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Simon Whitlock produced a sensational display of darts as he demolished Ronnie Baxter with a 10-1 victory to reach the last eight of the Players Championship Finals.

‘The Wizard’ entertained a delighted crowd at Butlins, Minehead as he put on an exhibition of heavy scoring and fantastic finishing in his second round triumph on Saturday evening.

Whitlock averaged almost 110 and hit a magnificent 170 checkout as he moved into the quarter-finals.

“That’s my best performance on TV,” said Whitlock, who recently won his first PDC major title, the European Championship.

“I’d lost to Ronnie a couple of times on TV so I was very focused.

“I’ve been playing very well the last few months and been very solid so I’m feeling good and confidence is high.

“Winning the first major was massive for me and my belief.

“I’ve been putting a lot of practise in and it’s making all the difference.”

‘The Wizard’ got off the mark on double top before pegging double twelve for a break of throw.

Whitlock pinned tops for another break and his first 180 helped him race into a 4-0 lead.

Baxter pulled a leg back but the Australian brilliantly produced back to back eleven dart finishes to go 6-1 in front.

The number two seed pinned double eight to move further ahead before a fabulous 122 checkout on the bull gave him another break of throw.

‘The Wizard’ then produced a moment a pure magic with a sensational 170 checkout, which moved him within a leg of victory.

He wrapped up a wonderful win, hitting double six to set up a quarter-final tie with Gary Anderson.

Mervyn King also won his second round match, defeating Steve Beaton 10-7.

King faces Justin Pipe in the quarter-finals.

Robert Thornton and Michael van Gerwen were denied last eight places, however.

Thornton lost out to Anderson in an all Scottish affair while van Gerwen slipped to a 10-8 defeat at the hands of Andy Hamitlon.

Sunday sees the conclusion of the 2013 Players Championship Finals, with the quarter-finals taking place in the afternoon session before the semi-finals and final are played out in the evening.

By Chris Murphy

Image courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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