/ Darts

Michael Van Gerwen eases into last 16 at Alexandra Palace

Updated: Monday, 23 Dec 2013 09:14 | Comments

Michael Van Gerwen cruised to victory over Kevin McDine
Michael Van Gerwen cruised to victory over Kevin McDine

Last year's runner-up Michael van Gerwen safely progressed through to the last 16 of the PDC World Darts Championship with a 4-1 victory over Kevin McDine.

The second-seeded Dutchman, who lost 7-4 to Phil Taylor in the final 12 months ago, fired in 11 180 maximums in the triumph at London's Alexandra Palace.

Van Gerwen, who is now favourite for the title following Taylor's surprise exit at the hands of Michael Smith on Friday, was pleased with his performance but admits he will need to improve in the next round, where he will face former finalist Gary Anderson.

The 24-year-old told Sky Sports 1: "I learned a lot from this game. I did quite well, I'm happy with my performance, I can do better but I'll keep that for the next round.

"Last game I didn't play well at all, I'm playing better and I hope I play better next game, and I will need to because I'm playing Gary Anderson.

"There's so many good players left in the tournament and you don't know what to expect. I'll now have a nice Christmas and enjoy myself. I will come back stronger after Christmas."

Anderson, who lost to Adrian Lewis in the final three years ago, booked his spot in the next round in Sunday's afternoon session with a convincing 4-1 win over Brendan Dolan.

It was the ideal birthday celebration for Anderson who turned 43 on Sunday.

Two other former runners-up also had few problems in getting through their second-round matches with Kevin Painter and Simon Whitlock recording 4-0 victories over Paul Nicholson and Jarkko Komula, respectively.

Painter reached the 2004 final while Whitlock achieved the feat in 2010, with both players ultimately falling to Taylor.

England's Painter and Whitlock of Australia will now lock horns in the last 16, with the former saying on www.pdc.tv: "Kevin and I have had some excellent battles over the last few years. I can only see our game on Friday following a similar pattern and I'll be really up for it."

It was not such a good night for three-time world champion John Part though, with the Canadian tumbling out of the competition after losing 4-0 to Wes Newton.

Newton took control of the match after winning six of the first seven legs and he never looked back.
Also in the evening session, Mark Webster battled back from 3-2 down to defeat John Henderson 4-3 in the closest match of the day.

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