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James Wade Welcomes Antonio Alcinas with Straight Sets Win

2010-PDCChamps-Wade1
Photo Lustig/PDC

JAMES WADE powered into the second round of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship, sweeping aside Spanish debutant Antonio Alcinas in straight sets at Alexandra Palace on Monday.

Wade, the world number two who won October’s World Grand Prix, dropped only two legs in a clinical win over the newcomer from Majorca.

Alcinas had been part of the Spanish side which dumped English pair Wade and Phil Taylor from the World Cup of Darts recently, but was unable to repeat the performance on his World Championship debut, as the left-hander hit finishes of 121, a brace of 96 checkouts and a 92 on his way to victory.

“I was really nervous beforehand and that was probably my hardest game of the tournament because I only look at one game at a time, and Antonio’s a fantastic player,” said Wade.

“Double 18 was my saviour in a way because I didn’t score as well as I can do, but I got the win, which was the important thing. I can go away, enjoy Christmas and practice for the second round.”

Wade will now face either Michael van Gerwen or Mensur Suljovic in the second round after Christmas, and he was joined in the last 32 by Alan Tabern, Denis Ovens and Brendan Dolan on Monday night.

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Dolan produced his best-ever televised performance with a 96-plus average in a three-set win over Kevin Painter, the 2004 runner-up whose challenge this year never got going.

Northern Ireland’s Dolan will return to Alexandra Palace after Christmas to play Wes Newton in the second round, while left-hander Tabern will take on Mark Walsh or Justin Pipe following his win over Richie Burnett.

Former Lakeside Champion Burnett celebrated his return to the World Championship following a four-year absence by taking a 2-1 lead, only for Tabern to win six of the final seven legs to secure the win.

Ovens, meanwhile, overcame Jyhan Artut 3-1 to win through to a second round meeting with Simon Whitlock, after the German had earlier overcome Hong Kong’s Scott Mackenzie 4-3 in the preliminary round.

Alexandra Palace will welcome a trio of Dutch stars for Tuesday’s first round games, with van Gerwen and Suljovic’s game being followed by Jelle Klaasen against Steve Brown and Vincent van der Voort playing the winner of the preliminary round game between Northern Ireland’s Michael Mansell and New Zealand national champion Preston Ridd.

The night’s other game will see world number seven Terry Jenkins take on debtuant Joe Cullen, a 21-year-old former postman from Bradford who has earned his first appearance at Alexandra Palace this year on the PDC circuit.

Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
First Round
Monday December 20
Alan Tabern 3-2 Richie Burnett
Jyhan Artut 4-3 Scott Mackenzie (Preliminary Round)
Kevin Painter 0-3 Brendan Dolan
James Wade 3-0 Antonio Alcinas
Denis Ovens 3-1 Jyhan Artut

Tuesday December 21
Michael van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic
Michael Mansell v Preston Ridd (P)
Terry Jenkins v Joe Cullen
Jelle Klaasen v Steve Brown
Vincent van der Voort v Mansell/Ridd

ALAN TABERN 3-2 RICHIE BURNETT
(1-3, 3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-1)
ALAN TABERN came from behind on two occasions to end the hopes of Richie Burnett in a five-set thriller at the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

From 2-1 down Tabern stepped up a gear and won six of the last seven legs of the match to reach the second round of the competition, hitting two 11-darters in the process.

Welshman Burnett, on his return to the World Championship following a four-year absence, held throw to win the first leg of the match after both player had missed previous opportunities at doubles for an early lead.

Burnett then doubled his advantage by hitting double 16 to win the second leg before Tabern took out 96 to win the third.

Burnett, who was Lakeside Champion in 1995, hit the first maximum of the contest in the fourth before hitting a 64 finish in two darts to wrap up the first set.

The Welshman missed an opportunity to win the opening leg of the second after a dart at bullseye to complete a 127 checkout was off-target, and Tabern won that leg before taking the second, capitalising on more wasted opportunities from his opponent.

Tabern then took the third leg to win the set by hitting double 16 to level the game.

Burnett made a winning start to the third set by hitting double 12 and broke throw in the next with an accurate at double 16 to complete a 14-dart finish.

The Welshman, who has enjoyed an excellent return to form on the PDC circuit in 2010, won the third to seal the set and lead the match for the second time.

At the start of the fourth set Tabern showed his best form of the match as he won the opening two legs in clinical fashion with two-dart finishes of 81 and 84.

Burnett had chances to win the third leg, but missed two darts at doubles and Tabern returned to hit double seven to send the game into a deciding set.

Tabern kept up that form in the final set as he won the first leg with a quick-fire 11-darter for an early break of throw.

The man from St Helens then recorded a 112 finish but four missed darts for the match in the third allowed Burnett to keep the game alive on double five.

However, two maximums from Tabern in the fourth leg put him clear of his opponent, and double eight for a 12-darter sealed an excellent win.

“To be honest I feel like I didn’t deserve to win that match,” said Tabern. “If I was Richie right now I would feel a bit gutted because he played really well, but I was pleased with how I came through in the last two sets.”

JYHAN ARTUT 4-3 SCOTT MACKENZIE
JYHAN ARTUT won a thrilling preliminary round contest at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship against Hong Kong’s Scott Mackenzie in a deciding leg.

Artut had led 3-1 but was made to sweat by Mackenzie, who levelled and then missed two darts for the match before the German survived.

Mackenzie held throw to win the opening leg but Artut soon levelled with a 14-dart finish to win the second leg.

The third leg saw Artut break Mackenzie’s throw after Hong Kong qualifier missed two darts at double top.

Artut moved 3-1 up by hitting double 16 before Mackenzie landed tops to win the fifth leg and keep the match alive.

