Phil Taylor began his pursuit of a 17th World Darts Championship title with a comfortable first-round victory at Alexandra Palace.
Taylor, who produced the highest checkout of the tournament so far with a 167, sealed a 3-0 win over Japan’s Keita Ono.
The 55-year-old dropped only one leg and ended the match with an impressive 121 finish.
“A 20th world title will top everything and that is what I am after,” an animated Taylor told Sky Sports afterwards.
Taylor, who last won the world title in 2013, added: “Listen, I want to improve. I am sick of Michael van Gerwen. I am sick of getting beaten. This is my job. I could retire tomorrow – of course I could – but I want to improve.
“I want to be the best player Sky have ever had. I want to be Tony McCoy. I want to be David Beckham, Ronnie O’Sullivan. I want to be the best there has ever been.”
Earlier, Englishman Ricky Evans produced a stunning comeback to beat Simon Whitlock in the best match of the tournament so far.
Australian Whitlock, the number 10 seed, appeared on course to cruise through to the second round and had two darts to secure a straight-sets win.
But Evans, 25, bounced back in emphatic fashion to win 6-4 in the decisive set with a 130 checkout.
“I can’t even speak,” a jubilant Evans said. “I wasn’t in the game but as soon as I won the third set my head was up.
“Early on I was very slow but with the third-set victory I sped up and played my proper game. I have got so many family friends and management and this is for them.”
In the afternoon session on day three, ninth seed Ian White was eliminated at the first hurdle after defeat by Dimitri van den Bergh.
Belgian Van den Bergh, ranked only 62nd on the order of merit, moved to within one set of the biggest win of his career after a 103 finish in the third set.
And while White attempted a late comeback, it was the Belgian who finished with a double 16 in the conclusive leg of the fourth set to seal a shock 3-1 win.
Elsewhere, Vincent van der Voort, Steve Beaton and Kevin Painter safely progressed to the next round with comfortable victories on day three.
Beaton, the 1996 Lakeside world champion, checked out with an impressive 164 finish in his 3-0 victory over Koha Kokiri.
Van der Voort and Painter also secured the same outcome after they beat Laurence Ryder and Kim Viljanen respectively in straight sets.