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Michael van Gerwen advances in London, Wes Newton ousted

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen won on the opening night of the 2015 PDC World Championship, while Wes Newton was ousted.

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All eyes were on Dutchman Van Gerwen as he launched his title defence with a tough 3-1 win over England's Joe Cullen at Alexandra Palace, London.

All four sets went to deciding legs, with Cullen missing darts to tie the match at one-set all in the second set.

Van Gerwen's first three visits were 140, 180 and 149, but Cullen astoundingly took the first leg with a 161 checkout to stun the champion.

However, Van Gerwen powered his way to the first set, and while he was fortunate to move two sets up, Cullen angered the number one seed by taking the third.

But Van Gerwen responded in the fourth, going seven darts deep on a perfect leg at one stage before he sealed victory - and a match average of 96.96 and eight 180s.

Newton, the English 13th seed, was knocked out in thrilling and controversial fashion by Spaniard qualifier Cristo Reyes.

Reyes earlier beat Philippines' Christian Perez 4-0 to book a first-round date with Newton, and the latter contest was decided by a sudden-death leg.

There was confusion aplenty as to whether the players were to have a shot at the bull first or not, and the leg was required to be re-started halfway through as Reyes went for the bullseye with his first dart initially.

Unflustered, the man from Tenerife edged the three-time quarter-finalist, checking out on double 16 for a famous win.

Earlier, Jelle Klaasen beat Christian Kist in a match pitting two Dutch world champions against one another.

Klaasen (2006) and Kist (2012) have both won the BDO World Championship - the rival to the PDC - and the former made all the running on Thursday, winning 3-1.

Two-time PDC world champion John Part was knocked out in the first match of the night, the Canadian denied by young Englishman Keegan Brown.

Brown, 22, was giving 26 years of experience to Part, and while the multiple world champ fought back from losing the first seven legs, the youngster prevailed 3-2.

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