Van Gerwen Sets the Standard

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN set the standard at the William Hill World Darts Championship as he eased through to the second round at London's Alexandra Palace.

The world number one made light work of Scandinavian qualifier Kim Viljanen and produced the highest quality performance of the tournament so far with a straight sets victory on Saturday.

The Dutch ace averaged almost 104, hit five 180s and dropped just one leg in an impressive opening display to back up his record 25 tournament wins during 2016.

"That's one down and five to go," said van Gerwen, who is bidding to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for this first time since his maiden success three years ago.

"I think I played okay and it was good to get through comfortably. I can relax now and look forward what feels like the real tournament. 

"The first round is always very difficult so I'm pleased with what I've done here."

Finland's Viljanen had beaten Ross Snook by two sets to nil in their preliminary round match, but was unable to match the world number one. 

Van Gerwen will take on Cristo Reyes in the last 32 after the Spanish star edged past Dimitri Van den Bergh in a high quality encounter.

Reyes dropped the first set but battled back to win 3-2 against the promising Belgian youngster, with his highlight being a spectacular 124 checkout on the bull.

"It was a difficult game," said Reyes, who hit over 60% of his double attempts, defying nine 180s from his opponent.

"Dimitri played really well and I did everything to beat me but my finishing was fantastic and that got me through."

Number 16 seed Stephen Bunting was punished for missing seven match darts as Darren Webster sent him crashing out in a tie-break, hitting eight maximums in the process.

Last month's Players Championship semi-finalist Webster produced sensational finishes of 140, 147 and 157 as he progressed to the second round for the third consecutive year.

Terry Jenkins charged through to the second round by defeating Josh Payne in the earlier session on Saturday afternoon, when Andrew Gilding and Benito van de Pas also progressed.

Veteran star Jenkins, who is appearing in this 13th PDC World Championship, came from a set behind against Payne to book his place in the last 32.

Highlights for the 53-year-old included a brilliant 140 checkout as he saw off promising star Payne, who is 30 years younger than Jenkins.

"I played really well and maybe that's because I've relaxed a bit," said Jenkins, who is planning to wind down his playing commitments during 2017.

"I'm only going to play in the TV events that I've qualified for. I can't keep doing it against these youngsters. If I do well here I'll be in even more events but I can focus on them and it might work in my favour."

Jenkins will take on Van de Pas in the second round after the 23-year-old saw off Malaysia's Tengku Shah, who won his preliminary round match against Masumi Chino of Japan but lost out to the number 15 seed.

Chino took the third set off the Dutchman, who has won three ranking titles in 2016, and gave a great account of his talents but Van de Pas proved to be too strong to suffer a shock defeat.

Gilding came out on top in the first sudden-death decider of this year's tournament as he came from two sets behind to beat Scotland's John Henderson, who missed a dart at the bullseye for victory.

Former UK Open semi-finalist Gilding hit eight 180s en route to victory as he moves through to face reigning champion Gary Anderson.

Alexandra Palace hosts another double session on Sunday with Justin Pipe taking on Chris Dobey in the afternoon, before Mark Webster meets Joe Murnan and Ian White takes on the winner of Kevin Simm against Gilbert Ulang.

In the evening session, Phil Taylor begins his bid for a 17th World Championship title against the winner of the preliminary round match between John Bowles and David Platt, with Alan Norris facing Greece's John Michael and Daryl Gurney playing Jermaine Wattimena. 

The William Hill World Darts Championship will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Darts channel.

Worldwide coverage is also available through a record number of live broadcasters, and online for PDCTV-HD Subscribers (outside of UK, Ireland & Netherlands) through www.LIVEPDC.TV .

A limited number of tickets are still available for the William Hill World Darts Championship - including sessions pre-Christmas - and can be ordered online by CLICKING HERE .

For full ticket information, click here .

William Hill World Darts Championship
Saturday December 17
Afternoon Session  

Tengku Shah 2-1 Masumi Chino (P)
Terry Jenkins (18) 3-1 Josh Payne
John Henderson (31) 2-3 Andrew Gilding
Benito van de Pas (15) 3-1 Tengku Shah

Evening Session 
Ross Snook 0-2 Kim Viljanen (P)
Cristo Reyes (32) 3-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Stephen Bunting (16) 2-3 Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen (1) 3-0 Kim Viljanen

Preliminary Round - Best of three sets
First Round - Best of five sets

Follow live stats & see match stats throughout the event via the official PDC Live Scores website - CLICK HERE 

Tengku Shah 2-1 Masumi Chino (P) 

1-0 (3-2)
The first four legs were shared before a 64 finish gave Shah the opening set.

1-1 (1-3)
Chino took out 106 to edge ahead but a 180 helped Shah level. Japanese ace Chino then finished 56 and 117 to take the set and level the match.

2-1 (3-0)
Shah landed tops and followed it with a superb 101 checkout. He then finished the job by pinning double 18 to move into round one. 

Terry Jenkins (18) 3-1 Josh Payne 
0-1 (2-3)
Jenkins took the first leg before Payne levelled with a 75 finish. Jenkins took out 106 to edged back ahead but, when Payne forced a decider, Jenkins missed six set darts and was punished, falling behind when Payne pegged tops. 

