Adrian Lewis cruised into the second round of the PDC World Darts Championship, brushing aside Jan Dekker in straight sets at Alexandra Palace.
Two-time champion Lewis, knocked out in the third round last year, claimed a 3-0 win over Dekker to set up a clash with Andrew Gilding, who was also victorious on the night.
After suffering an early scare, Lewis recovered from an early break of throw by threatening a nine-dart finish before storming into the lead with further heavy scoring.
Dekker fought back in the third set, but fifth seed Lewis rounded off an encouraging start to his campaign with a superb 164 to wrap up victory with a match average of 99.53.
Lewis admitted he was pleased with his clinical performance as he avoided becoming another big-name casualty. “It’s always hard first round, I don’t care who you are,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ve been putting the work in, I know my form is coming good, but other parts are mediocre and I’ve got some things to work on over Christmas and before the game with Andrew Gilding.”
Gilding opened the night with a 3-0 win over Gerwyn Price, which included a stunning opening checkout of 132 including two bulls, but was rarely threatened as Price struggled to string together any high scores.
However world youth champion Max Hopp suffered a disappointing first-round exit, coming unstuck at the hand of Benito van de Pas 3-1.
Despite outscoring his opponent throughout, Hopp struggled to hit his doubles and looked to be heading to a comfortable defeat before a third set comeback.
However he missed a crucial double to hold his throw, and left the door open for van de Pas to hit double top and claim a 3-1 win in the fourth set.
Jelle Klaasen produced arguably the most impressive showing of the night to see off the dangerous Joe Cullen 3-0 in the evening’s final match.
Cullen was averaging close to three figures in the opening two sets, but Klaasen was a class apart as he became the first man at this year’s tournament to average more than 100.
The Dutchman finished with an average of 103.92 as he closed out the win in three sets after just 28 minutes to lay down a marker for the rest of the tournament.
“I missed a few small doubles, but I was happy,” he said.
“I was practising today, it felt so easy. I didn’t want to let Joe in the game because I know how well he can play.”