Chisnall shines as he kicks off World Grand Prix with Klaasen win

Dave Chisnall celebrates victory over Jelle Klaasen in the opening round of the Unibet World Grand Prix.
Dave Chisnall celebrates victory over Jelle Klaasen in the opening round of the Unibet World Grand Prix.

Dave Chisnall produced the most impressive performance of the opening night of the Unibet World Grand Prix as he swept aside Jelle Klaasen.

The Morecambe ace averaged 101 in the double-start format and hit six finishing doubles from as many attempts on Sunday night.

The resort’s 2013 finalist Chisnall came from 2-1 down to win the opening set with finishes of 101 and 80 at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, punishing Klaasen for failing to close out the deciding leg, before taking set two without reply with the aid of two 12-darters.

“I’m really happy, it’s great to play so well,” said Chisnall, who also landed six 180s in the win.

“I missed a couple of doubles to start but my finishing was really good.

“I had to play well to beat Jelle and I did.

“I’m glad to win tonight and I can come back on Tuesday for the second round now, I love it here.”

Chisnall will now play 2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton in round two after the Scot came from a set down to defeat Kim Huybrechts 2-1.

With Gary Anderson having withdrawn with his partner due to give birth, there was also a big upset on opening night as John Henderson saw off reigning champion and world number one Michael van Gerwen in a dramatic final-leg thriller.

“I always seem to make it hard for myself in the first round here but I’m delighted to get through,” said Thornton.

“Kim’s one of the toughest players out there but he missed a few starting doubles and I took my chances.

“I’ve got good memories here and it’s good to be in the second round again.”