ROYDEN LAM produced a huge shock victory to beat Gary Anderson 6-5 as the 21.co.uk Shanghai Darts Masters got underway. The night also saw defending Champion Michael van Gerwen and the remaining six PDC representatives progress in China.
The final match of the evening stared with Anderson missing a handful of chances to claim the opening three legs of the match, allowing Lam to step in and punish him to take a 3-1 lead.
Anderson then battled back to level at 3-3 before the man from Hong-Kong broke throw again with a superb 140 finish.
The Scot produced yet another comeback to take the match to a deciding leg but it was Lam who found the crucial double to progress in to the quarter-finals.
"I’m very happy to win this match, it was a very good experience," said Lam.
"This is the third time I have played at the Shanghai Masters and I felt very relaxed when I was practicing before the match.
"When the game started I was very nervous because I know Gary Anderson is a very strong player even though he might be tired from travelling," added the 42-year-old.
"The PDC Asian tour is doing very good things for darts in Asia and this tournament gives more experience for all the Asian players to raise our level."
Lam will now face Michael Smith in the last eight after a 97 average saw him overcome Xiao Chen Zong 6-0.
The Englishman will be aiming to claim a spot in his first ever World Series semi-final after losing his previous four quarter-finals on the sports global tour.
“I’ve always taken the second matches in World Series seriously but never been able to win so hopefully I can relax a bit more tomorrow and finally make a semi,” said the former World Youth Champion.
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will return for the second day of action in Shanghai after a comprehensive 6-1 win over Li Hao Wen.
The world number one averaged 104.02 and took out a 170 finish to bulldozer his way in to the last eight.
Van Gerwen who has never been beaten in China is looking for his first World Series crown of 2018 and an incredible 15th individual title of the year this weekend.
“I want to win every tournament I play in and this is a good way to start,” said the two-time World Champion.
“The game is getting bigger in China and the crowds are slowly learning what it is all about, it is great to be here in Shanghai.”
The 29-year-old will now face Daryl Gurney in the quarter-finals after he claimed 6-1 victory over Lourence Ilagan of the Philippines.
Ilagan, who has won two titles on the PDC Asian Tour this year was unable to cope with the scoring power and double accuracy of the Northern Irishman who wrapped up the victory in China with a Shanghai finish to set up a clash with Van Gerwen.
“It doesn’t matter if you play the world number one or 31, they are all quality players in the PDC these days but if I hit the doubles the way I did today and pick up my scoring then I will have a good chance,” said the 2017 Grand Prix champion.
Gerwyn Price comfortably progressed in to the quarter-finals of the 21.co.uk Shanghai Darts Masters with a convincing 6-2 win over Chinese qualifier Yuan Jun Liu.
The Welshman hit four maximums and averaged 102.49 despite still suffering with an achilles injury which will require surgery later in the year.
Price, who made a shock early exit in Las Vegas the week before was keen to get back to winning ways after defeat to Dawson Murschell in America.
“I’m up and down at the moment and I’m never sure how I’m going to play, I needed a bit of confidence after last week and that helped,” said the Welsh number one.
The 2017 UK Open finalist will now face the man who defeated him in that final after Peter Wright overcame Japan’s Seigo Asada in a 6-3 win.
Asada stuck with the Scot during the opening exchanges but a run of three consecutive legs saw Wright edge closer to the finishing line before eventually sealing the victory to move on to the second day of play in China.
“I’ve been practicing with another set of darts but chickened out before the match so that probably affected my performance a little.
“It’s not the best but it’s a W and I’m through to the next round,” said the 2017 German Darts Masters winner.
James Wade whitewashed Hai Long Chen on his way to the quarter-finals averaging 103.66.
The Englishman who made the final of the Shanghai Darts Masters in 2016 is trying to regain his form after an inconsistent period but despite making the semi-finals of the U.S Darts Masters a week ago, the world number ten is not getting carried away.
“I was good in Vegas last week, not as good as I’d like to be but certainly getting there.
"I’m not a player who thinks too far ahead, I like to take each game as it comes and see how we get on,” concluded the 35-year-old after his victory.
Wade will now face number two seed Rob Cross in the last eight after the World Champion completed a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Chen Gan Liu at the Pullman South Hotel in Shanghai.
“I got better as the game went on, I was comfortable so I’m happy,” said Cross who made the final in Las Vegas.
“I feel like I’m getting the gears back that I had last year, I didn’t need them today but we’ll come back tomorrow and have a go at James, it should be a good game and one I can really get my teeth in to.”
The 21.co.uk Shanghai Darts Masters concludes on Saturday with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final at the Pullman South Hotel.
The final day of the event will be broadcast worldwide through the PDC's international broadcast partners, and through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World subscribers (outside of UK, Ireland and Netherlands).
UK TV coverage on ITV4 is delayed to 8pm BST on each day.
21.co.uk Shanghai Darts Masters
(1) Gary Anderson v Royden Lam
Michael Smith v Xiao Chen Zong
(4) Michael van Gerwen v Li Hao Wen
Daryl Gurney v Lourence Ilagan
(2) Rob Cross v Chen Gan Liu
James Wade v Hai Long Chen
(3) Peter Wright v Seigo Asada
Gerwyn Price v Yuan Jun Liu
Friday July 13 (6.30pm local time)
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Yuan Jun Liu
James Wade 6-0 Hai Long Chen
(2) Rob Cross 6-0 Chen Gan Liu
(3) Peter Wright 6-3 Seigo Asada
Michael Smith 6-0 Xiao Chen Zong
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Lourence Ilagan
(4) Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Li Hao Wen
(1) Gary Anderson 5-6 Royden Lam
All games best of 11 Legs
Saturday July 14 (6.30pm local time)
Royden Lam v Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
Rob Cross v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
Lam/Smith v Van Gerwen/Gurney
Cross/Wade v Wright/Price
All games best of 15 legs