TWO-TIME winner Adrian Lewis suffered one of the biggest shocks in the history of the William Hill World Darts Championship as he was beaten in the first round by German qualifier Kevin Munch on Tuesday.

Seventh seed Lewis had never lost in the first round before in 12 years of playing in the event, but it was unlucky number 13 as he came up against an inspired Munch

The German left-hander had overcome Russia's Aleksandr Oreshkin in straight sets in the preliminary round, and took his game to a remarkable level against the Stoke superstar.

After 63-year-old Paul Lim's memorable win on Monday, Munch managed to go one better in knocking out one of the perennial tournament favourites thanks to an incredible burst of heavy scoring and big checkouts.

Munch found seven of his eight 180s in seven pulsating legs that took him from a set down to the brink of victory, adding finishes of 158, 118 and 124 for good measure.

The 27-year-old from Bochum recently gave up his job as a landscape gardener to try and make a career in darts, and after producing a performance that Lewis himself would have been proud of that now looks like a good decision.

"I can't believe it," said Munch, who previously qualified for the World Championship six years ago. "It feels so amazing. I will realise what I've done tomorrow. I was so confident in that moment and not scared of him. 

"I didn't realise the fans were so loud but I do now! I will relax and practice for the second round now.

"It's the biggest win in my career. I'm very proud "

Trailing 2-1 in the second set after Lewis swept through the opener without reply, Munch embarked on his dizzying spell of darts with a pair of 15-darters before a 180 helped him take the set in a deciding leg.

The third set proved to be something special from the German as Munch hit four 180s in just three legs, adding finishes of 158 and 118 for good measure in a blistering assault that left a shell-shocked Lewis 2-1 down and on the ropes.

The 180s continued for Munch in the fourth, as did the finishes with a superb 124, before Lewis plugged away and pulled out two maximums to level the set up at 2-2.

Munch, though, would not be denied and he claimed the deciding leg on double eight to complete a momentous victory.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld was never in danger of joining the growing list of seeds heading for the Alexandra Palace exit as he calmly overcame debutant Richard North 3-0.

Van Barneveld is now an expert at the tricky first round stage following six consecutive 3-0 victories in his opening matches, as he set up an intriguing second round clash with Kyle Anderson.

Playing in his 50th match in the event, Van Barneveld averaged 102 - the fourth best effort so far of the event - hit three 180s and 17 140+ scores, as well as landing nine out of 19 doubles.

"There are so many tournaments but this one is special to me, so maybe I keep all my energy for these two weeks," said Van Barneveld. "This means the world to me.

"I'm flying back to Holland tomorrow morning then I'll be focusing on Kyle Anderson for Saturday. He's an amazing player. 

"He's so tough, he's a 180 man, good at doubles, good at high finishes so I'm really looking forward to that match."

Scotland's John Henderson enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Finland's Marko Kantele to set-up a World Grand Prix rematch with Daryl Gurney, who took victory in their semi-final two months ago.

Henderson is the last man to have defeated Michael van Gerwen, also in October's World Grand Prix, and knows he will need to raise his game significantly to somewhere near his Dublin form for his second round clash.

"If you can't take confidence from beating Michael van Gerwen then you can't take confidence from anything," Henderson said. "I believe I'm still the last person to beat him so that's a nice mantle to have and the confidence is still there.

"I didn't play my best tonight but I hope I can find it on Saturday, I'll need it against Daryl."

The preliminary and first rounds continue on Wednesday at Alexandra Palace, including 2010 finalist Simon Whitlock opening his challenge against another German ace, debutant Martin Schindler.

Michael Smith takes on Irish newcomer Steve Lennon, while Justin Pipe will face the winner of the preliminary round tie between Chinese teenager Xiao Chen Zong and New Zealand's Bernie Smith.

