Kim Huybrechts pulled off a stunning upset to dethrone reigning champion Peter Wright with a 4-1 win in their third-round clash at the Cazoo World Darts Championship.
Although he took the opening set, Wright seemed very much out of sorts at Alexandra Palace and No 31 seed Huybrechts duly took advantage to bring a premature end to the 52-year-old’s quest for a third world title.
‘The Hurricane will be joined in the last 16 by Gerwyn Price, who underlined his status as world No 1 with a 4-0 demolition of former world champion Raymond van Barneveld, and Gabriel Clemens after he edged out Jim Williams in the opening contest of the night.
Tuesday, December 27 – Evening results
|Jim Williams||3-4||Gabriel Clemens (R3)|
|Gerwyn Price||4-0||Raymond van Barneveld (R3)|
|Peter Wright||1-4||Kim Huybrechts (R3)|
Tuesday, December 27 – Afternoon results
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||4-1||Krzysztof Ratajski (R3)|
|Nathan Aspinall||3-4||Josh Rock (R3)|
|Jonny Clayton||4-1||Brendan Dolan (R3)|
Wright, aiming for a third world title, got off to the perfect start against Huybrechts after easing to a 3-0 win in the first set, but the Belgian roared back to level the match in a set in which he averaged over 107 and won legs in 14, 13 and 15 darts respectively.
Despite changing his darts, the World Championship holder continued to struggle in the third set as Huybrechts took a 3-1 win, taking out 51 to seal the set and move in front.
It was much closer in the fourth and Wright was a missed bullseye away from taking the set to level the match, but that allowed Huybrechts to sneak in and force the decider which he duly triumphed in by taking out 67 to put himself on the verge of a memorable victory.
The first two legs of set five were shared, but Huybrechts moved to within one of victory with a 68 checkout in the third. Wright was able to send the set to a decider, yet could not take out 115 and was punished as Huybrechts landed double 18 at the third attempt to go through.
“I just played my game,” Huybrechts, who faces compatriot Dimitri van den Bergh in round four, said. “I beat the name Peter Wright, but the person Peter Wright wasn’t there – I have to be honest about this.
“Normally, he’s 20 times better than this, but I took my chances and I got the win. I did what I had to do, but normally he plays a lot better – everyone knows than and I know that. Beating the world champion, I’m happy.”
Price demolishes Van Barneveld to progress
Price, beaten by Van Barneveld on three occasions this year including their quarter-final meeting at the Grand Slam last month, stormed into an early lead against the Dutch icon following a quickfire first set in which he took out 87 to secure a 3-1 win.
A superb 117 checkout got the Welshman up and running in the second set and he took out 66 to go two sets in front, although ‘The Iceman’ had his cool well and truly tested in the third as Van Barneveld took it to a decider after the pair traded the first four legs.
A missed double eight from the 2007 PDC world champion and four-time winner of the Lakeside title allowed Price to grab the win to go one set away from victory, yet Van Barneveld gave himself a glimmer of hope by going 1-0 up in the fourth on the back of a brilliant 147 finish.
But there was no stopping the 2021 world champion and he secured a clean sweep of Van Barneveld with a 128 checkout in the last leg, setting up a last-16 showdown with either former Grand Slam winner Jose de Sousa or Ryan Searle.
“In the Grand Slam I let Raymond off numerous times, but today I was clinical,” Price said. “One leg I let him off and he wins it and then the crowd are back with Raymond, so it is really tough – but come on!
“I think I scored way better than him, played way better than him, was a deserving 4-0 winner, and you can’t say I’ve never beaten him on TV anymore.
“I’m here to win, I’m not here to make up the numbers. Me and Raymond were both world champions vying for our second PDC world title, so I’m here to win.”
Clemens snatches victory over Williams
Earlier in the evening, Clemens won six of the final seven legs to seal a thrilling 4-3 triumph over Williams and reach the last 16 of the PDC World Championship for the second time in his career.
The ‘German Giant’, roared on by a sizeable contingent of his compatriots in the crowd, reeled off three straight legs to take the first set of the night after Williams took out a fine 111 in the opener. However, the runner-up in the BDO version of the world championship in 2020 struck back immediately by sweeping his opponent in the second which included 13 and 14-dart legs.
The see-saw nature continued into the third set which swung one way then the other, including a 157 checkout from Clemens who won the deciding leg after Williams had made it 2-2 with a superb 134 finish.
The Welshman drew level one more in the fourth set which again went to a deciding leg, capitalising after Clemens missed two doubles for a win which would have put him just one set away from a place in Round Four.
Instead, it was Williams who put himself on the verge of victory as he took the fifth set 3-1, yet there was more drama to come as Clemens hauled himself back from 2-0 down and forced a deciding set after his opponent missed double six for the match.
And the 39-year-old seized his opportunity when it came, booking his place against either No 9 seed Danny Noppert or Alan Soutar in the next round in style with a bullseye finish.
Wednesday at Ally Pally
Three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen returns to the home of darts when he takes on Austria’s Mensur Suljovic in a blockbuster evening session, which also includes ‘The Rockstar’ Joe Cullen and last year’s finalist Michael Smith.
Wednesday, December 28 – Afternoon schedule
|Ryan Searle||vs||Jose de Sousa (R3)|
|Danny Noppert||vs||Alan Soutar (R3)|
|Gary Anderson||vs||Chris Dobey (R3)|
Wednesday, December 28 – Evening schedule
|Joe Cullen||vs||Damon Heta (R3)|
|Michael van Gerwen||vs||Mensur Suljović (R3)|
|Michael Smith||vs||Martin Schindler (R3)|
Two-time back-to-back winner Gary Anderson is in action during the afternoon session when he goes up against ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey.
The third and fourth rounds will be held from December 27-30, before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final take place from January 1-3.
Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports Darts – all the way through to the final on January 3.