VAN GERWEN DENIES LIM & CHINESE HOPES ARE ENDED IN SHANGHAI DARTS MASTERS
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN held off a stern fightback from Paul Lim to move into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Darts Masters on Saturday, as Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson impressed against Chinese opposition.
World number one van Gerwen looked set to race through in the first round of the PDC World Series of Darts event when he took the opening four legs without reply, including a ten-dart finish, against Singapore's Lim.
However, the 62-year-old hit back to 4-3 and also finished double four in leg nine to stay in the contest before van Gerwen finally secured his spot in Sunday's final day.
"Paul has got so much experience and he showed that tonight, he can do great things and he made me sweat a little," said van Gerwen. "He's done so much in darts but I hit the right shots to get the win.
"I'm feeling good and I'd love to win here in Shanghai. I want to play much better and I believe in my game."
World Champion Gary Anderson kicked off his bid to win a third successive World Series of Darts title, following last month's victory in Dubai and his triumph in Auckland a week ago, as he whitewashed Shanghai's Yunfei Jiang 6-0.
The Scot averaged almost 94 and denied his opponent a dart at a double during a ruthless display, but said: "It wasn't as good as it has been in recent weeks but I got the job done, because you never know how your opponent is going to play."
Adrian Lewis, last week's runner-up in Auckland, was the day's other whitewash winner as he swept past Jianhua Shen without dropping a leg, landing three 180s in the process and also preventing his opponent having a dart at a double.
Six-time World Series of Darts winner Phil Taylor posted the day's highest average of 101.76 as he defeated Yuanjun Liu 6-1, taking the opening leg with an 11-darter and twice finishing 92 as he opened up a 3-0 lead.
Liu - who also faced Taylor in the World Cup of Darts when representing China three weeks ago - took the fourth leg on double 13, but the 16-time World Champion steadied any nerves with back-to-back 13-darters as he sealed victory.
"He was a tough opponent and he threw some good darts, and I was nervous so I'm glad to get through," said Taylor. "I'm playing well and looking forward to tomorrow, and it would be great to get the win."
A stunning 161 finish secured Raymond van Barneveld a 6-2 victory over Lihao Wen in the tournament's opening match as the Dutchman set up a quarter-final tie with van Gerwen.
The five-time World Champion missed 25 darts at a double during the contest, but still had enough to see off his Chinese opponent, who landed one maximum and took out 95 for the only leg he would win.
Peter Wright moved into a quarter-final tie with Taylor with a comprehensive 6-1 victory as he punished Hong Kong's Royden Lam for hitting just one of nine darts at a double.
Wright, though, changed the flights on his darts during a nervy opening leg as Lam took the lead, but the three-time World Series finalist found his range to win the next six legs without reply.
James Wade also overcame Chinese opposition with a comfortable 6-1 win over Yanlai Shi, taking the opening five legs without reply before sealing his place against Anderson in the quarter-finals.
Hong Kong's Scott Mackenzie shared the opening four legs of his tie with Dave Chisnall before the world number nine pulled away to claim a 6-2 victory, with legs of 12 and 14 darts securing a last eight clash with Lewis.
The PDC World Series of Darts tournament concludes on Sunday with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final at the Pullman Hotel Shanghai South.