Adrian Lewis knocked out of UK Open
Adrian Lewis, the reigning world champion, was knocked out of the UK Open but former winners Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld made it through to the quarter-finals at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton.
Taylor looked in ominous form, averaging over 110, as he beat Ronnie Baxter 9-4 as the 15-times world champion scored seven 180s.
However, Baxter did not simply stand there to watch, landing six 180s and a 156 checkout in reply, and joined Taylor in hitting six perfect darts in one leg only for both players to miss out on a possible nine-darter.
Taylor, who opened the match with a 149 checkout, went 2-0 up before Baxter levelled. But then Taylor turned on the power by winning six successive legs to lead 8-2 and was never in danger after that. "Ronnie's back to his best and he pushed me hard," Taylor said to pdc.tv. "It was a good battle and the only thing missing was a nine-darter.
"It was a better performance from me and I'm improving in each round, and that's good going into Sunday because it's a tough day with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, so I'll be ready for it now."
Taylor now plays Terry Jenkins in the last quarter-finals, after the seven-time major finalist beat Dutchman Michael van Gerwen 9-7. "I'm excited by the draw and Terry's in for a tough match," Taylor said. "He's been playing superbly so I know what I'm up against, but it wouldn't matter who I play because it's probably the best-ever UK Open, it's been a brilliant tournament."
Van Barneveld, twice a winner of this tournament came from 8-6 down to beat Peter Wright 9-8. The Dutchman recovered from a series missed doubles by winning the 15th leg, and capitalised in the next to level after Wright burst his score on 138, before the Van Barneveld won the decider on double 12.
"Peter played really well and had some good finishes, but the 138 was a killer for him," admitted van Barneveld, who missed a total of 31 darts at a double in the match. "I was so lucky when he burst the 138 and I missed a lot of crucial shots too, but I hit the double that mattered in the end."
Van Barneveld now Dave Chisnall who qualified with 9-5 win over Australian Simon Whitlock.
Denis Ovens and Jamie Caven, who matched van Barneveld for drama in going the full distance, will also clash in the last eight - with Ovens looking to reach the semis for a third successive year after coming from 8-5 down to beat Paul Nicholson 9-8.
Wes Newton, last year’s runner-up also won 9-8 over Belgium's Kim Huybrechts, having already beaten Lewis in the fourth round. Lewis, who had looked in good form when beating Kevin McDine on Friday night, just could not find his best form as Newton came from 6-5 down to take a 9-7 win from their clash.
Newton, the runner-up last year, now meets Belgian debutant Kim Huybrechts in Saturday night's last 16, and said: "I've played Adrian a few times and they're always good games, and this was no different.
"I produced a couple of good legs at the business end of the match and that proved the difference. Getting to the final last year gave me a lot of self-belief and hopefully I can have a good run again this weekend."
Newton will now play Robert Thornton, who beat Dennis Priestley 9-5.
Quarter-final draw: Wes Newton v Robert Thornton, Dave Chisnall v Raymond van Barneveld, Phil Taylor v Terry Jenkins, Jamie Caven v Denis Ovens (best of 19 legs).
Semi-final draw: Taylor/Jenkins v Caven/Ovens, Chisnall/Van Barneveld v Newton/Thornton (best of 19 legs).
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