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Fallon Sherrock becomes first woman to beat a man at PDC world darts

Category: Sport 
2019-12-20

Fallon Sherrock has made darts history, beating Ted Evetts 3-2 to become the first woman to beat a man at the PDC world championship. The 25-year-old hit six 180s and landed a 91.12 average on her way to her first-round win, sealed with a nerveless double 18 that sent Alexandra Palace into raptures.

 

“I’m speechless, I don’t know what to say,” an emotional Sherrock said on stage afterwards. “I feel really happy because I have proven something for women’s darts, that women can play the men and beat them, so fingers crossed this is a move in the right direction. I’m over the moon, I can’t believe it!”


Sherrock broke decisively in the opening game of the fifth set, landing double seven after Evetts had missed double 10. The breakthrough came after a terrific battle in the fourth set, where Sherrock missed a dart for the set but rallied with a 165 setup and double-18 checkout to level at two sets apiece.

 

Evetts took the first set with a 13-dart break of throw in the fourth game, but Sherrock, the BDO women’s world No 4, matched that in the opening leg of the second. Six perfect darts helped the Milton Keynes player hold her throw, and she then took out 80 to level the match.

 

Sherrock took charge of the third set with a 100 checkout, but missed four set darts at 2-1 ahead, allowing Evetts to fight back, taking out double eight to retake the lead. It seemed that Sherrock’s chance had gone, but she fought back in spectacular fashion to write her name in the history books. She will face the No 11 seed, Austria’s Mensur Suljovic, in the second round.

 

Sherrock is the fifth woman to take part in the men’s PDC world championship, and the fourth since a qualification pathway was created for women last year. That move ensured two places among the 96-strong field each year would go to female players.


Sherrock, whose twin sister Felicia also plays darts, earned her place by winning the UK & Ireland women’s qualifying event. Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki, who won the BDO world title in January, won the Rest of the World qualifier, but lost to James Richardson in a sudden-death leg on Sunday.

 

Last year, women’s world No 1 Lisa Ashton lost 3-1 to Jan Dekker, and Russia’s Anastasia Dobromyslova, who appeared as a wild card in 2009, was beaten 3-0 by Ryan Joyce. The first woman to compete in the men’s draw was Canada’s Gayl King, who lost in the first round in 2001.

 

In the evening’s final match, Jeffrey de Zwaan battled back to avoid an upset against US qualifier Darin Young. The Dutchman trailed 2-1 in sets, and found himself 2-0 down in the fourth, with Young missing two match darts at double eight. That sparked a dramatic revival from the No 23 seed, who swept to a 3-2 victory.

 

 

Earlier, Australia’s Damon Heta set up an intriguing second-round tie with the BDO world champion, Glen Durrant, by beating Portugal’s José de Sousa 3-0 – winning each set on the deciding leg. In the evening’s first match, debutant Ritchie Edhouse defeated Russia’s Boris Koltsov 3-1 in their first-round encounter, and will face James Wade next.

 

 

In the afternoon session, Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski earned his first-ever win at the PDC worlds, beating Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher 3-1. Ryan Searle landed the tournament’s second 170 checkout but was taken to a sudden-death deciding leg before beating Australia’s Robbie King.

 

There were mixed fortunes for the two Filipino players in the draw. Lourence Ilagan let a two-set lead slip against Spain’s Cristo Reyes, but Noel Malicdem swept past Rowby-John Rodriguez in straight sets to set up a meeting with Peter Wright.

 


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