Matches and Results - First Round
Dave Chisnall 6:1 Shintaro Inoue
Raymond van Barneveld 6:1 Keita Ono
Peter Wright 6:0 Chikara Fujimori
Phil Taylor 6:2 Haruki Muramatsu
Adrian Lewis 6:1 Tsuneki Zaha
James Wade 6:1 Masahiro Hiraga
Michael van Gerwen 6:3 Masumi Chino
Gary Anderson 6:1 Seigo Asada
WRIGHT FINDS HIS 'MOJO' AND VAN GERWEN IS MADE TO WORK AS HOME HOPES END IN JAPAN
COLOURFUL Peter Wright impressed in his opening match of the Zipang Casino Tokyo Darts Masters beating Chiara Fujimori 6-0, as all eight Japanese players were eliminated on the opening day of the PDC World Series of Darts event.
Wright had won through to the final of last year's event in Japan as he became a crowd favourite, with his multi-coloured mohican and outfits matched by his superb darts.
A return to Japan brought the best out of the Scot, who hit 100% of his double attempts moving five legs up against Fujimori, eventually finishing with six from nine as he secured a quarter-final spot.
Having allowed a 7-1 lead to slip against Phil Taylor in the Shanghai Darts Masters recently, Wright believes that he's got his 'mojo' back after returning to his colourful best.
"They love the darts here and I love them - I can't wait to get back out there," said Wright. "It's great to have all the gear back on, I've gone missing recently but now I feel like the old Peter Wright is back."
Unlike Wright, Michael van Gerwen was made to work for his 6-3 victory over Masumi Chino in the closest of the first round ties.
The world number one saw his opponent break his throw twice, but van Gerwen always felt in control as he aims to pick up back-to-back World Series titles following his Shanghai triumph ten days ago.
Checkouts of 140 and 101 from Chino looked to have put the pressure on van Gerwen, but the Dutchman produced quality moments every time it looked as if Chino was working his way back in to the match.
"I have to give him credit," said van Gerwen. "He did some good things at the right moments but I knew I would have the quality to come through in the end."
Dave Chisnall opened the night with an impressive 6-1 victory over Shintaro Inoue, averaging 96.64 as he moved through to face van Gerwen in the quarter-finals.
The St Helens ace, though, saw his throw broken in the opening leg as Inoue took the lead - to the delight of the crowd inside the Yoyogi Olympic Hall - but then strung together six legs in a row, including an 11-darter, to take the win.
Chisnall, who hit 42 percent of his double attempts, said he was shocked into life after the first leg, admitting: "I was really nervous during the first leg and couldn't believe the noise the crowd was making for him. I settled in after that though and really enjoyed it at the end."
Raymond van Barneveld moved comfortably in to the quarter-finals with a 6-1 victory over a tricky opponent in Keita Ono, who competed in the 2016 World Championship and World Cup of Darts and gave the crowd a moment of excellence taking out 116 in the second leg to level.
It was van Barneveld, though, who showed his class by putting together a run of five legs in a row to silence the Japanese crowd and claim the win.
Reigning champion Phil Taylor averaged 97.35 on his way to a 6-2 win over Haruki Muramatsu.
The 16-time World Champion was made to work for his win by Muramatsu, who has appeared in four World Championships and was the first Japanese player to win a PDC Tour Card 18 months ago.
"He was getting to me a little if I'm honest," admitted Taylor. "He's a steady player and I had to play well to beat him."
The reigning Japan Masters Champion also said he is looking forward to trying to retain his title in Thursday's finals day, adding: "They're a great crowd, it's great to be here and I'm looking forward to tomorrow already."
Adrian Lewis moved in to the last eight of the Zipang Casino Tokyo Darts Masters after a comfortable 6-1 win over Tsuneki Zaha.
Lewis averaged 90.18 but hit just 30% of his double attempts and admitted that he'll need to improve going in to tomorrow's quarter-final against Wright, saying: "I'll have to do a bit better but I'm happy with the win."
The 50,000 pound bonus for a nine-dart finish and 1,000,000 pound for two in the same match by one player was playing on the mind of the two-time World Champion, who conceded: "It's on all the players' minds, I know it can be done."
A 6-1 victory for James Wade over Masahiro Hiraga saw the Shanghai Darts Masters runner-up move in to the quarter-finals to face Taylor.
Hiraga began the match well, breaking the Wade throw and hitting two maximums in the opening three legs, but he was unable to sustain his level and was punished by the left-hander.
World Champion Gary Anderson rounded the evening off with a 6-1 victory over Seigo Asada.
The first two legs of the match went with throw but after five perfect darts by Anderson in the third leg, the number one seed took control from there and sealed the win by averaging 96.08, hitting six out of 18 double attempts.
|92.87||0||6/11||v.Barneveld ||6:1||Ono ||82.92||0||1/2|
|93.24||0||6/10||v.Gerwen ||6:3||Chino ||81.98||2||3/6|