Jonny Clayton admits he was fortunate to avoid early World Grand Prix exit
Defending champion Jonny Clayton admitted he was fortunate to avoid an early exit after surviving a scare on the opening night of the World Grand Prix in Leicester.
Llanelli-born Clayton scraped into the second round by coming from a set down to defeat 2020 finalist Dirk Van Duijvenbode 2-1 at the Morningside Arena.
Clayton’s three-dart average of 82.24 was slightly lower than that of his Dutch opponent (83.69).
“Listen, Dirk should have won that, end of,” the world number seven told Sky Sports. “I had my chances. I just scraped through.
“I’m glad to get through obviously but I nicked that big time. I struggled tonight. I don’t know why. I was feeling great and just I couldn’t get going.”
Belgian Dimitri Van den Bergh awaits Clayton in the last 16 after he eliminated two-time runner-up Dave Chisnall 2-1.
Five-time winner Michael Van Gerwen fired three 180s as he set aside a nervy start to ease past Gary Anderson 2-0, while world number two Peter Wright overcame Belgian Kim Huybrechts by the same scoreline.
Adrian Lewis produced superb checkouts of 152, 101 and 147 as he defeated world number six Jose De Sousa 2-0 in the final clash of Monday evening.
Two-time world champion Lewis will next face Chris Dobey, who earlier hit brilliant 136 and 138 checkouts en route to defeating Luke Humphries 2-0.
Krzysztof Ratajski and Stephen Bunting also progressed with 2-0 victories, beating Callan Rydz and Brendan Dolan respectively.
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