Jonny Clayton admits he was lucky to avoid early retirement from the World Grand Prix

Defending champion Jonny Clayton admitted he was lucky to avoid an early retirement after surviving a scare on the opening night of the World Grand Prix in Leicester.

The Welshman made it to the second round by beating 2020 finalist Dirk Van Duijvenbode 2-1 at the Morningside Arena after dropping a set.

Clayton’s three-dart average of 82.24 was slightly lower than his Dutch opponent’s (83.69).

“Listen, Dirk should have won that, over,” said the seventh in the world rankings to Sky Sports. “I had my chances. I just scraped through.

“Obviously I’m glad I’m making it, but I’ve stolen so much. I fought tonight. I do not know why. I was feeling great and just wasn’t gaining momentum.”

Belgium’s Dimitri Van den Bergh awaits Clayton in the round of 16 after eliminating two-time runners-up Dave Chisnall 2-1.

Five-time winner Michael Van Gerwen shot three 180s as he made a nervous start to pass Gary Anderson 2-0 while world number two Peter Wright defeated Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts by the same score.

Adrian Lewis posted superb checkouts of 152, 101 and 147 as he defeated world number six Jose De Sousa 2-0 on Monday night.

Two-time world champion Lewis next meets Chris Dobey, who previously hit brilliant 136 and 138 checkouts en route to a 2-0 win over Luke Humphries.

Krzysztof Ratajski and Stephen Bunting also continued with 2-0 wins, beating Callan Rydz and Brendan Dolan respectively. Jonny Clayton admits he was lucky to avoid early retirement from the World Grand Prix

Fry Electronics Team

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