• World Darts Championship

Anderson sets up Whitlock showdown at Ally Pally

ESPN staff
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Simon Whitlock fended off a valiant comeback from Michael van Gerwen © Getty Images
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Simon Whitlock survived a stunning fightback by Michael van Gerwen to reach the quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship after a thrilling 4-3 victory at Alexandra Palace.

Whitlock looked to be cruising as he won nine of the first 10 legs to take a 3-0 lead, only for Van Gerwen to battle back to force a decider.

The Dutchman missed two darts at doubles in the first leg of the final set, and Whitlock took full advantage to seal the victory, and with it his place in the last eight.

"I am very relieved to have won that," Whitlock said. "I give full credit to Michael for the comeback he produced. He had some amazing darts and had me very worried."

Whitlock will face Gary Anderson in a mouthwatering quarter-final after the Scot eased past Colin Lloyd 4-1 in a high-quality encounter. Fourth seed Anderson is one of the favourites to win the title following Phil Taylor's exit, and the Scot looked to be hitting form in timely fashion as he strolled to a convincing victory.

After an edgy opening set, Anderson won seven legs in a row to establish a 3-0 lead, and never looked in danger of surrendering his advantage. Lloyd avoided the whitewash by winning the fourth set, but Anderson responded emphatically, winning the final set in straight legs to set up a last-eight clash with fifth seed Whitlock.

Dave Chisnall failed to build on his second-round scalp of 15-time world champion Taylor as he slumped to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Andy Hamilton. Chisnall failed to reproduced the form that saw him dump out the world No. 1 as Hamilton eased into the last eight with a clinical display that saw him rack up a three-dart average of more than 99. Hamilton will face Kim Huybrechts in the quarter-finals after the Belgian stunned Paul Nicholson earlier on Thursday.

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