‘Better off watching Coronation Street’ - Gary Anderson threatens to quit darts
Anderson, world champion in 2015 and 2016, missed an astonishing 33 shots at doubles and admitted to being frustrated by Suljovic’s inconsistent pace of play at Alexandra Palace.
The Musselburgh man, who hit four ton-plus checkouts in up-and-down third-round World Championship display, told Sky Sports: “It was dire, an absolute joke of a game. I’ve always played darts, but if that’s darts I’m offski.
“Simple as that. If that’s how darts is going to be played I’m away for a game of golf. I’m not going through that again.
“I’m sure there are 90 per cent of folk watching at home, they probably turned over and watched Corrie or something – I would have done.”
Questioning Suljovic’s variable pace of play, Anderson added: “Was he slow in the last set or the third set? No, he wasn’t slow then.
“I just want to throw darts and if you get spanked, the boy’s been better than you. You shake his hand and then you go.
“But I didn’t enjoy that and I’m just sorry for the folk who watched it.”
Anderson – who saw Suljovic miss four darts to close out both the first and third sets before losing them – trailed 3-2 after losing six successive legs.
But the number 13 seed rattled off six legs of his own to finally overcome the Austrian and reach the last 16.
Defending champion Peter Wright crashed out in a shock 4-3 third-round defeat to Germany’s Gabriel Clemens.
The Scot was made to pay for a desperate series of missed doubles in the first three sets as Clemens became the first player from his country to book his place in the last 16.
But there were no surprises for three-time world champion Michael Van Gerwen, who continued his quest for another crown with a 4-0 whitewash of Ricky Evans.
Wright told Sky Sports: “I felt really good going up there, but I had my chances and I didn’t take them. I took it too easily and I got punished.”
Wright had appeared in little danger as he cruised through the opening set but Clemens clawed back to level and the champion began to look sluggish behind closed doors at Alexandra Palace.
By the time Clemens nudged ahead in sets for the first time, Wright had landed just four out of 21 shots at doubles, and the German was well in control as he reeled off the first two legs of the fourth set.
But the game looked to have swung when Clemens missed two darts for a 3-1 lead, allowing Wright to battle back to take the set and establish a two-leg lead in the fifth.
Clemens saved the set with a 144 checkout, levelled in legs after Wright had missed a shot at bull for the set, then fired a 128 checkout to go 3-2 up.
Again Wright hit back to force the decider, piling the pressure on Clemens who had the darts in the decisive leg, but the 37-year-old responded by coolly converting on double 16 for the biggest win of his career.
Clemens told Sky Sports: “I played against the world champion who is such a fantastic player and a nice guy.
“I’m a lucky guy, he missed so many doubles in the first set and he would normally win the game. But I felt good and practised hard, and I’m really happy.”
In the last 16 Clemens will come up against Krzysztof Ratajski who pulled off a minor upset by whitewashing Simon Whitlock in the afternoon session.
Van Gerwen’s quickfire win was a little harsh on Evans whose own average edged into three figures but the Dutchman was at his clinical best to keep command throughout.
Van Gerwen will next face Joe Cullen who edged his good friend Jonny Clayton 4-3, while there were also wins for Ryan Searle and Dimitri Van Den Bergh over Kim Huybrechts and Jermaine Wattimena respectively.
World number three Gerwyn Price beat Brendan Dolan in a seven-set thriller settled by a last leg decider.
Price almost took victory in the sixth set, but the Welshman missed double top for a match-sealing 145 finish.
Dolan’s reprieve was short-lived as Price, who averaged 99.74, took the final set 3-2 to set up a last 16 date with Mervyn King.
England’s Glen Durrant, the number 12 seed, held on for a 4-2 victory over American Danny Baggish after racing in to a 3-0 lead.
Earlier, in the afternoon session, world number six Nathan Aspinall lost 4-2 to Vincent Van Der Voort.
Aspinall had boldly declared he would be crowned world champion after surviving four match darts before winning a sudden-death leg against Scott Waites before Christmas.
But he crashed out to his Dutch rival, despite levelling the match at 2-2 after losing the opening two sets.
King and Jose de Sousa both averaged more than 103 in a high-scoring affair.
But King, who had a second set average of 118.66, raced to a 4-0 win as a relentless display of finishing sealed a last-16 place for the first time since 2014.
Dirk Van Duijvenbode followed up his second round triumph over former world champion Rob Cross with a 4-0 win over Adam Hunt.
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