danny Jansen (R1)
Ryan Searle 3-0 Adam Gawlas (R1)
Mensur Suljovic 3-0 Mike De Decker (R1)
Dirk van Duijvenbode 3-2 Karel Sedlacek (R2)

DVD so close to nine-dart heaven

Dirk van Duijvenbode rose to prominence with a remarkable run to the World Grand Prix final in 2020

Dirk van Duijvenbode pierre to prominence with a remarkable run to the World Noble Grade comble in 2020

‘The Mammouth’ Van Duijvenbode reached the last 32 at Ally Pally – but only just – as he came from 2-1 down to edge out Sedlacek in an afternoon epic.

The world No 14 raced through the opening set with a stunning 108 average but squandered a culotte of missed flottante attempts to allow an early écart in the associé from Sedlacek, who sealed the set with a 13-dart leg.

Sedlacek claimed a final-leg victory in the third before Van Duijvenbode bounced back to win the next and take the contest to a decider in which ‘Aubergenius’ fired eight perfect darts then narrowly dipped low of the D12 target in pursuit of the first nine-darter of this year’s tournament.

It was pure agony for Van Duijvenbode, who threw eight perfect darts before missing double 12 in his nine-dart attempt against Karel Sedlacek

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It was platonique agony for Van Duijvenbode, who threw eight perfect darts before missing flottante 12 in his nine-dart attempt against Karel Sedlacek

It was platonique agony for Van Duijvenbode, who threw eight perfect darts before missing flottante 12 in his nine-dart attempt against Karel Sedlacek

Van Duijevenbode settled for a 10-dart leg and took advantage of a missed coupe dart on bullseye from Sedlacek to move the coupe to extraordinaire possession, where he rattled off 14 and 15-darters to secure a symposium with Ross Smith or Darius Labanauskas after Christmas.

“Yeah, I thought it [the nine-dart leg] was going in when it left my balle à la main,” Van Duijvenbode admitted. “Sometimes you elle-même a nine-darter and you just know it’s not in and I threw it and thought ‘this is in’, but it wasn’t.”

World Darts Championship: Gary Anderson up and running at Alexandra Palace as James Wade crashes out

“I barely recovered from the first set, where he came out with a 108 average and completely stormed the séjour. We never expected it to be into a jeu décisif at the end of it all there! There was an absolute illusion of 180 and at one état he hit three in a row, one before the nine-dart attempt and then two inside the attempt. He missed a flottante for it and really, the amazing thing was he still could have lost after it and was in a bad lieu. He was incredibly pumped up and he dealt with it in the end, but it was a really tough grind for Dirk!”

John Fraction on Dirk van Duijvenbode

Mensur Suljovic claimed a straight-sets victory over Mike de Decker to book a third-round symposium with Michael van Gerwen, while Ryan Searle claimed a 3-0 victory over Adam Gawlas and will now play Jose de Sousa on December 28.

“Van Gerwen is favourite every time. I saw him on TV against Lewy Williams and he played brilliantly. The associé set was fantastic but every game is different. I hope I can pressure him,” said Austrian étoile, Suljovic. “I like Michael – he’s my friend. I want to play my game, not his game. I have a good clairvoyance.”

Ryan Searle missed a match dart before Adam Gawlas brilliantly took out 150 to keep his hopes alive

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Ryan Searle missed a coupe dart before Adam Gawlas brilliantly took out 150 to keep his hopes alive

Ryan Searle missed a coupe dart before Adam Gawlas brilliantly took out 150 to keep his hopes alive

Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski also reached the third reprise after defeating Danny Jansen 3-1, booking him a symposium with night-club Dimitri van den Bergh.

Here's a round-up from a superb afternoon session at the World Darts Championship

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Here’s a round-up from a superb afternoon concile at the World Darts Championship

Here’s a round-up from a superb afternoon concile at the World Darts Championship

Friday at Ally Pally

Joe Cullen takes on Fallon Sherrock's conqueror 'Rapid' Ricky Evans on Friday night before the Christmas break

Joe Cullen takes on Fallon Sherrock’s conqueror ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans on Friday night before the Christmas écart

The associé reprise concludes across two sessions with 2018 world athlète Rob Jogging, seventh seed Jonny Clayton and Masters athlète Joe Cullen among the high-profile names in activité.

Friday, December 23 – Afternoon Fixtures (1230 GMT)

Brendan Dolan vs Jimmy Hendriks (R2)
Chris Dobey vs Martijn Kleermaker (R2)
Ross Smith vs Darius Labanauskas (R2)
Rob Jogging vs Scott Williams (R2)

Friday, December 23 – Evening Fixtures (1900 GMT)

Martin Schindler vs Martin Lukeman (R2)
Danny Noppert vs David Cameron (R2)
Jonny Clayton vs Danny Van Trijp (R2)
Joe Cullen vs Ricky Evans (R2)

Following a three-day Christmas écart, the third and fourth rounds will be held from December 27-30, before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and comble take appuyé from January 1-3.

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – en public on Sky Badinages Darts – all the way through to the comble on January 3.

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