LEWIS CRASHES TO MIGHTY MIKE IN PARTYPOKER.COM WORLD GRAND PRIX
WORLD CHAMPION Adrian Lewis was knocked out of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix by Michael van Gerwen on Thursday night, as Andy Hamilton, Paul Nicholson and Wes Newton joined the Dutch star in moving through to the quarter-finals in Dublin.
Lewis became the eighth player from the world^s top ten to be eliminated from the double-start tournament with his 3-1 loss to van Gerwen, as he joined the likes of Phil Taylor, James Wade and Gary Anderson in suffering defeat in the first two rounds.
The number two seed averaged only 80 throughout the match, and although he took the game^s second set without reply never looked likely to progress to his fourth World Grand Prix quarter-final.
Van Gerwen needed only seven minutes to win the opening set 3-0, before Lewis took even less time to level by winning set two in the same fashion, squaring the game with a fine 13-dart leg.
Lewis was also level in the fourth, but van Gerwen hit a 14-darter to break the deadlock and then made the World Champion pay for failing to hit his starting double in two visits as he took the set 3-1.
Lewis kicked off the fourth with a 170 checkout and also led 2-1, but van Gerwen levelled on tops and then finished a 14-darter on double 16 for a huge victory.
"It feels great and it^s a big step for me to beat the World Champion," said van Gerwen. "He^s a world-class player and the number two in the world, so it^s very exciting for me.
"It will give me even more confidence for the quarter-finals. It wasn^t my best game and I had some loose darts and missed some doubles, but I hit the right doubles at the right time.
"I wasn^t as focused as I wanted to be and I wasn^t sharp enough so I need to change that for the quarter-finals, but I^m looking forward to the next match against Andy Hamilton and I always have good games against him.
"I think this is the most difficult tournament of the year because of the double start, but I hope I can win this now. So many top players are out already but I^m still in so I have a chance.
"It^s another good result in a major tournament and my confidence is growing alll the time."
Hamilton booked his place in the quarter-finals for the third time in the last four years in Dublin with a narrow 3-2 win over Steve Beaton.
Beaton hit a ten-dart finish in winning two of the first three sets, only for the World Championship runner-up to force a deciding set, which he took without reply to progress.
"I^ve made every major quarter-final apart from the UK Open this year, so I^m showing that I deserve to be in the top eight - there^s no reason why I can^t win this now," said Hamilton.
"Once Phil Taylor goes out of the tournament, even though he was in the opposite half to me, everybody pushes up their game because he^s such a great player. There^s going to be a new name on the trophy, and hopefully it^s mine."
Number six seed Wes Newton - the runner-up in last month^s PartyPoker.net European Championship - and Paul Nicholson were the night^s other winners to progress to Friday^s quarter-finals.
Newton was a 3-1 winner against Ian White, having won the game^s first set despite three 180s from the emerging Stoke ace, who came from a leg down to win the second 3-1.
White, though, missed three darts at double 18 to win the third set, as Newton edged back ahead before sealing victory in the fourth with a 13-dart leg.
"I^m really happy to come through that game," admitted Newton. "I was very nervous and it was one of the hardest games I^ve ever played.
"It was a real battle. Ian^s a great player and he^s been playing really well and I felt really good coming into the game, but neither of us found the extra gear that we needed.
"I^m still here though and I^m still fighting, and it^s the first time I^ve got past the second round here so I^m happy with that.
"You see all the top seeds going out and everyone left in the tournament will see this as a really good opportunity, but I^m trying to put that to the back of my mind and just beat whoever^s in front of me.
"I know in myself that I^m playing well but I^ll have to play a bit better in the quarter-finals. I seem to be getting into the latter stages of tournaments quite often at the minute and I^ve got a winning mentality, but I^ll have to dig a bit deeper against Paul and bring my top form out."
Nicholson moved into the last eight with a 3-1 win over resurgent Colin Osborne, who knocked out two-time champion Wade in the first round but was unable to repeat the trick against the Australian World Cup star.
Nicholson edged the first two sets 3-2 and, though Osborne won the third, he hit two 180s and won three straight legs to claim victory in the fourth, with his accuracy starting on double 16 and then switching immediately to treble 19 proving key.
"I went into the game very calm and thought I did a good job in the first set, but the second set was a bit more gritty," said Nicholson. "I dug deep and it^s probably thanks to the mental preparation I did today that I didn^t slip up in this.
"My starting was good - in the first two years of the World Grand Prix I went for double top and double 18, but when I won the Players Championship Finals I found that my best corner was the bottom left so I stayed there and threw at double 16 and 19.
