The first Monday of the 2021/22 PDC World Darts Championship contained just the one session of play, with the action not getting underway until the evening.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric with Raymond van Barneveld making his return to the Alexandra Palace stage. Two years on from a 3-1 first round defeat to Darin Young, the Dutchman rolled back the years as he whitewashed the likeable Lourence Ilagen.
Following this, we got our first glimpse of James Wade at this year’s tournament. In typical James Wade fashion, he pounced on the mistakes from Maik Kuivenhoven, running out a 3-1 winner. A slight wobble in set three aside, he did so without really breaking sweat.
Elsewhere on day six, we saw;
- Rusty-Jake Rodriguez join his older brother, Rowby-John, in round two
- Luke Woodhouse defeat James Wilson
Wade cruises past Kuivenhoven
The Machine opened up his World Championship with a very James Wade-like performance. Averaging less than his opponent and punishing mistakes. It was Wading in the truest sense of the word.
Sporting a fetching winter beard, Wade punished Kuivenhoven in set one. He took out 105 to break throw for a 3-1 set win, following two misses on the outer ring by his Dutch opponent.
In set two, we saw more of the emotional celebrations that characterised his recent appearances at the Grand Slam of Darts. Looking more up for the challenge than we have seen in the past, it was another session that he would win 3-1 to go one set away from victory.
Plain sailing from there it was not though, as the Englishman went off the boil in the next. Uncharacteristic loose darts into the one were a feature of a set in which he was whitewashed by the improving Kuivenhoven.
The status-quo was re-established in set four as the Dutchman proceeded to miss more opportunities to win the first two legs. In the end he lost both in 21 and 20 legs respectively. A hold from Maik made Wade serve it out at 2-1. He duly obliged, finding a bit of rhythm again for a 17 dart hold of throw on double one and a 3-1 victory.
Barney back at World Championship with a bang
In his return to the PDC World Darts Championship, crowd-favourite Raymond van Barneveld, laid down a marker as he routed Lourence Ilagen by three sets to nil.
After winning the first set 3-1, the five-time Champion of the World, then broke in leg one of second set, going on to win that one 3-0. Magically finished off with a 121 checkout on double 14.
Despite a few misses on the outer ring in the final set, Barney finished the match averaging 96.7. He wrapped up the set and the match in 14 darts.
What else happened on night six of the PDC World Darts Championship?
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez made it two Rodriguez brothers in the second round, by running out a convincing 3-1 victor over Ben Robb of New Zealand.
He got one up on his brother, who took 4 visits to the Alexandra Palace to get his first win, Rusty-Jake got it done on his debut. After winning the first set 3-2, he was pegged back by Robb in the second who won in the same scoreline. From there though, it was all about the young Austrian, who even threatened a 9 darter in the final leg, hitting six perfect darts before getting over the line on double four.
Up next for Rusty-Jake is a matchup with Chris Dobey.
Opening up the night and their respective tournaments, we saw Luke Woodhouse come from behind to defeat fellow Englishman, James Wilson.
Jammy Dodger, edged a tight opening set 3-2, after numerous missed doubles from Woody. That was the end of his success though, as Woodhouse fired back to rattle off the next three sets by scores of 3-1, 3-2 and 3-1 respectively. In doing so, he booked a round two tie with number 31 seed, Damon Heta.
Results and tomorrow’s PDC World Darts Championship schedule
Monday December 20 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Luke Woodhouse 3-1 James Wilson (R1)
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 3-1 Ben Robb (R1)
Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Lourence Ilagan (R1)
James Wade 3-1 Maik Kuivenhoven (R2)
Tuesday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x First Round, 2x Second Round
Lewy Williams v Toyokazu Shibata (R1)
Jason Lowe v Daniel Larsson (R1)
Mervyn King v Ryan Joyce (R2)
Dave Chisnall v Mile De Decker (R2)
Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round
Vincent van der Voort v Adam Hunt (R2)
Michael Smith v Ron Meulenkamp (R2)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Florian Hempel (R2)
Devon Petersen v Raymond Smith (R2)