Michael van Gerwen edged a tense battle with Dave Chisnall to progress in the UK Open.
The Dutchman, who was victorious on night five of the Premier League in Exeter on Thursday, won his fourth-round match 10-8 at Minehead Butlin’s.
Van Gerwen, a three-time champion, looked to be racing to victory as he led 9-5 before Chisnall, who won in the European Tour in Germany last week, reeled off three successive legs and had the throw.
Happy to come through that one, Dave is a tough opponent and showed that again tonight. This is one of the hardest days on the calendar but now I can settle into the tournament. Thank you for all the support 💚💚 pic.twitter.com/lNfijeEHBM
— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) March 3, 2023
But Van Gerwen hit back to get over the line without the need for a deciding leg.
He posted on social media afterwards: “Happy to come through that one, Dave is a tough opponent and showed that again tonight.
“This is one of the hardest days on the calendar but now I can settle into the tournament.”
A host of top players did go the distance in an action-packed opening night.
WRIGHT SNEAKS PAST BUNTING!!
Another incredible game to finish the action on Stage Two as Peter Wright comes from behind to beat Stephen Bunting 10-9 and reach the Fifth Round.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) March 3, 2023
Peter Wright, the 2017 champion, won an enthralling contest with Stephen Bunting 10-9, Rob Cross came from behind on several occasions to beat Raymond van Barneveld in the deciding leg, while Nathan Aspinall was also up against it for the majority of his 10-9 win over Alan Soutar.
World number seven Jonny Clayton won a thrilling last-leg battle with Ross Smith and world number five Luke Humphries beat Damon Heta in similar fashion.
World champion Michael Smith eased past Ian White 10-4, Gerwyn Price brushed aside Thomas Banks 10-3 and defending champion Danny Noppert saw off Jim Williams 10-8.
Three-time champion James Wade headed home, though, after he lost 10-8 to Gary Anderson.