MICHAEL VAN GERWEN raced into the BetVictor World Matchplay quarter-finals with an 11-3 win over Kyle Anderson at Blackpool's Winter Gardens on Tuesday, as Adrian Lewis overcame Gerwyn Price to join Dave Chisnall and Peter Wright in the last eight.
Reigning champion van Gerwen had whitewashed Jamie Caven 10-0 in the first round on Saturday and was in equally ruthless mood against Australia's Anderson, who found himself 5-0 down as the Dutchman made an explosive start.
A 160 checkout saw Anderson get off the mark and he also took out a 13-darter to pull back to 7-2, with van Gerwen finishing double 19 and 100 to edge away once more before completing a heavy win.
"I can do a lot better but I got the win and that's the most important thing, and it was a really confident win to go into the quarter-finals," said van Gerwen.
"I know I'm going to need more because there are tough opponents ahead but I got the job done against a good player tonight. My form is coming and I have to concentrate on my next game."
Van Gerwen now meets Dave Chisnall in the quarter-finals on Thursday, after the St Helens ace won through to the last eight for a fourth successive year in Blackpool with an 11-2 romp against Scotland's Robert Thornton.
Thornton had won his first-ever game at the World Matchplay in his seventh appearance when he defeated Josh Payne on Saturday, but never recovered from seeing Chisnall open up an early 7-1 lead, with a 132 bull finish the stand-out moment of some fine darts.
Thornton took out 130 on the bull to respond briefly in leg nine, but Chisnall landed a 180 in the next, two double top finishes to move 10-2 up and double ten to complete a big win.
"It went well tonight and the week is looking good so far," said Chisnall. "Robert missed a few doubles for big checkouts and I took my doubles and punished him.
"The scoreline could have been closer but I played well enough to win the game and I think I deserved it.
"This is the second biggest competition on the calendar and I'm hoping to do well. I'm playing steady darts but I want to past the quarter-finals now and I'll be trying my hardest on Thursday."
2013 World Matchplay finalist Adrian Lewis claimed revenge over Gerwyn Price for last year's second round defeat to the Welshman as he took an 11-5 win.
After a build-up which had seen the pair trade words on social media ahead of the game, it was Lewis who landed the early blow by taking a 3-0 lead.
Price hit back to trail 3-2, but Lewis won four of the next five legs to move into a 7-3 lead before landing a 100 checkout as he held out to seal victory on double 16.
"The result was satisfying but I'm not happy with my performance and it wasn't a great game," said Lewis. "I finished quite well apart from one or two legs and I know my form is there.
"If Gerwyn had started firing straight away I'd have matched it or bettered it, and if I'm put under pressure I perform. I got the result and I'll get ready for the quarter-final now because Peter's a quality player but I will go up there and try to do a job."
Lewis now faces number five seed Peter Wright in the quarter-finals, with the Scot overcoming Ian White 11-6 with a dominant display.
Wright opened the game with a 116 finish, broke throw in leg two and landed a 174 in the third before White took two of the next three to reduce the gap to 4-2.
Wright finished 82 and 81, for an 11-darter, in a run of three successive legs as he pulled clear before punishing White further by moving into a 10-3 lead, and though the world number 12 responded with three successive legs it was not enough as a 108 checkout sealed the 2015 semi-finalist's place in the last eight.
"It wasn't my best game and I was battling myself," said Wright. "The heat on stage felt hotter than when we played outside in Dubai I think and my darts were kicking to the right when they went into the board.
"I was having to concentrate more on keeping my darts straight which maybe was a good thing because it took the pressure off playing Ian. Neither of us got going but I managed to get over the winning line and that's all that counts.
"If I want to win this I'll have to play better than that. If my darts go straight then it doesn't matter who's in the competition, Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen, whoever, they'd be in trouble."
The second round concludes on Wednesday, with 15-time World Matchplay champion Phil Taylor back in action as he faces Mensur Suljovic, World Champion Gary Anderson up against Terry Jenkins, Michael Smith's contest with Steve Beaton and Mervyn King's tussle with Brendan Dolan.
BetVictor World Matchplay
Tuesday July 19
Robert Thornton 2-11 Dave Chisnall
Peter Wright 11-6 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Kyle Anderson
Adrian Lewis 11-5 Gerwyn Price
Wednesday July 20 (7pm)
Mervyn King v Brendan Dolan
Michael Smith v Steve Beaton
Phil Taylor v Mensur Suljovic
Gary Anderson v Terry Jenkins
Best of 21 legs
Robert Thornton v Dave Chisnall
0-1 - Chisnall fires in a 174 before landing double eight to break throw immediately.
0-2 - Chisnall this time scores 168 to set up double eight.
1-2 - Thornton finishes 61 on double 18 to hit back with his first leg.
1-3 - Chisnall opens with two 180s, and though he is unable to complete a nine-darter he takes the leg on double ten.
1-4 - Chisnall's fine start continues as he breaks throw once again, finishing 48 on double 16.
