It’s hotter than the core of the sun on the Empress Ballroom stage tonight and by his own admission Raymond van Barneveld struggled to play in the oppressive heat, although he still registered a 100+ average and achieved 71% success on the outer ring.

This was more than enough to see off the unorthodox Serbian-Austrian challenge of Mensur Suljovic 10-4 and book his place in round 2, where he joked that his pre-match preparation will be to “practice in a sauna.”

World Matchplay First Round Results

Saturday July 20 (7pm-11pm)

Terry Jenkins 10 v 3 Andy Smith
Raymond van Barneveld 10 v 4 Mensur Suljovic
James Wade 10 v 8 John Part
Simon Whitlock 10 v 8 Jelle Klaasen

Andy Smith and Terry Jenkins kicked off the nights play with The Pieman drawing first blood before going on to take a 2-0 lead. That would be one of his final contributions though as The Bull raged on eventually leaving the stage a 10-3 winner. Jenkins will need to improve on his doubles next time out though – 28% success won’t trouble Taylor or indeed an on-form Kellett.

James Wade and John Part served up an opening night treat for the raucous crowd following the previous one-way processions. A nip and tuck encounter unfolded, and while neither player got the stattos too excited they both obliged with three figure checkouts, accuracy on doubles and a handful of maximums. Wade eventually held his nerve to take the match 10-8.

The final match of the night was contested by Jelle Klaasen and Simon Whitlock, only a brave man would have put their money on this fixture beforehand. Klaasen’s game is moving in the right direction now and this was exemplified by the pair sharing the first 4 legs after Whitlock initially went two nil up.

An 11 dart leg saw the Beard to be Feared restore his 2 leg advantage after the break as he moved 5-3 ahead, a lead he then extended to 8-3 as Klaasen failed to live with his power scoring. The quick-fire Dutchman then stole a couple of legs back, then a few more in a run that included superb check outs of 158  and 118 to close the gap to just one leg at 9-8. Whitlock regrouped though with throws of 177 and 180 in the final leg assisting him over the winning line.

2013 World Matchplay Links

World Matchplay Draw | World Matchplay Schedule | World Matchplay Roll of Honour | World Matchplay History & Related News | World Matchplay 2012 Results | Darts Player Head to Heads | Beat The Tipster | The DartsMad Preview

About The Author