William Hill World Darts Championship
Preliminary & First Rounds

Tuesday December 19
Aleksandr Oreshkin 0-2 Kevin Munch (P)
John Henderson 3-0 Marko Kantele
Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Richard North
Adrian Lewis 1-3 Kevin Munch

Wednesday December 20 (7pm)
Xiao Chen Zong v Bernie Smith (P)
Michael Smith v Steve Lennon
Simon Whitlock v Martin Schindler
Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith

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

CLICK HERE FOR MATCH STATS FROM SPORTRADAR

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL EVENT INFORMATION

Match Reports
Kevin Munch (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
Aleksandr Oreshkin v Kevin Munch (P)

(0-3, 1-3)
KEVIN MUNCH secured the big tie against Adrian Lewis after winning his preliminary round clash with Aleksndr Oreshkin 2-0.

The German thrower averaged 84 and hit two 180s and left the Russian trailing in his wake for much of the match, as Oreshkin only managed to get one leg to his name.

Munch started off with a 180 in a first leg that turned out to be a fine 13-darter, and after taking the second he wrapped up the third with a 108 checkout for a 102 set average.

The man from Bochum could not maintain that standard in the second despite kicking off with 120 finish, but was so in control he could miss six match darts before hitting the seventh to go through.

"It was a hard game for me, the preliminary round is so hard, so I'm happy," said Munch. "Now I'll relax and chill and wait for the next game.

"I love playing normally quick players - it's hard for me to play against slow players when I usually play fast." 

John Henderson (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
John Henderson v Marko Kantele

(3-2, 3-0, 3-1)
JOHN HENDERSON avoided a repeat of last year's first round exit at the William Hill World Darts Championship as he ran out a comprehensive 3-0 winer over Finland's Marko Kantele.

The Scot did not quite find the form that saw him beat Michael van Gerwen at the World Grand Prix in October, but he still had enough in hand to cruise through to a last 32 tie with Daryl Gurney.

A scrappy start saw neither man able to get into their stride as Henderson edged the first two legs, but the standard lifted as the pair both hit 180s as Kantele took out a 14-darter and a 62 outshot to level.

Henderson, though, saved the best piece of quality for last though as he took out 160 for the set - and he regained that quality in a whitewash of a second set highlighted by a 72 checkout followed by a 12-darter punctuated by a 121 finish.

"This win was probably my biggest of 2017, even more so than beating Michael," said Henderson.

"This World Championship means everything to us players and I'm relieved because losing to Andrew Gilding last year was a big blow and it stuck with me for a long time. This win is a massive weight off my shoulders.

"I feel as though I played OK. I know Marko from back in the BDO days and I know he can play a lot better than that. I dont think either of us got to play our A-game but a win is a win, especially on this stage."

Daryl Gurney defeated Henderson in the semi-finals on the way to winning the World Grand Prix title, and the two will now meet again in the second round at Alexandra Palace.

"I don't look at it as revenge on any players as I'm a nice guy, but I'd obviously love to get one over on Daryl," added Henderson. "He's nice guy and playing well so I'm looking forward to Saturday, it'll be a great game like the World Grand Prix and the best man will win.

"If you can't take confidence from beating Michael van Gerwen then you can't take confidence from anything, I believe I'm still the last person to beat him so that's a nice mantle to have and the confidence is still there.

"I didn't play my best tonight but I hope I can find it on Saturday, I'll need it against Daryl."

Raymond van Barneveld (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North

(3-0, 3-1, 3-2)
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD swept into the second round of the William Hill World Darts Championship with a convincing 3-0 victory over debutant Richard North.

The five-time World Champion faced a tricky test on paper, with North having topped the list of ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers in his first full year on the circuit, but the Dutchman put on a darting clinic with a near-faultless display.

Van Barneveld made it a sixth consecutive 3-0 win in the first round of the tournament as he averaged 102 - the fourth best effort so far of the event - hit three 180s and 17 140+ scores and landed nine out of 19 doubles.

Debutant North hit a 180 in the opening leg, but that was as good as it got as he saw the 2007 champion take out 64 and 81 checkouts on his way to the set.

