Michael Van Gerwen drops out of World Grand Prix after losing to Danny Noppert
Michael Van Gerwen was knocked out of the World Grand Prix in the first round after losing in straight sets to fellow Dutchman Danny Noppert.
Van Gerwen, who was trying to win the annual double-start tournament for the sixth time, lost both legs 3-2 in a rocky encounter at Leicester’s Morningside Arena.
Three-time world champion Van Gerwen came close to winning the first nine darts to finish on a 170 in PDC history in the first round of the second set, but missed the bull.
Noppert went on to produce a 103 to take the second set to a decider and at 2-2 Van Gerwen had to call for missing too many trebles.
In his post-match interview on the official PDC Twitter account, Noppert revealed that there had been anger exchanges between the two during the match.
“I’m really happy with this win and my own performance, it was really good,” said Noppert. “But after the first set we had some problems with each other.
“Every time I was on a double he would hit the ground and after the first set we met backstage and had words with each other.
“It was my impression, but I’m happy with the victory. I just continued.
Jonny Clayton celebrated his 47th birthday with an impressive 2-0 win over Callan Rydz, hitting six doubles in 10 attempts and losing just one leg.
Premier League champion Clayton, the world number 14, averaged over 95 and landed 170 cases en route to the final 16.
Clayton said in his post-game interview on the official PDC Twitter account: “I kept shaking to be honest, but the job done, I had a tough opponent.
“I had my Nandos, I love my Nandos, but no one bought them for me on my birthday, I had to pay for them myself! I can relax now for a day or two.
In a clash of former world champions, Rob Cross claimed the 2-0 victory over Peter Wright.
Cross landed three legs on the spin after losing the first set to win the first set.
Wright, the second seed and defending World Matchplay champion, had his chances in the second set, but Cross proved too clinical.
Cross said on the PDC’s Twitter account: “I played well. I was better in the first set, the second set a bit slow and I never got away.
“In a tournament that I have probably wrestled in, I have to be thankful. Peter is a great player and I’ve been playing for more years than me, but I’m going to take the win and move on.
Former World Grand Prix finalist Gary Anderson fell at the first hurdle, losing 2-1 in a tense case against Ian White.
White sealed the victory with his ninth match dart in the deciding game after Anderson tied him at 2-2 with two 180s.
“I’m happy to pass, but I don’t think it’s a classic,” White said. “We’re both good friends. We go fishing together, so it was hard work.
Krzysztof Ratajski earned his first World Grand Prix victory in the third attempt after beating world number 10 Nathan Aspinall 2-1.
Ratajski said: “I am very happy. It was one of the toughest games of my career. It was really hard for me and I’m glad I won.
“Nathan Aspinall is a class player. He’s one of the best players in the Premier League, so I’m happy.
Darius Labanauskas won the second round on his tournament debut, beating 2011 runner-up Brendan Dolan 2-1, and Vincent Van Der Voort defeating Germany’s Gabriel Clemens 2-0.
In the last game of the evening, Portugal’s Jose De Sousa clinched a 2-0 victory over Glen Durrant, who struggled throughout and won only one set.