CHISNALL, KLAASEN AND HUYBRECHTS PROGRESS AS HOPP DELIGHTS GERMAN FANS AT ALLY PALLY

DAVE CHISNALL, Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts moved safely through round two of the William Hill World Championship and an impressive Max Hopp defeated Vincent van der Voort as the first round action reached its conclusion at Alexandra Palace on Thursday.

Number seven seed Chisnall saw off Austrian youngster Rowby-John Rodriguez in a thrilling encounter which went all the way to a deciding fifth set.

Chisnall, the runner-up in three televised events during 2016 including last month's Players Championship Finals, produced a sensational final set with legs of 11, 15 and 11 darts and finishes of 90, 117 and 96 to claim victory.

The number seven seed, whose nine 180s was the joint most in the first round, now moves through to a last 32 clash with Chris Dobey.

"Rowby-John played well but I managed to find a bit more in the locker," said Chisnall, who has yet to make it past the third round at Alexandra Palace.

"I think I'm in with a chance this year because I've reached two big finals and it has always taken Michael van Gerwen to beat me.

"I knew it was going to be tough against Rowby and it was, but I'm really pleased with my performance and happy to be through."

Klaasen won an all-Dutch clash against Jeffrey de Graaf in the night's opener, with the number ten seed triumphing by three sets to one.

Last year's semi-finalist Klaasen fired in six maximums and three ton-plus checkouts to book his place in the second round, where he will face Brendan Dolan.

"My doubles went well and I feel good," said Klaasen, the 2006 Lakeside Champion, who has won four PDC ranking titles.

"He played at a different speed to how I expected but I didn't let it affect my game and it will actually help me in my next match against Brendan."

Huybrechts, meanwhile, breezed past World Championship debutant Wilson in straight sets and averaged almost 99 in a strong performance.

The former World Cup of Darts and Players Championship finalist sealed the win with a stunning 138 finish as he began his bid to win a first televised title in style.

"I'm really happy," said Huybrechts, the former quarter-finalist, who lost in the first round last year. "To play James Wilson in the first round is not a present so I'm really delighted with how it went.

"I'm not setting any targets. I will just take it one game at a time and see how far I can get."

Huybrechts will now take on Hopp in round two after the German youngster sent 20th seed Vincent van der Voort crashing out of the £1.65 million tournament.

Ten percent of total ticket sales for this year's showpiece tournament have been sold to German fans and Hopp kept those fans at Alexandra Palace on Thursday happy with 3-1 success. 

"I'm so glad with what I did," said 20-year old Hopp, the former PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion. "In my celebration you could see that I was fighting. I could hear the German fans supporting me.

"The crowd at Alexandra Palace is amazing, not just the German ones but all of them. I still get goose-bumps when I walk on."

Van der Voort admitted after the game that he is considering retiring from darts as he continues to struggle against a back injury, with the defeat possibly being his final Alexandra Palace appearance.

"This is probably my last one - the way I look at it now I'm ready to give in, because it's just hurting so much and I've done everything I could," said Van der Voort.

"I've been to physiotherapists, and so many different therapists and it's not getting every better, and it hurts so much that at one point you have to think about retiring. I put everything into the last two months to make the back better, and I don't know what more I can do."

The final day of pre-Christmas action takes place on Friday with the first six matches of the second round taking place.

Ian White takes on Wales' Jonny Clayton in the afternoon's opening tie, before Michael Smith meets Mervyn King and Benito van de Pas takes on veteran star Terry Jenkins.

Two-time and defending William Hill World Champion Gary Anderson returns to the stage on Saturday evening when he plays Andrew Gilding.

Fellow double World Champion Adrian Lewis goes up against Joe Cullen and Australia's Simon Whitlock takes on last month's Players Championship semi-finalist Darren Webster. 

WATCH LIVE 
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 .

TICKETS 
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
Thursday December 22

Jelle Klaasen (10) 3-1 Jeffrey de Graaf
Vincent van der Voort (20) 1-3 Max Hopp
Dave Chisnall (7) 3-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Kim Huybrechts (13) 3-0 James Wilson

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

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

MATCH UPDATES 

Jelle Klaasen (10) 3-1 Jeffrey de Graaf 
1-0 (3-2)
Klaasen raced out of the blocks, hitting his first 180 and finishes of 121 and 86 as he opened with back-to-back 12-darters. De Graaf hit back with a 12-dart-leg of his own, in which he took out 127. He then landed double 14 to level but Klaasen rattled in another maximum before taking out 66 to seal the set.

1-1 (0-3)
De Graaf landed double ten and defied his opponent's third 180 to take the second leg with a 54 finish. He then pinned double four to level the match.

 2-1 (3-2) 
Klaasen took out double 18 and followed a 180 with a 100 finish. De Graaf took advantage of a handful of missed set darts from Klaasen by bedding tops before breaking but last year's semi-finalist landed double 16 to move ahead.

3-1 (3-1)
Klaasen took out 100 with two double tops and then found the same bed to finish 80. De Graaf stayed alive by landing double five but Klaasen finished the job, adding his sixth 180 in the process. 


Vincent van der Voort (20) 1-3 Max Hopp 
1-0 (3-1)
Both players hit 180s in the opening leg, which Van der Voort won with an 81 checkout. Hopp pinned double ten after the Dutchman missed a string of darts at double before Van der Voort recovered with a 90 finish in the following leg. He then sealed the set with a brilliant 11-darter.

1-1 (0-3)
Hopp followed a 180 with a 61 finished and went on to add two more maximums as he took the set 3-0, finishing off with a 105 checkout.

1-2 (1-3)
Hopp punished Van der Voort for further missed doubles as he took two legs to make it five in a row. The Dutchman landed double 14 to stop the rot temporarily but Hopp took out 81 to complete a 12-darter to move ahead.

1-3 (1-3)
Van der Voort bedded double ten to break but hope responded with a 102 finish. The German youngster then hit his sixth 180 as he moved within a leg of victory before finishing the job on double six. 


Dave Chisnall (7) 3-2 Rowby-John Rodriguez 
0-1 (2-3)
Rodriguez took out 74 to break in the first leg but Chisnall landed double 18 to level. The following two legs went with the throw but Rodriguez broke again in the decider to take the first set.

1-1 (3-1)
Chisnall's second maximum helped him break and he hit double 18 to double his lead. A third maximum from Rodriguez saw him pull a leg back but Chisnall levelled the match with a set-winning 120 finish. 

2-1 (3-1)
Chisnall pinned double 18 before Rodriguez levelled on double four. The world number seven then nailed double 18 and threw back-to-back 180s in the following leg, which he won on double eight.

2-2 (1-3)
There was a 180 in all four legs in the fourth set as Rodriguez levelled the tie with finishes of 85 and 72. 

3-2 (3-0)
Chisnall took out 90, going bull then double top. He then produced a crucial 117 checkout to break and sealed victory with a 96 finish. 


Kim Huybrechts (13) 3-0 James Wilson 
1-0 (3-2)
Huybrechts missed the bull for a 170 but won the first leg on double eight and all legs went with the throw in set one, which the Belgian won with a 104 finish. 

2-0 (3-1) 
Huybrechts hit three 180s in the second set, which he took 3-1 thanks to finishes of 81, 85 and 76.

3-0 (3-0) 
Huybrechts sealed the victory with finishes of 36, 95 and a beautiful 138.