Simon Whitlock crashed out of the PDC World Championships at the semi-final stage tonight.
The Waterlooville-based Aussie was thumped 6-2 by Scot Peter Wright to miss out on a place in the final on New Year’s Day at Alexandra Palace.
Whitlock failed to hit form as he fell 3-0 behind, despite being the favourite going into the clash.
He pulled back the fourth set, but it was Wright who always looked the more comfortable as the Wizard wilted.
Whitlock took the seventh set to make it 5-2 and spark faint hopes of a comeback.
They were extinguished, though, as Wright took out double 18 to dump the 2010 finalist out of the competition.
Story of the match
Whitlock gets off to the slowest of starts, dropping the first set 3-1 after going 2-0 down.
It got worse in the second as he missed double top for the opening leg and fell further behind, before landing double nine to make it 2-1.
Whitlock then landed double 18 at the second attempt to even things at 2-2, but it was flamboyant Wright who held his nerve to hit double top and double his advantage.
It took until the second leg of the third set for Whitlock to throw his first 180 of the match.
He took that leg with a 12 darter, but it was Wright who went on to take the set with double 18 and give Whitlock a mountain to climb.
The 2012 European champion was clearly struggling under the microscope, but showed his grit in the opening leg of the fourth set with a 130 checkout.
He went on to take the set 3-1 landing double top at the second attempt, sparking his first real display of emotion in the match.
But it was Wright who broke Whitlock’s throw in the opening leg of the fifth set and then took out 110 to grab the second leg.
Whitlock pulled the third game back with double 16 but it was the same double which took the fourth leg and set 3-1 for Wright.
It looked as if the Waterlooville man was heading out with a whimper as he lost the sixth set 3-0.
A 180 to start the set was as good as it got as Wright took control.
And a loss of throw in the first game of the seventh set saw Whitlock on the brink of crashing out.
The 44-year-old looked shellshocked, but regained his composure to break back by taking out double 12 and then went 2-1 up with double top.
Wright’s incredible run of taking out double 16 to win legs then continued to level the set at 2-2.
But, under massive pressure, Whitlock took the set with tops to stay in the tournament.
The eighth set began with a 180 for Whitlock, but missing bull for a 170 checkout opened the way for Wright to take the leg.
Wright then played to the crowd after both men missed openings to take out double four and move within a single leg of the final.
Whitlock broke Wright’s throw to make it 2-1, but that just delayed the inevitable as Wright took out double 18 with his first dart to win the match.