Former PDC finalist Simon Whitlock survives scare against Christian Perez

The former finalist Simon Whitlock survived a major scare to reach the second round of the PDC World Darts Championship, while Lisa Ashton suffered a narrow loss.

Whitlock, the runner-up 13 years ago, battled to a 3-2 victory over Christian Perez of the Philippines at Alexandra Palace. Perez twice fought back from a set down and had chances in the decider but missed nine darts at double with the final set tied at 1-1.

“That was a real battle, Christian played really well and it could’ve gone either way,” Whitlock said on pdc.tv. “I think I stayed calm, used my experience and just got lucky really.”

Ashton, four times the women’s world champion, was bidding for her first victory on her fourth appearance on darts’ biggest stage and threatened a sensational comeback against Ryan Meikle. But, having recovered from 2-0 down to level the match, she was unable to maintain her momentum in the decider as Meikle claimed a 3-2 victory.

Daryl Gurney became the first seeded player to go out, losing 3-0 to Alan Soutar in the second round, while Adam Gawlas defeated Richie Burnett 3-2 and Martin Lukeman beat Nobuhiro Yamamoto 3-0.

In the evening session, rising star Josh Rock enjoyed a winning debut, beating Spain’s José Justicia 3-1. Scot Cameron Menzies held his nerve to see off Brazilian Diogo Portela 3-1, and Dimitri van den Bergh defeated Lourence Ilagan 3-0.