Mensur Suljovic stunned by Ryan Searle at World Darts ChampionshipDecember 22, 2018
Mensur Suljovic crashed out of the World Darts Championship after a shock defeat to world No 61 Ryan Searle, while a vintage Adrian Lewis saw off Ted Evetts.
Searle recovered from a first-set onslaught to record a 3-1 win and ensure Suljovic, the seventh seed, joined the list of high-profile exits at Alexandra Palace.
Peter Wright, Simon Whitlock and Raymond van Barneveld are the other big names to perish so far, but Lewis ensured he did not join them with a classy display to see off an impressive ‘Super Ted’ and remain on course to meet Michael van Gerwen.
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World Darts Championship – Thursday Evening Results
Ryan Searle 3-1 Mensur Suljovic, Second Round
Mensur Suljovic’s misery at the Worlds continued. The Austrian has never gone beyond the third round in the tournament and his adventures this year were put to an end after a 3-1 defeat to 31-year-old Ryan Searle.
Suljovic roared out of the traps, firing six 180s on his way to the first set with four of those maximums coming from his opening five visits as the Austrian laid down an astonishing-looking marker.
The second set saw the Gentle drop his average by almost 20 points, allowing Searle a way back into the contest and the world No 61, who has made little inroads on the TV stage despite strong form on the Pro Tour, never looked back.
Suljovic continued to pile in the maximums – 10 in total – but 19 missed darts at a double proved costly with Searle remaining steady. Having punished Suljovic to take the third and move in front, the anticipated fightback never came.
A final maximum was a flicker of life from the Austrian but when he followed it up with a 24 the writing was on the wall, and Searle earned the win in style with a sizzling 118 check-out to seal a third-round date with William O’Connor.
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Adrian Lewis 3-0 Ted Evetts, Second Round
Adrian Lewis, the two-time world champion who crashed out in the opening round to Kevin Munch last year, went through the gears to see off rising-star Ted Evetts in a high-quality contest.
The pair exchanged breaks in the opening set and SuperTed hit the front after missed darts from Lewis, but a pair of tops gave Jackpot the next two legs and with it the opening set.
The second went the distance as well and again it was the greater experience of Jackpot that told; a 13-darter taking him within a set of the match.
A brilliant 100 finish via a pair of double tops drew a fist bump of appreciation from Lewis as Evetts took the lead in the third, but three legs on the bounce wrapped up Jackpot’s impressive victory and a third-round showdown with Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas.
Mervyn King 3-2 Jan Dekker, Second Round
Mervyn King was forced to battle through an epic contest against Jan Dekker, with the match forced into sudden-death overtime.
King had soared into a two-set lead behind a three-figure average, but a below-par Dekker somehow found a way to stay in the contest.
With King frittering away chances on the doubles, the Dutchman took out the third and fourth sets – including a brilliant two-dart 100 and a crucial double eight – to force the decider.
‘Double Dekker’ took the initiative by winning the opening leg and the writing looked to be on the wall for King, who had already wasted six match darts.
But the 19th seed found a way to scramble over the line, winning the final two legs to secure a date with Brendan Dolan in a wide-open bottom quarter of the draw.
Cristo Reyes 3-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez, Second Round
Cristo Reyes battled back from two sets down to book a third-round meeting with defending champion Rob Cross thanks to a barrage of big finishes.
The Spaniard has dished out his fair share of upsets in the past, but has been beaten by Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen in two of his last four visits to Alexandra Palace with both men going on to win the title.
Now ranked 31st in the world, Reyes was staring at a surprise defeat himself when Rodriguez got the better of the first two legs of a topsy-turvy battle.
However, inspired by four 100+ check-outs, the ‘Spartan’ fought his way back from the brink to progress.
Beaton and Bunting join casualties
Two more seeds suffered an early exit as former BDO world champions Stephen Bunting and Steve Beaton were knocked out in the afternoon session.
World Darts Championship – Thursday Afternoon Results
Bunting was beaten 3-1 by eight-time Development Tour winner Luke Humphries, who fired seven maximums and posted a 95.56 average on his way to booking his place in the last 32.
Humphries converted a 142 checkout to win the final-leg decider in the opening set and added a 136 finish in the next to help double his lead, before Bunting broke black to claim the third set.
The 23-year-old then bounced back from being 2-1 down in the fourth to find checkouts of 92 and 100 and complete his win, setting up a third-round meeting against either Jonny Clayton or Dimitri Van den Bergh.
Beaton was dispatched in straight-sets by Chris Dobey, who won his opening match against Boris Koltsov by the same margin, with the ‘Bronzed Adonis’ only winning two legs in a one-side contest.
Dobey signed off a 15-dart leg on the bullseye to win the opening set and took the second in straight legs, before firing an 11-darter in the opening leg of the third and completed his win with a 100 finish.
Jermaine Wattimena booked a last-32 meeting with two-time world champion Gary Anderson after seeing off Michael Barnard in straight sets, despite missing 22 doubles in the match, while Alan Norris came through a five-set thriller against Ireland’s Steve Lennon.
Lennon missed a match dart in the fourth set to allow the Englishman to level the contest, before Norris took the final set 6-5 after finding an 81 finish against the throw in a sudden-death leg.
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