Michael Van Gerwen opens World Championship with win but Deta Hedman crashes out

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Michael Van Gerwen opened his William Hill PDC World Championship campaign with a 3-1 win over Scotland’s Ryan Murray, but Deta Hedman saw her hopes ended with defeat in the first round at Alexandra Palace.

World number one Van Gerwen, runner-up to Peter Wright in last year’s event, was out to build momentum following a sixth Players Championship Finals title.

The Dutchman claimed the opening set with three 15-dart legs, but Murray, who beat Lourence Ilagan to reach the second round, responded in the second set with a brilliant 130 checkout on his way to levelling the match.

Van Gerwen stepped things up again in the third, which he took 3-1 with a 113.3 average.

Murray tried to stay with the world number one, clinching a superb 124 checkout with a bullseye and then hit double top to pull it back to 2-2 and had the throw for the set.

It was, though, only delaying the inevitable as after Murray missed a double 10 finish, Van Gerwen cleaned up 76 to secure his place in round three.

Andy Boulton celebrates his win over Deta Hedman at the WilliamHill PDC World Darts Championship
Andy Boulton celebrates his win over Deta Hedman at the WilliamHill PDC World Darts Championship

Hedman was earlier been beaten 3-1 by Andy Boulton, who will go on to face Stephen Bunting for a place in the third round.

‘The Heart of Darts’ was looking to follow in the footsteps of Fallon Sherrock, who made history by beating two men in the 2019 World Championship.

The 61-year-old hit a maximum in the opening leg, but then failed to land a double as Boulton went on to comfortably take the first two sets.

Hedman fought back to take the third set, but Boulton again broke her throw in the fourth before sealing victory with an 11-dart finish.

During the afternoon session, Mervyn King beat Germany’s Max Hopp 3-1 to secure his place in the third round against Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa.

King, runner-up in last month’s Players Championship, hit five maximums and averaged almost 100 in a comfortable win.

“I’m not far away from playing my best game and if I can do that then there is no reason why I can’t have a good run in this tournament,” he said on www.pdc.tv.

𝙒𝘼𝙄𝙏𝙀𝙎 𝙒𝙄𝙉𝙎

ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE FROM SCOTT WAITES!!

What a game that was as we see every leg played and Scott Waites clinches it from Campbell by breaking in the last leg.

Stunning stuff from both 👏 pic.twitter.com/kmIKZdh2mt

— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 19, 2020

In a first-round contest, two-time BDO world champion Scott Waites edged out Matt Campbell 3-2, coming from two legs down to win the deciding set and secure a showdown with Nathan Aspinall.

Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts scored an average of 104.05 and five 180s as he coasted past China’s Di Zhuang 3-0 to book his place in round two against Ian White.

Ireland’s Steve Lennon had opened Saturday’s action with a 3-1 victory over Sweden’s Daniel Larsson.

Elsewhere in the evening session’s first-round matches, Germany’s Nico Kurz beat Andy Hamilton 3-1 and American Danny Baggish battled to a 3-2 win over Australian Damon Heta.

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