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World Grand Prix Darts: van Gerwen Sets Early Pace In Dublin

Michael van Gerwen safely through as rival Phil Taylor suffers an early exit

Michael van Gerwen, World Grand Prix, Round One (Lawrence Lustig, PDC) 2016

WORLD NUMBER ONE Michael van Gerwen fired in the highest average of the first round but had to come from a set behind to see off Steve Beaton in round one of the World Grand Prix in Dublin on Tuesday evening.

The Dutch star fell behind largely down to a killer 135 checkout from his evergreen opponent, who took the first set 3-1, but he bounced back in typical style reeling off six straight legs to clinch the following two sets and the match.

“I’m really happy with my performance,” said van Gerwen, who averaged an impressive 97 in the double-start format. “Steve did well but I think I produced something really special in the last six legs.

“The format goes up now and it suits me because you don’t have to worry about one mistake.”

Meanwhile, 11-time World Grand Prix champion Phil Taylor became one of five of the eight seeded players to lose in the first round.

‘The Power’ was beaten by Steve West, while Peter Wright, James Wade, Michael Smith and defending champion Robert Thornton all also exited in the opening round.

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