World Darts Championship: Convincing Win for Whitlock

SIMON WHITLOCK 3 – 0 Ross Smith

Simon Whitlock made a fine start to his 2014 World Darts Championship campaign, dispatching of Alexandra Palace debutant Ross Smith in straight sets on Tuesday night.

Former runner-up Whitlock showed signs of the clinical finishing that saw him reach the final in 2010.

The Australian ace ended the match with a 56% checkout percentage and a 97 three-dart-average as he progressed to the second round convincingly.

“I’m very pleased with the result,” said Whitlock, who immediately signalled his title ambitions.

“Once I got in front I didn’t let go of it. I’ve started okay but I’ve got better than that in the tank.

“The first round is always difficult as it carries a lot of pressure. It’s been a great day for Australia after we won the ashes so I’m happy to have won on this day.

“I want to be a World Champion. It’s my dream and I can do it. I believe I can go all the way”

Whitlock hit a 180 in the opening leg as he broke Smith’s throw immediately but his opponent levelled, before ‘The Wizard’ took the next two legs to win the first set, adding another maximum in the process.

The Australian doubled his lead as he wrapped up the second set 3-2 with finishes of 64, 66 and 120.

Whitlock continued his sharp finishing as he took out 90 in two darts to break the throw straight away in set three.

Smith broke back 104 checkout but the world number four finished the job, winning the next two legs to seal victory, adding a fifth 180 along the way.

Whitlock will take on Jarkko Komula on Sunday afternoon.

By Chris Murphy

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