Michael van Gerwen swept aside Keane Barry in his first match; Steve Beaton also won and announced he will retire next year; the World Darts Championship runs all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – we’re back on Wednesday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 19/12/23 11:40pm
Michael van Gerwen got his World Darts Championship title challenge off to the perfect start as he cruised to a 3-0 victory over Keane Barry on Tuesday night.
Van Gerwen, runner-up to Michael Smith last year, dropped just two legs against the fast-paced Barry and got better as the match went on.
The Dutchman averaged 98.17 and hit 60 per cent of his doubles which his opponent was unable to match.
World Darts Championship: Tuesday Evening Results
|Wessel Nijman (R1)
|Mike De Decker
|Dragutin Horvat (R1)
|Mikuru Suzuki (R1)
|Michael van Gerwen
|Keane Barry (R2)
“With the finishing I’m pleased and after the first set I felt well and thought I could punish him a bit more,” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports Darts.
“But my scoring wasn’t there yet. I could have done a lot more. I’m a little bit disappointed with my scoring but the most important thing is I won my first game.
“I did OK. I’m pleased with my game, the way I threw and I was focused. Don’t get me wrong it’s my first match and no one wants to lose. There’s a lot of pressure on me and the other top boys but most importantly I will see everyone after Christmas again.”
Barry had his chances early on, including seven darts at a double in the second leg of the match but missed them, allowing Van Gerwen to capitalise.
The Irishman broke his opponent’s throw at the start of the second set but MVG delivered the highest checkout of the night with a superb 167 and ramped up the pressure.
From there, it was one way traffic as Van Gerwen won the remaining legs and will play either Kim Huybrechts, Richard Veenstra or Ben Robb in the third round.
Beaton wins then announces retirement plan
Steve Beaton won his first-round match on his 33rd consecutive World Championship appearance, beating Dutchman Wessel Nijman 3-1.
After the match, Beaton announced 2024 would be his final year on the PDC tour even if he becomes world champion this year.
“However this tournament goes, I’m 60 next year, it’s a gruelling circuit and I’ve been married 30-odd years now and my wife hardly sees me,” said Beaton.
“I’m only home half the year. People don’t seem to understand how much you have to do to carry on with the darts. It’s great if you’re a youngster, I’d have been buzzing. It’s quite draining and it would be nice to spend a bit of time at home for a change.”
Ricardo Pietreczko comfortably beat Mikuru Suzuki 3-0, meaning there are no more women in the tournament as Fallon Sherrock also lost at the weekend. Suzuki was far from her best and only won one leg, with just two darts at a double.
The other match of the night saw Mike De Decker also win 3-0 against Dragutin Horvat to book a spot in the second round.
Wade becomes first seed to exit Worlds
World Darts Championship: Tuesday Afternoon Results
|Tomoya Goto (R1)
|Jeffrey de Graaf (R1)
|Boris Krcmar (R1)
|Matt Campbell (R2)
Earlier on Tuesday, James Wade became the biggest name to exit the World Championship after he was beaten 3-2 by Canadian Matt Campbell.
Wade took a 2-1 lead before Campbell sent the match to a deciding set and won the opening two legs. Although Wade came back to square the final set at 2-2, it was Campbell who held his nerve. Wade made a mess of his 56 checkout allowing Campbell swooped in to clinch victory on D18.
Elsewhere, Jeffrey de Graaf fought back from two sets down to defeat Ritchie Edhouse as an off-colour Keegan Brown fell to a disappointing 3-1 loss to Boris Krcmar.
Veteran Ian White was another to suffer a surprise exit to Japan’s Tomoya Goto, who was hugely impressive on his Alexandra Palace debut.
What’s happening on Wednesday at the World Darts Championship?
Two-time winner Peter Wright could take on Jim Williams in a blockbuster second round tie, with the Scot defending £500,000 in prize money following his triumph in the capital two years ago.
World Darts Championship: Wednesday Afternoon Fixtures
|Marko Kantele (R1)
|Owen Bates (R1)
|Bhav Patel (R1)
|Niels Zonneveld (R2)
Former European Champion Ross Smith will round off the afternoon’s action, before 16-year-old Luke Littler – the newly crowned World Youth Champion – plays former Lakeside Champion Christian Kist.
World Darts Championship: Wednesday Evening Fixtures
|Alex Spellman (R1)
|Ben Robb (R1)
|Luke Littler (R1)
|Jim Williams/Norman Madhoo (R2)
The sport’s biggest event sees 96 players compete for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £2.5m in prize money at Alexandra Palace. You can watch all the action live on our dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.
Watch the World Darts Championship all the way until the final on January 3, 2024 – live on Sky Sports Darts. NOW Sports Month Membership: £21 a month for 6 months
Source : Sky Sports