James Wade began his campaign to claim an eighth major, and first Ladbrokes World Championship title, with a convincing win over Petri Korte at the Ally Pally.
Wade produced a string of clinical finishes and looked comfortable throughout, despite his opponent’s valiant performance.
The Machine wasted no time in winning the first set. He hit double top with his first attempt in the opening leg, and quickly doubled his lead by hitting double ten to break the throw. He then produced a nice 88 finish to go a set in front in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
Korte got a leg on the board before Wade hit back with another successful shot at double top. He then hit the bull for a stunning 95 finish to break his opponent again. The Machine continued to finish brilliantly as he took out 70 in two darts to double his lead.
Korte, who had won a preliminary round match earlier in the evening, took out 71 to break Wade’s throw and take the lead in the third set. He then hit the bull to leave himself a leg away from taking a set off the UK Open winner. Wade was as deadly as ever on double ten, hitting that bed to take the next leg. He then hit his first 180 but his Finnish opponent did win the set by holding is throw with a 94 check out.
Wade went two legs behind in the fourth set thanks to a 112 and a 106 checkout from Korte. The Machine avoided a deciding set though, as he won the next three legs to book his place in round two. He hit double five to break the throw before hitting double top to level the set. Wade fittingly ended with another fabulous finish, this time 115, to break again and win the match.
Wade will be in second round action on December 29th.
By Chris Murphy