Darts: Fallon Sherrock lands blow for women with historic world championship win over Ted Evetts

Fallon Sherrock celebrating after becoming the first women to win a game in the PDC Darts World Championship at Alexandra Palace in London, on Dec 17, 2019. PHOTO: AP

LONDON (REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN, AP) - Darts history was made at the PDC World Championship when Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to win a match at the prestigious event, stunning Ted Evetts 3-2 in front of a raucous crowd at London's Alexandra Palace on Tuesday (Dec 17).

The 25-year-old trailed 2-1 against Evetts, 77th on the PDC Order of Merit, but hit back to seal victory, landing six 180s with a 91.12 average.

When her dart landed in the double 18 to finish, the typically festive crowd produced the biggest roar of the tournament so far.

"I have proved that we can play the men and can beat them," the 25-year-old Englishwoman, a 2,000-1 title shot, said.

She was one of two women to qualify for the tournament featuring 96 players. The other, Japan's Mikuru Suzuki, took James Richardson to a deciding leg before losing 3-2 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Gary Anderson comfortably avoided an early exit with a 3-0 victory over Brendan Dolan, even as the seeds have been falling fast at this year's tournament.

The 2015 champion never looked in danger against Dolan, who struggled to hit his doubles throughout. Anderson averaged below 80 in the first set but improved as the match went on, hitting seven 180s and a 144 checkout.

He told Sky he was relieved not to become the latest big name to fall, having missed a number of tournaments this year with a back problem.

"I've been putting 12 months of practice into four days," the No 5 seed said. "A lot of boys have gone out, and they're spending their Christmas at home. I'll be coming back this year."

He paid tribute to Suzuki, the BDO women's world champion. "She's fantastic. She's a credit to the game of darts. It shows anyone can play."

Three other women - Gayl King, Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton - have previously played matches at a PDC World Championship, darts' flagship event.

Sherrock faces Austrian Mensur Suljovic in the second round.

"I feel really happy because I have made something for women's darts," she said. "I can't believe it. To do that on the biggest stage, wow. I am so happy that I can continue."

Vincent van der Voort also sidestepped a potential upset, beating Irish teenager Keane Barry 3-0. The 17-year-old averaged above 90 on an impressive debut, but the Dutchman - who was playing at world championships before Barry was born - landed the crucial doubles as his experience told.

"It definitely wasn't a comfortable game to play in, I'm so happy to win," he said afterwards. "I'm known as a quick player but at one point I thought 'I need to slow down' because he's playing too fast for me!"

Van der Voort, who turned 44 on Wednesday, will face Dave Chisnall in the second round.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.