1-5 - A brilliant 132 bull finish sees Chisnall extend his advantage - averaging 112 in-running.
1-6 - Chisnall takes out 56 on tops to move five legs clear.
1-7 - A scrappy leg sees both players miss a host of doubles before Chisnall lands double one to win his fifth straight leg.
2-7 - Both players land 180s before Thornton regains his range on the doubles with a superb 130 bull checkout.
2-8 - Chisnall fires in his fourth maximum before landing double 16 to move three legs away from a third successive quarter-final.
2-9 - Tops sees Chisnall extend his cushion further.
2-10 - Another tops finish sees Chisnall move to the brink of victory.
2-11 - Thornton misses the bull, double four and two to keep his hopes alive, and Chisnall lands a third dart double ten to secure victory and move into the last eight.
Peter Wright v Ian White
1-0 - Wright finishes 116 to claim the opening leg.
2-0 - White lands a 180 but misses double 16 to finish a 139 combination before seeing a further three darts go astray as Wright steps in on tops to break.
3-0 - Wright fires in a 174 to leave 32 as he moves three legs up.
3-1 - White opens with two 180s to tee up a possible nine-darter, and though he misses a seventh treble 20 he returns to win the leg on double four.
4-1 - Wright hits his first maximum before double 12 restores his cushion.
4-2 - White responds to cut the gap to two legs.
5-2 - Wright finishes 82 to restore his lead.
6-2 - The number five seed takes out 81 on double 12 to break throw.
7-2 - Wright wins a third successive leg as he moves five clear.
7-3 - White lands a 180 and double ten to hit back.
8-3 - White misses his chance to break as Wright returns on double 16.
9-3 - Double three sees Wright move two legs away from the win.
10-3 - An 86 finish pushes Wright to the verge of the quarter-finals.
10-4 - White hits his seventh 180 before finishing double 16 to keep his hopes alive.
10-5 - White fires in an eighth 180, and when Wright misses double five for the match on a 130 finish the Stoke ace steps in to finish a third-dart double ten to stay in the game.
10-6 - White's revival continues as double ten wins him a third successive leg.
11-6 - Wright seals victory in style by taking out 108 on double 16.
Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson
1-0 - Anderson lands a 180, but misses three darts at doubles to lead before van Gerwen posts double ten.
2-0 - The reigning champion lands a 180 and double eight to move two legs up.
3-0 - van Gerwen hits a 180 and a 177 as he claims a third leg.
4-0 - The Dutchman continues his brilliant start on double eight.
5-0 - van Gerwen lands a 171 score, and when Anderson misses the bull he takes out 94 to win a fifth straight leg - and a 16th in total in Blackpool after his winning leg in the 2015 final and Saturday's 10-0 demolition of Jamie Caven.
5-1 - Anderson gets off the mark with a sensational 160 checkout.
6-1 - van Gerwen responds with a 128 finish.
7-1 - The Dutchman hits another 180 before taking out 117.
7-2 - Both players hit maximums before Anderson finishes double five for a 13-darter.
8-2 - Double 19 sees van Gerwen move three legs away from the quarter-finals.
9-2 - van Gerwen finishes 100 to continue his charge.
9-3 - Anderson lands his third 180, and when van Gerwen misses three darts at doubles the Australian steps in on double 12.
10-3 - van Gerwen takes out 56 on double 18 to edge towards victory.
11-3 - van Gerwen completes victory in style with a 14-darter as he moves into the quarter-finals.
Adrian Lewis v Gerwyn Price
1-0 - With the pair having traded words on social media in advance of the game, the eagerly-awaited opening leg is won by Lewis on tops.
2-0 - Lewis opens with a 174 score before breaking throw on double 12.
3-0 - Lewis wins a third leg, taking out 87 on double 18.
3-1 - Lewis lands a 177 to leave 16, but Price finishes 52 on tops to claim his first leg.
3-2 - Price again fires in tops to cut the gap to one.
4-2 - Lewis returns on tops to edge away from the Welshman.
5-2 - Lewis receives a let-off for missed doubles in two visits as he returns on double two.
5-3 - Price finishes 68 on tops to hit back.
6-3 - Lewis takes out 76 in two darts to move three legs up.
7-3 - Lewis lands a 180 before punishing Price's missed doubles across two visits by landing double four.
7-4 - Lewis hits a second 180, but misses seven darts at doubles as Price steps in this time on double two.
8-4 - Price's miss at tops is punished as Lewis hits the same bed to regain a four-leg cushion.
9-4 - Lewis finishes 100 in two darts to move two legs away from the quarter-finals.
9-5 - Lewis misses double 13 to finish 146, and Price lands a third-dart double five to respond.
10-5 - Price is unable to finish 72, and Lewis lands tops to move to the brink of victory.
11-5 - Price misses the bull to finish 164 and a further two darts at double 12 go begging before Lewis seals victory on double 16.