The chances were there, several times even. But in the end, like last year, it was the end. Fallon Sherrock missed the second round of the Darts World Championship. The 28-year-old lost 3-1 to Ricky Evans. The hairstylist from England shot to fame three years ago after becoming the first woman in history to win a match against a man at the World Cup.

To date she has remained the only one and could have started another run on Tuesday evening. Unlike in December 2019, however, the pressure was significantly higher this time.

A week before the World Championship draw, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) announced that it would be awarding a third seed to a woman this year. As the winner of the Women’s World Matchplay, which was played in July, Sherrock received the ticket for the Alexandra Palace retrospectively after she surprisingly fell by the wayside in the race for the two quota places and actually missed the world championship. Participation was a gift from the organizer, who, like the player, had to take a lot of criticism for it.

Because as much as the “Queen of the Palace” of the PDC courted and supported her – she has not made the leap onto the professional tour since her historic success. She failed Q-School 2020, 2021 and 2022

And even in Alexandra Palace she was unable to build on her historic triumph when she was able to defeat Mensur Suljovic in round two and was only eliminated against Chris Dobey. After missing out on participation in the 2021 World Cup, she narrowly lost 2-3 to Steve Beaton in the first round last year.

There were also opportunities against Evans, who danced onto the stage dressed as Santa Claus and thus significantly reduced the volume of the obligatory boos. Sherrock took a 1-0 lead after a strong start, but missed the chance to make it 2-1 when the score was 1-1 in the second round when, with 25 points remaining, she first missed the big 9 and then the double 8 .

After the set equalization, there were five chances to lead again in the following round, which she didn’t use and conceded 1: 2 after sets. Sherrock consistently scored well with an average well over 90, but missed the reward. “She’s so good. Such a good player. And she was better than me today. I got away again,” Evans admitted after his quite fortunate success: “I kept looking at the name on her jersey from behind and thought: ‘I’m in real danger here. Please pass.'”

The 32-year-old Englishman benefited from the mistakes of his opponent, who was 2-0 up in the fourth set but was unable to erase 38 points and then had to watch “Santa Ricky” close the sack. 3: 1, 2: 3, 2: 3, 2: 3: that left her with nothing, except for the praise of her opponent: “Fallon is an outstanding darts player and the audience doesn’t understand how good she is. This is also my problem that I have with this whole topic. And I feel a little sorry for Fallon. Because they only cheer her on because she’s female. Don’t worry about that. She would beat anyone in that audience and any player on stage as well. Everyone should respect that.” This is sexism.

Remarkable words that Evans used to promote more normality in dealing with women in general and Sherrock in particular. Evans now faces Joe Cullen in the second round.

Another match, which is only scheduled for after Christmas, is already casting big shadows. Legend Raymond van Barneveld made the duel with number one, Gerwyn Price, perfect with a 3-1 win against Ryan Meikle, who was again strong. “I’m looking forward to the match. I feel good and I know what I can do. In the end it’s between Gerwyn and me,” said the 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007 world champion.

As in the last Grand Slam of Darts, the Dutchman presented himself in good form, threw a point average of 95.18 and hit half of his attempts on the doubles. Price, who started the tournament with a mixed performance the night before, has been warned for the December 27 match. “Statistics are unimportant, mean nothing,” his 55-year-old opponent also knows: “Tuesday is a new day and we will both work hard to make it a great match.”

1 round:

Jim Williams (WAL) – Sebastian Bialecki (POL) 3:2 (0:3; 3:1; 2:3; 3:0; 3:1)

Jamie Hughes (ENG) – Jimmy Hendriks (NED) 3:1 (3:2; 1:3; 2:3; 1:3)

Ricky Evans (ENG) – Fallon Sherrock (ENG) 3:1 (1:3; 3:2; 3:2; 3:2)

2nd round:

Raymond van Barneveld (NED/32) – Ryan Meikle (ENG) 3:1 (1:3; 3:0; 3:2; 3:0)

1st round (from 1.45 p.m.):

John O’Shea (IRL) – Darius Labanauskas (LIT)

Martijn Kleermaker (NED) – Xicheng Han (CHN)

2nd round:

Callan Rydz (ENG/23) – Josh Rock (NIR)

Dave Chisnall (ENG/12) – Andrew Gilding (ENG)

2nd round (from 8.15 p.m.):

Mervyn King (ENG/27) – Danny Baggish (USA)

Gabriel Clemens (D/25) – William O‘Connor (IRL)

Michael van Gerwen (NED/3) – Lewy Williams (WAL)

Stephen Bunting (ENG/21) – Leonard Gates (USA)