The sixth leg saw Artut miss two darts for the match and Mackenzie held his nerve to hit double top with his first dart to take the game to a deciding leg.

The final leg saw Mackenzie miss two darts at double top to win the match, and Artut hit a 76 finish to secure a first round clash against Denis Ovens.

BRENDAN DOLAN 3-0 KEVIN PAINTER
(3-0, 3-1, 3-1)
BRENDAN DOLAN produced his best televised display to record a straight sets victory over Kevin Painter in the first round of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.

The 37-year-old, making his second appearance at Alexandra Palace will now take Wes Newton for a place in the third round after seeing off the 2004 runner-up comfortably.

Dolan started the match superbly, hitting a maximum in the first leg before landing double eight for an early break of throw.

The Northern Irishman hit another 180 in the process of winning the second leg before sealing the set by hitting double top in the next after Painter had missed two chances at doubles.

Dolan fired in his third maximum of the game at the start of the second set before hitting double 16 to win his fourth leg in a row.

Painter managed to get on the board in the second leg with a fantastic 156 checkout, but Dolan took out 108 to win the third leg and regain the lead.

Dolan then won the fourth with a 64 finish, hitting double four with his last dart to win the set and leave Painter with a mountain to climb.

Painter hit a finish of 64 to gain just his second leg of the match at the start of the third set before Dolan won the next on double 18.

Dolan recorded an 80 checkout to move one leg away from victory and smoothly crossed the finishing line by hitting double top at the first attempt to seal a comfortable victory.

“That’s the biggest win of my career and certainly my best televised performance,” said Dolan.

“The 180 in the first leg really settled me and then I followed it with another soon after. It gave me confidence and I felt really good from then on.

Painter admitted: “It’s hugely disappointing and a big shock to me. I’ve prepared well and practised hard for the past fortnight but maybe I’ve burned myself out.

“I never got going at all and it was a shocking display, but Brendan played really well and deserved to win.”

JAMES WADE 3-0 ANTONIO ALCINAS
(3-1, 3-0, 3-1)
JAMES WADE put in an impressive display as he began his bid a first Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship title with a straight-sets victory over Antonio Alcinas.

The World Grand Prix champion restricted his Spanish opponent to just two legs and will now take on either Michael van Gerwen or Mensur Suljovic in the last 32 after Christmas.

Wade made a scintillating start to the match with some incredible finishing to take an early lead against his Spanish opponent.

The world number two took out a showpiece 96 finish to win the first leg of the match, of single 20, double 18 and double top.

After hitting another 96 checking in the second, Alcinas opened his account by landing double six to win the third before Wade then took the fourth with his opponent waiting on a double – checking out 92 with a single 20 and two double 18s.

Wade won the first leg of the second set by hitting double top and secured a break of throw to win the second after Alcinas missed a dart at bullseye for a 127 checkout.

Alcinas, who was part of the heroic Spanish duo who eliminated Wade and Phil Taylor at the World Cup of Darts earlier this month, hit his first maximum of the match in the third, but a 121 finish from the left-hander left him reeling.

That put Wade two sets up and he won the first two legs of the third set, which included a 13-dart finish, to win go one leg away from the match.

Alcinas continued to fight and keep the match alive by winning the third leg with the aid of his second maximum of the game.

The 31-year-old from Majorca had chances to win the next, but four missed darts at doubles proved costly and Wade hit double five with his last dart to close out the match.

“I was really nervous beforehand and that was probably my hardest game of the tournament because I only look at one game at a time, and Antonio’s a fantastic player,” said Wade.

“Double 18 was my saviour in a way because I didn’t score as well as I can do, but I got the win, which was the important thing. I can go away, enjoy Christmas and practice for the second round.”

DENIS OVENS 3-1 JYHAN ARTUT
(3-0, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1)
DENIS OVENS reached the second round of the 2011 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a four-set victory over Jyhan Artut at Alexandra Palace.

Artut, who overcame Hong Kong’s Scott Mackenzie earlier in the evening, had a chance for a 2-1 lead, but his dart at double 16 to win the third set was off-target and Ovens used his experience to win the match.

Ovens – who had been laid low by ‘flu for four days prior to the game – made his opponent pay for early missed doubles as he hit double 16 to win the opening leg, broke throw in the second with the aid of a maximum and then hit double ten in the third to open up a 1-0 lead in comfortable fashion.

Artut hit a 180 in the process of winning the first leg of the second set before Ovens took the second on double top.

The German, who defeated Wayne Mardle in the first round of last year’s competition, regained the lead by winning the third leg but Ovens held throw with a 64 finish to win the fourth.

Artut held the advantage of throw in the deciding leg and made that count by getting to a finish first and hitting double eight to level the game at one set apiece.

Artut won the opening leg of the third set against the darts, hitting his second maximum of the game, and then moved 2-0 ahead with a 112 checkout.

Ovens won the third leg with a 13-darter and then snatched the fourth after Artut missed one dart at double 16 for the set.

Ovens compounded the error from the German in the deciding leg as he hit double 16 to go ahead in the match for the second time.

Artut won the opening leg of the fourth set, firing in his third maximum of the game in the process, before Ovens won the second by hitting double ten.

Ovens, who reached the semi-finals of this year’s UK Open, then took out a 106 to win the third leg against the darts after Artut missed two chances to win the leg.

And in the fourth leg Ovens wrapped up the match with a 13-dart finish to seal a last 32 clash with Simon Whitlock.

“Just to win the game was a huge relief for me,” said Ovens. “I’ve not been able to practice for the last few days and didn’t feel great on stage, but the main thing was to win.

“I’m looking forward to playing Simon Whitlock after Christmas because I’ve a week or so to recover now and practice properly, and there will be no pressure on me because people expect Simon to do well.”

ENDS

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