CHRIS DOBEY produced the shock of the first round at the 2017 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals, as he recovered from 3-0 down to defeat Mensur Suljovic 6-3 at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow. The opening night also saw Max Hopp, Dimitri van den Bergh and Justin Pipe all upset the odds and Corey Cadby return to PDC darts in style.
Dobey, 27, looked nervous as 2017 Champions League of Darts winner Suljovic raced to a 3-0 lead in Glasgow.
Dobey’s remarkable comeback began as he pinned double eight to get a leg on the board.
A first maximum, followed by a 70 checkout on double 16 saw Dobey recover the break, before levelling on double 14 in the next leg.
A third 180 in as many legs helped Dobey to break the throw again and move in to the lead for the first time in the match.
The former Grand Slam quarter-finalist hit a fourth and final maximum in the eighth leg before completing the win with his sixth consecutive leg to set up a second round match with his mentor, Gary Anderson.
“Gary and I are great friends off the board but you’ve got to put that to one side when you get up on stage," said Dobey.
“Gary has been great to me and playing him in Scotland is going to be tough but I’m ready for it, I’ll just play my game and I’m looking forward to it.”
Germany’s Max Hopp will face Michael van Gerwen in round two after completing an impressive 6-2 win over Adrian Lewis.
The former World Youth Champion started the match in style taking out 108 on double 16 to break the throw and punish Lewis for missing a dart at tops.
Lewis then immediately broke back before a run of four straight legs put Hopp in complete control of the match.
A finish of 100 gave the Englishman hope in the seventh leg, but Lewis then went on to miss three darts at a double in the following leg as Hopp secured the win.
“That’s a big win for me, I’ve not shown myself at my best this year so hopefully that can help me to improve,” said Hopp
“I’m working hard and I know I can still achieve my goals and show everyone how good I can be.”
The 21-year-old now faces the world number one and reigning champion for a place in the quarter-finals, and says he will have to improve on his first round performance if he is to progress further.
“Michael is the best player in the world and you always have to improve if you are going to beat him," added Hopp. "I have to be confident though and I believe I’ll be ready."
Dimitri Van den Bergh also produced an upset to set up a last 16 encounter with Raymond van Barneveld in Glasgow after he averaged 100.11 in a 6-1 win over Michael Smith.
The Belgian took a 2-0 lead over his opponent before hitting seven perfect darts - including back-to-back 174s - followed by pinning tops to move three clear of Smith.
Despite an average of over 97, Smith couldn’t take advantage of his opportunities at doubles and was put to the sword by Van den Bergh.
“I’ve been feeling good for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of detailed practice, especially on the finishing,” said the Belgian.
“I saw this match as a bit of a free swing as I would have gone to Wigan to play the Development Tour if I had lost.
“I just love playing darts and don’t care if it’s on the stage or on the floor I will always enjoy playing and keep trying to improve."
Justin Pipe defied two missed match darts and five 180s from Dave Chisnall as he defeated the world number eight 6-5 to set up a second round clash with Peter Wright.
Pipe started the brighter of the pair taking out 110 in the opening leg of the match but could not find an early break.
Chisnall levelled the match in the sixth leg with a 103 finish before going on to break in the next to take control of the encounter.
The world number eight missed two match darts in the tenth leg and was punished on double two by the 45-year-old.
Pipe confirmed his spot in the last 16 hitting double five, with Chisnall sat waiting on 60.
Auckland Darts Masters finalist Corey Cadby made a winning return to the PDC stage as he overcame Jelle Klaasen 6-3 to set up an intriguing second round clash with Gerwyn Price.
The Australian broke early in the match and took a 3-1 lead and looked set to move three clear before Klaasen took out 146 to close the gap to one at the break.
The Dutchman then missed three darts to level the score, allowing Cadby to extend his lead before going on to move 5-2 ahead.
The 22-year-old eventually got over the line averaging 87.54 and will now face Welsh Price on Saturday night.
“There are going to be fireworks," predicted Cadby. "He gives it, I give it, so it should be a magic match.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Gerwyn and the best man on the night will win, let’s hope it’s me.”
Simon Stevenson took advantage of an out-of-sorts Jan Dekker as he secured a comfortable 6-3 victory.
The first three legs of the encounter saw the pair hold throw, before the Englishman broke in the fourth leg.
A 117 checkout secured Stevenson a second break of throw to move him in to a 5-1 lead.
A minor fightback of sorts followed from Dekker, but it was Stevenson who will now face James Wade in round two in Glasgow.
Mark Webster missed 20 darts at a double as he was defeated 6-3 by Simon Whitlock.
A scrappy game saw the Australian progress and he will now face Daryl Gurney in a repeat of the 2017 World Grand Prix final.
Rob Cross will face Auckland Darts Masters champion Kyle Anderson in the last 16 after a comfortable 6-1 victory over Jonny Clayton.
Cross, the runner-up in last weekend's European Championship, averaged 97.93 and is looking forward to Saturday's match with the Australian.
“Kyle is a great player but I believe if I can bring my A-game I will win the match,” said Cross.
“I’ve got to tread carefully because he’s a top player and a lovely guy but things are going my way at the moment so long may it continue.”
The second round of the 2017 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals takes place on Saturday at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, with the eight seeded players joining the competition.
The season-ending event is being held from November 3-5 at the Braehead Arena, live on ITV4.
For tickets, visit www.braehead-arena.co.uk or call 0844 499 1700.
Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals
Friday November 3
First Round x8
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Jan Dekker
Justin Pipe 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Max Hopp 6-2 Adrian Lewis
Dimitri Van Den Bergh 6-1 Michael Smith
Corey Cadby 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Mark Webster
Chris Dobey 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Saturday November 4 (7pm)
Second Round x8
James Wade (5) v Simon Stevenson
Raymond van Barneveld (4) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Gerwyn Price (8) v Corey Cadby
Gary Anderson (1) v Chris Dobey
Peter Wright (3) v Justin Pipe
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney (6) v Simon Whitlock
Kyle Anderson (7) v Rob Cross