Michael Van Gerwen secured a rapid victory over Ricky Evans to progress into the last 16 of the PDC World Championship.
The three-time winner of the competition thrashed the Londoner 4-0 with a scintillating display in front of a buoyant crowd at Alexandra Palace.
In a third-round match lasting around half an hour, Van Gerwen finished with back-to-back 118 check-outs to remain on course to defend his title.
He told Sky Sports: “I could have done a lot better today unfortunately. He is a good player and every set was a bit tough, but I didn’t turn up 100 per cent.
🎯 MVG IS THROUGH TO THE LAST 16! 🎯
He checks out 118 to take the fourth set. Superb stuff.
— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) December 22, 2019
“I don’t like Christmas because of the darts. I like family time don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like Christmas because I need to make sure my head is on the World Championships.”
Van Gerwen was playing the night after Fallon Sherrock stunned 11th seed Mensur Suljovic to continue her historic run.
Four days after becoming the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Championship, the 25-year-old upset the odds again as she delivered a 3-1 win to reach round three.
“I think she has got a good manager,” Van Gerwen joked. “No, we share the same management and she has done well for herself.
Congratulations to @Fsherrock, who has just defeated the World No. 11 player to advance to the 3rd round of the #WorldDartsChampionship! Earlier this week, she became the 1st woman in history to win a match in the championship! #Gamechangerhttps://t.co/qsbrt6VxWT
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) December 21, 2019
“Also the way she played, but now the question is can she do it for another game with 70 per cent on the doubles, 92 average so that is the question?
“We go a set longer, the first to four sets, and she will play Chris Dobey so it will be tough, but nothing is impossible. If she beat Mensur, nothing is impossible.”
Earlier on Sunday evening former world number one Steve Beaton rolled back the years to beat eighth seed James Wade 4-2 and reach the last 16 for the first time in 15 years.
The Bronzed Adonis made the perfect start to move ahead by two sets but remained calm and composed to hold off Wade’s fightback.
At 3-2 up, Beaton saw his rival miss double 20 to level it up and he hit 43 to claim victory. He said: “It was poignant really I had to play James.
“I’ll never forget the 2013 one where I blew 122 and I thought I was going to blow it again, but I got over the hurdle and this is the first Christmas I can have at home and enjoy.”
Kim Huybrechts, Rob Cross’ conqueror, was involved in a topsy-turvy match with Danny Noppert but came through with a 4-2 win.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 22, 2019
The 31st seed Noppert moved one set up and then into a 2-1 lead, but his Belgian opponent was soon fired up and began to score relentlessly.
In the end, Huybrechts sealed victory with a 150 check-out much to the delight of the crowd at Alexandra Palace.
At the beginning of the day, 2019 semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall wrapped up a dramatic afternoon session with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Krzysztof Ratajski.
The contest was full of quality with UK Open champion Aspinall taking the lead and then moving 3-1 up before the Polish Eagle levelled.
What a game of darts that was. So happy to get through that, Credit to Ratajski he was awesome and played part in a great game for the fans not my heart lol!Few days at home with the family before my next match. Thanks for the support@TargetDarts@Zxfsports#WHDartspic.twitter.com/5SibFThTAk
— Nathan Aspinall (@NathanAspi) December 22, 2019
It was not to be for Ratajski, however, with the Stockport player prevailing in a tight game and another close contest occurred between Darius Labanauskas and Max Hopp.
Labanauskas overcame some nerves to check-out double 20 and knock out the 24th seed.
The afternoon action started with Stephen Bunting cruising to victory in 40 minutes against Jonny Clayton to set up a last 16 meeting with Van Gerwen.