North got on the board in the second set, but van Barneveld showed his class with a timely 180 and a 76 outshot to nudge ahead, and then edged a leg where North hit two 180s.

Those two body blows seemed too much for North, who managed to take the third set the distance after his opponent missed two match darts, but the Dutchman was untroubled as he pulled out a 13-darter to progress.

"I never saw Richard play until a year ago," said Van Barneveld. "Everyone in Holland said I'd got a good draw but I said hold on, he's just not seeded.

"He's a great player, I saw him at the World Grand Prix and I really thought he's a dangerous player - he missed a couple of doubles and let me in during the second set but I was playing good darts there."

Van Barneveld, who faces Australian Kyle Anderson in the next round, admits that he finds something extra when he arrives at Alexandra Palace for this event.

"There are so many tournaments but this one is special to me, so maybe I keep all my energy for these two weeks," he added. "This means the world to me.

"I'm flying back to Holland tomorrow morning then I'll be focusing on Kyle Anderson for Saturday. He's an amazing player. 

"He's so tough, he's a 180 man, good at doubles, good at high finishes so I'm really looking forward to that match."

Kevin Munch (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)
Adrian Lewis 1-3 Kevin Munch

(3-1, 2-3, 0-3, 2-3)
ADRIAN LEWIS lost in the first round of the William Hill World Darts Championship for the first time as Kevin Munch produced the biggest upset of the tournament so far, and one of the greatest in the event's history.

Following the excitement of Paul Lim's dramatic win over Mark Webster on Monday, Munch became another qualifier from the preliminary round to progress to the last 32 at Alexandra Palace.

Two-time winner Lewis has never previously suffered a first round upset before in 12 World Championships, and after going a set up and 2-0 ahead in the second it looked like just another day at the office.

However, Munch found a level of darts more fitting of Lewis at his very best as he launched and assault of 180 hitting and three-figured outshots - throwing eight maximums in all and seven in as many mesmerising legs.

It was business as usual in the opening set as Lewis hit finishes of 72 and 121 to take the lead with a 3-1 scoreline, and when he took out 84 and 80 to lead 2-0 in the second it looked like a comfortable night for the Stoke ace.

Munch clawed back a leg before embarking on his dizzying spell of darts with a pair of 15-darters before a 180 helped him take the set in a deciding leg.

The third set proved to be something really special from the German as Munch hit four 180s in just three legs, adding finishes of 158 and 118 for good measure in a blistering assault that left a shell-shocked Lewis 2-1 down and on the ropes.

The 180s continued in the next, as did the finishes with a superb 124 checkout, but Lewis plugged away and pulled out two maximums to level the set up at 2-2.

Munch, though, would not be denied and he claimed the decider on double eight to complete momentous victory.

"I can't believe it," said Munch, who previously qualified for the World Championship six years ago. "It feels so amazing. I will realise what I've done tomorrow. I was so confident in that moment and not scared of him. 

"I didn't realise the fans were so loud but I do now! I will relax and practice for the second round now.

"It's the biggest win in my career. I'm very proud "

TV Coverage
The William Hill World Darts Championship will be broadcast live worldwide through the following broadcast partners:
PDCTV-HD - PDC Website for Rest of the World Subscribers
Sky Sports - UK & Ireland – dedicated “Sky Sports Darts” channel
RTL7 - Netherlands
Sport1 - Germany
DAZN - Germany, Austria, Switzerland Japan, Canada
Fox Sports - Australia
Sky - New Zealand
Nova - Czech Republic
Viasat - Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Baltic States
Pragosport - Hungary
OSN - Middle East & North Africa
Kwese - South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa
Eleven Sports - Belgium
BBC America - North America (excluding Canada)
Fox - Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Israel
TVP - Poland
CCTV - China
RTL - Croatia (Dec 28 onwards)
Eurosport - France, Romania, Spain
Eurosport Player - Andorra, Estonia, France & Monaco, Georgie, Israel, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey & CIS (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan)