Whitlock avoids joining the shocks

21 December 2017 20:58:51 GMTPlus11

Tenth seed Simon Whitlock made it safely through to the second round of the 2018 PDC World Championship as he avoided becoming the latest big-name causality to fall on the opening week with a 3-1 victory over Martin Schindler.

The Wizard was struggling with an illness, however, still recorded five 180s and hit his doubles at the right times to deny the young German from progressing any further on his debut in the event.

Whitlock, a former finalist at the Alexandra Palace, is 1212/1 to win the tournament and will now face either Darren Webster or Devon Petersen when the competition resumes after Christmas.

Elsewhere, Michael Smith was taken to five sets by Steve Lennon before taking the decider 3-1.

The former youth world champion hit ten 180s, the most by any player in the tournament so far. Bully Boy closed out the match with a 15-darter to a book a meeting with Rob Cross, where he is 12/5 in the betting for that contest.

In the final game on the oche at the Alexandra Palace, Justin Pipe overcame a scare to beat Bernie Smith 3-2.

The preliminary round winner came from 2-0 down to level the match at 2-2, before Pipe won the final set by two clear legs 4-2 to be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Peter Wright begins his campaign for a maiden world title on Thursday when he takes on Diogo Portela in the first round.

Snakebite has not had the perfect preparation for this tournament as he was hospitalised at the start of the month.

The UK Open winner has made a full recovery from his illness though and can be backed at 1212/1 to lift the trophy on January 1st for what would be his second major PDC title.

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