James Wade moved into the second round of the World Championship after a dramatic first round clash against Darren Webster on Thursday evening.
Wade, the PDC’s second most decorated player, won a deciding set after surviving six missed darts for the match by his opponent at London’s Alexandra Palace.
The seven-time major title winner, who is chasing a so far elusive World Championship crown, admitted his relief after getting the job done.
“I feel like the luckiest man in the world,” said Wade, who has reached the semi-finals for the last two years running.
“I can’t believe I won that game, Darren let me in the end. I didn’t get going early enough and I should probably have lost but I’ll be dangerous now. I wouldn’t want to play me.
“That never happens to me. Usually my opponents take those chances so I’ll take that and look forward to the next match.”
The first two sets were shared, with neither player able to break their opponent’s throw.
Wade looked to be on his way to regaining the lead when finishes of 63 and 108 put him two legs up in the third set but Webster fired back, taking the next three legs to move ahead.
A 141 checkout and a second 180 were the highlights for Wade in a crucial fourth set, in which the first four legs went with the throw before ‘The Machine’ punished Webster for missing half-a-dozen match darts by pegging double ten to restore parity.
Wade found the double ten bed again in each of the first two legs in the deciding set to move within one leg of victory, but missed a dart at double top for a 120 checkout and Webster stepped in to break.
Wade broke straight back though, taking out 56 to win the match and set up a second round tie against Andy Smith, who he meets on Monday.
By Chris Murphy
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