1-1 (3-1)
Jenkins took a two-leg lead before Payne pulled a leg back but it was the 53-year-old who toook the set to level up.

2-1 (3-0)
The pair exchanged 180s in the opening leg, which Jenkins took with a 100 checkout. He then won the next two to move ahead in the match.

3-1 (3-2)
Payne won the first leg threw six perfect darts in the second, only to see Jenkins produce a brilliant 140 checkout, which he followed with a 121 finish. Payne levelled but missed a dart at the bull for the set, allowing Jenkins to book his place in round two. 

John Henderson (31) 2-3 Andrew Gilding 
1-0 (3-2)
Gilding pegged double ten before Henderson levelled with an 81 finish on the bullseye. He then moved ahead but Gilding forced a decider. The Scotsman took the set though by landing double 16. 

2-0 (3-1)
Gilding took the first leg but a fantastic 121 checkout from Henderson sparked a run of three straight legs as he doubled his lead in his match.

2-1 (1-3)
Henderson took out 54 to take the first leg but Gilding won the next three to keep his hopes alive. 

2-2 (1-3)
Gilding landed double 19 before Henderson levelled with a 98 finish. Gilding took the next two legs to force a deciding set, clinching the last leg with a clean 80 checkout.

2-3 (4-5)
Henderson took out 85 to win the first leg. The next two were shared but Gilding took out 101 to force the first tie-break of the tournament. He then broke with a fabulous 143 finish but Henderson broke back immediatley. Four more legs were shared, with Henderson missing a dart at the bull for the macth, leaving the pair to contest a sudden-death leg. Gilding won the bull and the match with a neat 75 finish.

Benito van de Pas (15) 3-1 Tengku Shah 
1-0 (3-2)
Van de Pas survived a scare as Shah missed a dart to win the set 3-1 and three darts to take it 3-2 but it was the Dutchman that edged the opener.

2-0 (3-1)
Shah hit his second 180 and took out 60 to win the first leg but Van de Pas reeled off the next three, including a 125 finish, to double his lead in the match. 

2-1 (2-3)
Shah took out 99 with two double tops in the first leg and went on to punish van de Pas for a missed match dart as he took the set 3-2

3-1 (3-0)
Van de Pas finally finished the job by taking three legs on the spin as he completed the win with a tidy 108 finish.

Ross Snook 0-2 Kim Viljanen (P) 
0-1 (1-3)
Snook landed double 15 to take the first leg but that was the only one he got in the first set as Viljanen took the next three to win the set.

0-2 (1-3)
Viljanen made it five legs on the spin with finishes of 76 and 48. A 180 helped Snook stay in contention but, when he missed the bull for a 135 finish, Viljanen took out 120 to win the match.

Cristo Reyes (32) 3-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh 
0-1 (1-3)
Van den Bergh opened with a maximum and continued in that form as he took the first set 3-1 with a 104 average, making Reyes produce a brilliant 130 finish to take the third leg.

1-1 (3-1)
The first two legs went with the throw before Reyes grabbed a vital break of throw with a 64 checkout, which he followed with a 180 and a clean 60 finish to level the match.

2-1 (3-2)
Reyes took out 90 to win the first leg but Van den Bergh levelled on double 16. The Spanish ace went back ahead but a 78 finish from Van den Bergh forced a deciding leg, which Reyes won with a stunning 124 checkout. 

2-2 (3-2)
Four legs were shared before Van den Bergh kicked off the set decider with his seventh 180 and took out 88 on double 14 to keep himself in the match.

3-2 (3-1)
Reyes took the final set 3-1 to seal victory, taking out 78 after his opponent had missed two darts to force a tie-break.

Stephen Bunting (16) 2-3 Darren Webster 
1-0 (3-2)
Webster began the match with a 180 as he took the first leg but Bunting won the following two, finishing 118 to move ahead. Webster responded with a sublime 140 finish but missed a dart for the set and Bunting took full advantage by taking out 79. 

1-1 (2-3) 
Bunting bedded double six before Webster finished 60 to level. The next two legs were shared and Webster landed double nine to restore parity at one set apiece.

2-1 (3-2)
A 180 and a 68 finish from Bunting gave him the first leg and he doubled his lead on double 16. Webster produced a fabulous 157 finish and went on to make it two legs all but Bunting took out 84 on the bull to win the set.

2-2 (0-3)
Webster took three straight legs and sealed the set with a fanfare finish of 147 to level the tie.

2-3 (3-5)
Four legs were shared, forcing a tie-break where a player would need to win by two clear legs. Bunting edged ahead but missed seven darts for the match and finishes of 84 and 66 saw Webster snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Michael van Gerwen (1) 3-0 Kim Viljanen 
1-0 (3-0)
van Gerwen hit a 180 in each of the first three legs as he took the first set without dropping a leg. 

2-0 (3-1)
van Gerwen made it four legs in a row with a 76 finish but Viljanen did get a leg on the board by landing double ten. The world number one followed his fourth 180 with a 101 checkout and he sealed the set on double 18.

3-0 (3-0)
van Gerwen finished 78 and 118 before adding his fifth 180 in what proved to be the final leg as he eased into the second round.