Van Gerwen sees off Stein

Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Defending PDC world champion Michael van Gerwen avoided a shock upset as he came from a set down to defeat Sascha Stein 4-1 at Alexandra Palace on Saturday.

The Dutchman struggled to find his usual fluency to fall a set behind his German opponent before fighting back to progress to the last 16 where he will face Terry Jenkins.

Van Gerwen grew into the match – which he finished with eight 180s and an average just under 100 – and despite Stein’s consistency, found his flow to move 3-1 ahead.

Stein pushed him all the way in the fifth set and forced his opponent to throw for the match at 2-2, but Van Gerwen was up to the test and closed out the tie.

“He played well to be fair, Van Gerwen told Sky Sports.

“He was a qualifier and for a qualifier he did really well this tournament. In the first two sets against me he did really good and put me under pressure. In the end I knew I was going to win the game so you need to sort your game out and make sure you get over the line.

“All credit to Sascha, he played really well.”

Despite the 4-1 win, Van Gerwen admitted he felt under pressure and victory was by no means a certainty in the early stages.

He said: “I was 1-0 down and I was 2-0 up (in legs) and at 2-2 he missed three darts to break my throw.

“You never know what’s going to happen. It was a really difficult game as everyone expected me to beat him easy and that put the pressure on and made it difficult. I will be ready for my next game.

“I’m not playing again for the next few days so I need to make sure I’m as good as possible for the next one. That’s going to be Terry and I need to do something good as the last two times I lost against him and on this stage I don’t want to get beaten by him.”

Earlier, Jenkins had booked his place in the next round after he won 12 legs without reply and narrowly missed a nine-dart finish as he eased to a 4-0 win over Laurence Ryder.

“It was close wasn’t it?” Jenkins said of his nine-dart effort. “I looked at it first and thought it might have gone in, but it was close.

“After hitting a nine-darter here last year I really thought I could do it again, so I wasn’t scared as I lined up the 141 – I was expecting to hit it.”

Benito van de Pas fell to his knees in celebration after he claimed a shock 4-2 victory over eighth seed Dave Chisnall to line up a meeting with Robert Thornton.

Thornton made it through to the third round for the fifth time with a 4-0 defeat of Ronnie Baxter with an average of 93.78 as he managed to miss 27 doubles but still make it through without dropping a set.

Meanwhile, Peter Wright, who was defeated in the final by Van Gerwen last year, claimed a 4-1 win over Ronny Huybrechts.

Wright will now face either Andy Hamilton or Kyle Anderson on Tuesday.

“It was a hard battle,” said Wright. “I got very emotional up there because of all these fans singing my name, I was filling up with tears up there because I’m not used to it.

“It’s so great getting all the support from the crowd and I came out feeling fantastic, but the emotion I got from the crowd took over and I found it hard to concentrate.

“I averaged 95 and I’ve not played well yet in this tournament but I’m through to the next round so I can only improve and get better.”

Fourth seed Gary Anderson recovered from 3-1 down to defeat Jelle Klaasen 4-3 in the final match of the night to move into the last 16.

The Scot threw 14 180s and claimed an average of 103.02 to defeat the Dutchman in a strong comeback.

Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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