Gerwyn Price picked up his first win at the Betfred World Matchplay since 2017, as night one saw all three champions on the bill come through their first round ties.
The World Champion and world number one overcame a stuttering start to beat Jermaine Wattimena 10-4. He will meet fellow Welshman and World Cup winner Jonny Clayton in round two, after the Premier League winner beat Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-7.
Defending champion Dimitri van den Bergh also made it into the second round, coming through Devon Petersen 10-5. He takes on Dave Chisnall in the last 16, after Chizzy beat Vincent van der Voort 10-8.
Iceman keeps cool in Blackpool heat
It was a comfortable enough evening’s work for The Iceman, who was introduced to fans for the first time as World Champion and world number one. He did however have to fight back from a poor start.
Wattimena found tops for an 82 finish to break, before holding to go 2-0 in front. However, after Price held, The Machine Gun missed two darts to go 3-1 up. The Iceman took advantage, finding tops to level up, before holding in 15 darts to go 3-2 ahead at the first interval.
Both then held after the restart, before the World Champion found a 13 dart break on tops to go 5-3 ahead. However, Price then missed tops for a third straight leg, and Wattimena punished, hitting a 90 outshot to get the game back on throw. The Iceman though kept his cool in the tenth leg, hitting an excellent 132 outshot to take a 6-4 lead into the second interval.
Price came out of the interval hitting back to back 180s, but then missed 12 darts to clean the leg up. Wattimena himself missed five darts to get the break back, before The Iceman hit double one to eventually get over the line and move 7-4 in front. An 87 checkout then got him a double break in front.
The Iceman then hit a 108 checkout to move within one, before a fantastic 127 shot, his third ton plus checkout of the match, got him over the line.
Clayton comes through tough match
Jonny Clayton finally won a game at the Betfred World Matchplay, beating debutant Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-7 to make round two.
Clayton broke in the opening leg, taking advantage of a missed dart at the bull from Van Duijvenbode to go 1-0 in front. After comfortably holding, he left 57 after 12 to look for a double break. However, The Aubergenius found a magical 164 to get his opening leg on the board. Two further holds gave The Ferret a 3-2 lead at the first interval.
Both missed darts to win the sixth leg, before Van Duijvenbode found double eight to level up at 3-3. However, he then missed bullseye for a 170 Big Fish checkout, and two more to go in front for the first time. The Ferret then hit double 18 to regain the break and lead 4-3.
The Aubergenius would not lie down though, finding a 15 dart break straight away to equalise again. Two further holds saw the match level at 5-5 going into the second interval. The Ferret broke straight after the restart, before holding in 13 darts, to go 7-5 in front.
Van Duijvenbode then missed tops for a 72 in the 13th leg, allowing Clayton to find double 10 with his last dart in hand, to clean up 60 and go a double break clear. The Ferret then strayed into double 15 when looking for double 10 to move one away, as the Dutchman hit double eight to cut the gap to two.
The Titan then found double five to trail 8-7, after both missed darts to win the leg. The Premier League champion then held, before finding a 14 dart break to win a tight contest.
Van den Bergh cruises past Petersen
After receiving the Phil Taylor Trophy in front of fans at the start of the night, Dimitri van den Bergh showed that he does not want to let it go by beating Devon Petersen 10-5.
Both broke in the opening two legs, before both missed doubles to win the next two legs. In the end, two holds saw the match level at 2-2, before Van den Bergh had to go to the madhouse, hitting double one to break again and go 3-2 in front at the first interval.
After a poor first session, The Dream Maker produced moments of quality in the second. A 108 checkout saw him take a two leg lead, then he hit double 16 for a 12 darter and a 5-2 double break. Both missed darts at a double to take the eighth leg, before Van den Bergh hit double two to go four legs clear.
A similar story occurred in the ninth leg, as both players again squandered chances to take it. However, it would be Petersen who would take it, hitting double one to get his first leg in five. The Matchplay champion comfortably held in the tenth leg, taking a 7-3 lead into the second interval.
Both held throw straight after the interval, before Van den Bergh left 44 after nine in the 13th leg, and took it out on double 16 for an 11 darter. The Dream Maker then missed a match dart, and Petersen hit double eight to keep the match alive. However, it only delayed the inevitable, as Van den Bergh hit double 12 to move into round two, despite hitting 10/32 on the outer ring.
Chisnall sees off Van der Voort in cracking opener
Dave Chisnall and Vincent van der Voort played out a fantastic first game of the night, with Chizzy coming through 10-8, hitting 10/14 on the outer ring.
After both held in the opening four legs, Chisnall found the first break of the throw in the fifth. Van der Voort missed tops for a 107, and Chizzy found double 20 to take a 3-2 lead into the first interval. The Dutch Destroyer responded immediately after the interval though, pinging a 129 finish on the bullseye to level up at 3-3.
However, a third straight break of throw came. After Van der Voort decided to lay up on 81, Chisnall found a spectacular 161 finish to go 4-3 in front. Three further holds followed, meaning the Yellow Warrior took a 6-4 lead heading into the second interval.
Van der Voort held in the 11th leg, before Chisnall found a double double outshot on 96 to keep two ahead. The Dutch Destroyer held, before taking advantage of a missed dart at the bull from Chizzy to hit tops and level at 7-7.
The 15th leg though saw the tide turn in favour of the Yellow Warrior once again. Van der Voort missed three darts to go in front, and Chisnall swooped, hitting a 56 checkout to go 8-7 ahead. However, Chizzy then made a mess of a 96 checkout in leg 16, as Van der Voort hit double 16 to make the match all square again.
Chisnall once again broke in the 17th leg, hitting a 76 checkout to take a 9-8 lead and throw for the match. After going 137,134,125 to leave 105 after nine, Chizzy eventually found double 10 for a 14 dart hold to get revenge on Van der Voort, after the Dutchman beat him at this stage last year.
2021 Betfred World Matchplay Day One Results
Dave Chisnall 10-8 Vincent van der Voort
Jonny Clayton 10-7 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Gerwyn Price 10-4 Jermaine Wattimena
Dimitri van den Bergh 10-5 Devon Petersen
2021 Betfred World Matchplay Day Two Schedule of Play
Afternoon Session – 13.00 BST
First round x4
Krzysztof Ratajski v Brendan Dolan
Glen Durrant v Callan Rydz
Rob Cross v Ross Smith
James Wade v Luke Humphries
Evening Session – 19.30 BST
First round x4
Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey
Michael Smith v Ryan Searle
Peter Wright v Danny Noppert
Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens
How can I follow the Betfred World Matchplay?
The Betfred World Matchplay will be live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also watch it outside the UK via the PDC’s broadcast partners, such as RTL or DAZN.
You can also live stream the event. Find out more here.
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