"You have to play to your strengths in this game, and for me it^s double 16, and staying on the 19 bed has worked to give me an extra dart - and I think I^ll need that against Wes Newton."
The exits of six of the eight seeded players has seen van Gerwen installed as the new tournament favourite, with Nicholson as high as 16/1 to take the £100,000 first prize on Sunday.
However, he said: "I^m more worried about myself. When Phil Taylor lost on Wednesday it was pretty dramatic, but that^s in the other half to me so I couldn^t have played him until the final and I don^t worry about that.
"I^m just having fun, and I^ve realised that I wasn^t having too much fun earlier this year because I was putting too much pressure on myself. I^m going to go up on stage with a smile on my face and I^m thrilled that I^ve made the quarter-finals."
The quarter-finals will begin on Friday night when Northern Ireland^s Brendan Dolan, last year^s runner-up, plays Justin Pipe, while Mervyn King plays UK Open champion Robert Thornton, who knocked out Phil Taylor on Wednesday.
PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix
Thursday October 11
Andy Hamilton 3-2 Steve Beaton
Colin Osborne 1-3 Paul Nicholson
Adrian Lewis 1-3 Michael van Gerwen
Wes Newton 3-1 Ian White
Friday October 12 (7pm)
Justin Pipe v Brendan Dolan
Wes Newton v Paul Nicholson
Michael van Gerwen v Andy Hamilton
Robert Thornton v Mervyn King
All games the best of five sets, best of five legs per set. All legs must begin and end with a double.
Andy Hamilton v Steve Beaton
0-0 - Steve Beaton wins the bull and throws first.
1-0 - Hamilton secures an immediate break of throw by finishing double seven to take the opening leg.
1-1 - Beaton opens with a 160 and scores 180 to set up a potential nine-darter, hitting the treble 20 but missing the treble 17 for the 161 finish - only to return to post double 12 for a ten-darter to level.
1-2 - Beaton finishes 101 on double 16 to move ahead.
2-2 - Beaton misses two darts at double 16 for the set, and Hamilton pins tops to level.
2-3 - Hamilton kicks off with a 157 score, and both players trade 180s before Beaton misses two further darts for the set, this time at tops. Hamilton, though, misses the bull to finish 86 and Beaton returns to hit double ten to take the set.
1-0 - Hamilton finishes 109 on double 16 to win the second set^s opener.
2-0 - Beaton lands a 180 but Hamilton finishes 76 on tops to break throw.
3-0 - Beaton kicks off with another 160, but Hamilton finishes tops to win the set without reply.
1-0 - Hamilton punishes Beaton for missing a single 18 to leave the bull when on 88, with the Stoke man taking out 87 in two darts to break throw.
2-0 - Hamilton wins his fifth successive leg, initially missing double 16 to finish 110 but being allowed back to hit the bed when Beaton is off-target on both double 16 and double eight.
2-1 - Beaton fires in a 180 and takes out double 16 for a 103 finish to save the set.
2-2 - Beaton again sets up a possible nine-darter by hitting 160 and 180, missing the treble 20 for a 161 finish and - after both players missed chances to win the leg initially - took out double eight to level.
2-3 - Beaton hits a 140 and 180 to move ahead, and has enough cushion to initially miss five darts for the set before landing double four to edge a set he was in danger of losing.
1-0 - Double 18 gives Hamilton the fourth set^s opener, after he had earlier hit a maximum.
1-1 - Beaton levels with a fine 14-darter, finishing on double 16.
2-1 - Hamilton finishes double eight to edge back ahead.
2-2 - Beaton opens with a 160, and although Hamilton posts a 180 the former World Champion lands tops to move a leg away from the win.
3-2 - Hamilton misses four starting doubles but punishes poor scoring from Beaton to be first to a double, initially missing three darts for the set before returning to land double five to force a decider.
1-0 - Beaton misses seven darts to open the leg, and Hamilton hits a 180 and finishes double 16 to break throw and lead in the decider.
2-0 - Beaton wires the bullseye to take out 170, and Hamilton posts tops to move a leg away from the match.
3-0 - Beaton again leaves 170, but is unable to take out the finish and Hamilton follows an earlier 174 score by landing tops for a 13-darter to seal the win.
Colin Osborne v Paul Nicholson
0-0 - Colin Osborne wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 - Osborne posts tops to win the opening leg and settle any early neves.
1-1 - Nicholson lands a 180 and but misses two darts at tops to level, only to return and hit the bed when Osborne is unable to finish 147.
2-1 - Double 12 from Osborne sees him edge back in front.
