Lewis eyes treble top
Two-time champ closes in on world hat-trick
TWO-TIME world champion Adrian Lewis booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship with a battling 4-2 win over Kevin Painter at Alexandra Palace.
Lewis appeared to be cruising to victory in the final contest of the evening but suffered a wobble that allowed his opponent back into the match.
Trailing 2-0, Painter fought back to level at 2-2, but Lewis stayed on course for a third successive title by taking six of the next eight legs to set up a last-eight clash against Michael van Gerwen.
"I'm very pleased to win the match as Kevin has been in better form than me coming into this match," Lewis said.
"We are now into the business of the tournament and I have proved over the last two years I know how to get the job done.
"I'm really looking forward to playing Michael in the next round. He has had an incredible year with his win in the World Grand Prix, and is probably a world champion in waiting."
Van Gerwen overcame injuries to both feet to reach the last eight with a 4-1 win over Colin Lloyd.
The Dutchman limped throughout the contest after an initial injury to his right foot was exacerbated by an Achilles problem on his left.
However, Van Gerwen overcame his troubles to prevail and said: "I'm so happy to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championships for the first time.
"I never expected to play as well as I did, considering I am suffering quite a lot of discomfort in my left foot. I feel that this win is a big step for me in trying to win my first World Championship."
Raymond van Barneveld needed just a shade over half an hour to book his place in the quarter-finals, sweeping aside Gary Anderson 4-0.
An encounter tipped to be a classic in the end lasted just 33 minutes. Five-time world champion Van Barneveld hit top gear as his opponent choked on the big shots - missing 23 doubles.
"The key to my win was taking the first set, which gave me huge confidence," said van Barneveld, who will now face Simon Whitlock in the last eight.
"After that Gary's level seemed to drop and he didn't produce the high scoring that saw him hit 19 maximums against John Bowles.
"I'm looking forward to playing Simon tomorrow night. He is a world-class player and has few weaknesses."
Whitlock edged into the quarter-finals with a seven-set win over Dave Chisnall.
The Australian just got across the line for a 4-3 victory after Chisnall failed to capitalise on a 3-2 lead in the deciding set.
Whitlock posted a 152 checkout to level the final set before taking the next two legs to prevail.
Whitlock said: "Dave's an excellent player and we've had a few tough battles in recent months, and today's match was no different.
"I led the match three times but could never shake Dave off."
World No 3 James Wade had a straight-sets win over Holland's Vincent van der Voort and will now meet Wes Newton - a 4-1 victor over Mark Walsh.