Gary Anderson laughs at single-figure visit during defeat to Michael van Gerwen

A difficult year for Gary Anderson continued last night as he crashed out to Michael van Gerwen in the first round of the World Grand Prix in Leicester.

Van Gerwen – chasing a sixth World Grand Prix success – ran out a resounding 2-0 winner against two-time world champion Anderson in a repeat of the 2016 final.

The Dutchman reeled off a scrappy first set without reply, despite Anderson missing darts to win every leg – squandering 11 darts at double in total. The Scot responded with a clinical 84 checkout to seize control of the second set, but after firing back with a 15-dart riposte, Van Gerwen followed up his third 180 with a 106 finish to seal the match in 12 darts.

READ MORE: Michael van Gerwen calls Gary Anderson ‘part-timer’ after World Grand Prix clash

“The first round at the World Grand Prix against Gary Anderson is never going to be easy,” admitted Van Gerwen, who averaged 101 in a superb second set display.

“You never know with Gary. He still has a lot of talent and is a brilliant player, so you have to perform well. We both missed so many doubles in the first set, but the second set is something to build on for the next round.”

While there were flashes of Anderson’s brilliant best, there were too many poor visits, including one at the start of the second set where he didn’t even get into double figures.

Going for the treble 20 bed, he veered off into treble one with both his first and second darts. But Anderson refused to switch to 19s, only to hit another treble one for an embarrassing score of nine, leaving Anderson chuckling to himself ruefully.

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Elsewhere on opening night, Jonny Clayton survived a scare as he began his title defence with a comeback victory over Dirk van Duijvenbode, who dominated early on.

Clayton’s terrific 130 finish midway through set two shifted the momentum. As an increasingly frustrated Van Duijvenbode faltered late on the Welshman capitalised to move through to a meeting against Dimitri Van den Bergh, who edged past Dave Chisnall.

World Champion Peter Wright defied a spirited fightback from Kim Huybrechts to begin his bid for a maiden World Grand Prix crown with a 2-0 win in a high-quality affair.

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