PDC World Championship: Adrian Lewis beats Nigel Heydon
PDC World Darts Championship
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Thursday 15 December - Monday 2 January
- Live television coverage on Sky Sports 1
Defending champion Adrian Lewis was given a huge scare before beating world number 46 Nigel Heydon 3-2 in the first round of the PDC World Championship.
Heydon played some superb darts to lead 2-0 in the best-of-five-sets match.
The second seed struggled to find his range but somehow got himself back into the game and scrambled to victory.
Earlier, sixth seed and two-time semi-finalist Mark Webster was beaten 3-2 by fellow Welshman Richie Burnett in another thriller.
Defending champion Lewis was left facing an early exit from the Alexandra Palace tournament as Heydon raced into a commanding lead, before Lewis claimed the third set despite suffering a wasp sting.
Lewis then broke to go 2-1 up in the fourth set but he gave himself another scare when he made a mess of a 70 checkout. However, Heydon missed 40 and five and Lewis levelled the match score with double eight to make it 2-2 and send it to a decider.
Undaunted, Heydon hit a maximum in the opening leg of the fifth set as he broke Lewis to put the pressure on again, but he then missed double top and Lewis coolly checked out on 97 to level the set.
Although Heydon hit another maximum in the next leg, he missed a double 16 and Lewis responded with a double five to take the lead for the first time in the match and put him one leg from victory.
Both players showed signs of nervousness but Heydon made it two legs apiece with double top and Lewis missed six darts at a double before Heydon went 3-2 in front with double four.
That left Lewis needing to break the Heydon throw to stay in the tournament and after hitting back-to-back 140s, he landed double top to level the match again and then edged ahead with an 11-dart leg to put him one away from the win.
Heydon missed two darts at double and Lewis stepped up to hit double top for victory.
The Webster versus Burnett game featured 20 maximums and, in a thrilling final set, both players missed doubles at key times before, with Webster missing three darts at double five, Burnett, the 1995 BDO world champion, hit double top to seal the win.
Dutchman Roland Scholten, who has been struggling with shoulder problems in recent times, showed a welcome return to form with a 3-1 victory over 18th seed Jamie Caven.