2-2 - Nicholson levels the set by winning the fourth with the throw.
2-3 - Nicholson lands double ten to break throw and edge the set.
1-0 - Nicholson misses the bull to finish 86, and Osborne takes out 116 on tops to break.
1-1 - Nicholson breaks back by taking out 95 on tops.
1-2 - Double 16 sees Nicholson move a leg away from a two-set lead.
2-2 - Osborne lands tops to level the set, continuing his perfect record on finishing doubles.
2-3 - Osborne misses tops for a 102 finish to win the set, and Nicholson posts double 18 to win a second set.
1-0 - Osborne finishes 127 on the bull to win the third set^s opener.
1-1 - Nicholson levels by posting double two to put himself two legs away from the win.
1-2 - Nicholson breaks throw with a 15-dart finish, landing double ten to move to the brink of a quarter-final place.
2-2 - Nicholson misses a dart at the bull to take victory with a 124 finish, and Osborne lands double 18 to keep his hopes alive.
3-2 - Osborne hits his first maximum of the game to be first to a finish, and takes the set to kick-start his challenge.
1-0 - Nicholson lands a 180, but misses seven darts at double 16 and eight to win the leg, and Osborne takes out tops to steal ahead in the set.
1-1 - Nicholson posts his third maximum of the game and takes out double 16 to break back.
1-2 - Double seven moves Nicholson a leg away from victory for a second time.
1-3 - Nicholson misses one dart at double 15 for the game, but returns when Osborne misses tops to secure the win by posting double six.
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
0-0 - Michael van Gerwen wins the bull and throws first
0-1 - van Gerwen holds throw to win the opening leg on double four, albeit with his sixth dart for the leg.
0-2 - Lewis gets away first but is punished for some sloppy scoring as van Gerwen powers in a 177, and although he misses double 16 for a 132 finish the Dutchman posts double eight to break and double his lead.
0-3 - van Gerwen posts tops to coast to the first set without reply.
1-0 - Lewis settles any early nerves by finishing double ten with his third dart.
2-0 - van Gerwen misses four darts at doubles and Lewis steps in to double his lead in the set with double eight.
3-0 - Lewis opens with a 160 and posts tops to win the set and level the contest.
0-1 - van Gerwen initially misses two darts to win the leg but returns to finish double nine.
1-1 - The Dutch ace opens with 160 and 140 but misses four darts at tops to allow Lewis to steal the leg with his third dart at double eight.
1-2 - van Gerwen edges back ahead with a 14-darter, taking out 64 on double eight.
1-3 - van Gerwen is first away, and initially misses double 14 for a 148 finish before also seeing doubles go begging in two further visits before landing double four to win a second set.
1-0 - Lewis takes out a 170 finish, the first of the week, to lead in set four.
1-1 - van Gerwen takes out 90 on double ten to level.
2-1 - Lewis fires in double 16 to move back ahead.
2-2 - van Gerwen lands tops to move a leg away from the win.
2-3 - van Gerwen seals victory in style with a fine 14-darter on double 16.
Wes Newton v Ian White
0-0 - Ian White wins the bull and throws first
0-1 - White edges a nervy opening leg on double ten.
1-1 - White lands a 180 but Newton pins tops with his first dart to level.
2-1 - White posts his second maximum, but Newton takes out 151 to break and move ahead.
2-2 - White lands a third 180 and finishes 86 to level the set.
3-2 - Newton posts double 16 to win the set against the darts and lead.
1-0 - Newton takes out 130 on the bull to win the second set^s opener.
1-1 - White hits back to level by holding throw.
1-2 - White lands tops to move ahead in the set.
1-3 - White repeats the finish to take the set and level the match.
0-1 - Newton misses nine starting doubles, and White finishes 74 to move back in front.
1-1 - Newton lands tops to level the set.
1-2 - White posts a 180 and finishes double eight to win the third leg.
2-2 - White hits 180 to leave 36, but misses three darts on the wire of double 18 for the set, and Newton steps in to finish 88 in two darts.
3-2 - Newton scores 145 to leave 40 and holds his nerve to post double five with his third dart to edge the set and lead the game once more.
1-0 - Newton hits his first 180 of the game, and is given a let-off for misses as White is off-target with two darts at double eight and one at double nine, letting the Fleetwood ace in on double five.
1-1 - Newton misses the bull to take out 87 and White posts double four to level.
2-1 - White pays for missing his first three darts at an opening double, with scores of 152 and 180 not enough to prevent Newton edging a leg away from the win.
3-1 - Newton moves into the quarter-finals by hitting duoble 16.