Monk punishes erratic Wade
Arron Monk caused the first big upset of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts as he inflicted a 5-1 defeat on James Wade in Wolverhampton.
The world junior champion took advantage of an uncertain performance from the world No 3, who set the tone by missing six doubles in the opening leg.
Monk took out 96 in the second before the left-hander stopped the rot with a clinical 116 finish and the first 180 of the Group D encounter.
But Monk held his nerve to hit double five before breaking throw for the second time, and Wade could not capitalise on five missed match darts as Monk finally secured victory on double eight.
"To beat a player like James in that manner on the big stage is a dream come true," said Monk. "I've been in good form in recent weeks and I went up onto the stage with bags of confidence."
Meanwhile, Phil Taylor opened the defence of his title with a comfortable 5-1 win over Co Stompe with an imposing three-dart average of 100.38.
But he could not match the 103.42 recorded by the in-form Michael van Gerwen as the World Grand Prix champion began his campaign with a 5-2 win over Steve Beaton.
Ted Hankey missed doubles in every leg as The Count slumped to a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Robert Thornton, while Simon Whitlock was too classy for James Hubbard in a 5-2 win.
Kevin Painter opened the tournament with a nervy 5-4 win over Dean Winstanley, and Mervyn King and Mark Webster held off Jan Dekker and Scott Waites respectively.