Wade makes opening statement
World number three James Wade began his latest quest for a maiden PDC World Darts Championship title with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Peter Hudson at Alexandra Palace on Monday night.
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'The Machine', a two-time semi-finalist at the event, proved far too strong for debutant Hudson and will await the winner of Steve Beaton and Kyle Anderson in round two.
After a heartbreaking 6-5 semi-final defeat to reigning champion Adrian Lewis last year, Wade made the perfect start here against a player who, despite making his debut on the biggest stage, has beaten him twice before.
Wade fired in two maximums in the opening set and needed only one dart to draw first blood on tops. The Aldershot thrower broke Hudson on double 10 in the second and, despite missing single eight, wiped out double 16 to move 2-0 ahead.
With Hudson looking dejected, the third set was a non-event and Wade romped through it in quickfire time. Wade, who dropped just two legs in the match, told Sky Sports afterwards: "It wasn't my best performance but I got the win and I'm relieved to get the game out of the way. Some people are not considering me as a contender in this tournament. But I'm a very capable player and that means that I can take the trophy."
Also on Monday night, Mark Webster overcome a tricky opening hurdle against Ian White to seal his passage in round two.
After an indifferent year, Webster, who finished bottom of the Premier League in his debut season, began his world championships campaign with an impressive 3-1 success.
The left-handed Welshman seed recorded checkouts of 124 and 107 to take the opening set before whitewashing White in the second.
Stoke thrower White capitalised in the third set when Webster missed eight darts for the match, however the left-handed Welshman averaged 115.6 to take the final set in style.
Peter Wright progressed in the opening match on Monday after a stunning 3-0 victory over youngster Arron Monk. 'Snakebite' Wright signalled his intent with a 140 checkout in the first leg before going on to average almost 95 to reach round two.
Wright then sent a message to potential second round opponent Michael van Gerwen after the match, saying: "He's had his little run, even if he wins (his first round match) I'll beat him so it doesn't matter - he aint good enough. He's been playing well but everyone's run comes to an end. If he wins, I'll beat him."
The most impressive performance of the night came from debutant John Bowles, who edged past Jamie Caven 3-2 following a thrilling match.
The 45-year-old Bowles, who earlier in the evening won his preliminary round match against Carlos Rodriguez 4-2, will now meet 2011 runner-up Gary Anderson in the second round.
A delighted Bowles told Sky Sports 2: "It's totally unbelievable really. Everything's a plus for me from now on."