Dave Chisnall's hopes of reaching the last 16 of the William Hill World Darts Championship were shattered by Jeffrey de Zwaan at the Alexandra Palace, London, last night (Monday).
The Dutchman produced a top quality performance to edge out the St Helens ace 4-3 in a nerve-tingling encounter, thanks to an average of 106.9 - the highest of the competition to date - in which he hit 53 per cent of his doubles.
Both players went toe-to-toe from the start of a contest which included 17 180s. The first four sets were shared before Zwaan fired back-to-backs 12 dart legs in the fifth to go 3-2 ahead..
The game continued to ebb and flow as Chisnall - a two-times World Championship quarter finalist - replied with two 12 dart legs on his way to levelling the contest at 3-3, but the Dutchman upped the ante in the deciding leg and didn't allow Chizzy a dart at a double to seal victory.
Zwaan said: ''It felt amazing to play like that against a great player like Dave.
''I didn't play well during practice but the confidence was there on stage and that's what mattered.''
The 23-year-old added:''I know if I can play like that all the time, I can win the title but I don't think about that yet.''
Chisnall's setback comes after the demise of Michael Smith and means St Helens only representative in the last 16 is Stephen Bunting - and not too many experts will rate his chances against defending champion Michael van Gerwen when they meet after the Christmas break.
Jeffrey de Zwaan produced the highest-quality performance of the tournament so far to defeat Dave Chisnall 4-3 in a gripping clash.
Rising Dutch star De Zwaan averaged 106.09, the highest recorded at this year's event, and hit 53% of his double attempts to reach the last 16 in his third World Championship.
A contest which featured 17 180s saw the opening four sets shared before De Zwaan fired in back-to-back 12-dart legs in the fifth to go 3-2 up.
The game continued to go blow-for-blow as two-time World Championship quarter-finalist Chisnall replied in kind with two 12-dart legs on his way to levelling it back up at 3-3 in sets.
De Zwaan put his foot on the gas in the deciding leg, not allowing Chisnall a dart at double with legs of 14, 10 and 15 darts sealing one of his finest victories.
"It felt amazing to play like that and beat a great player in Dave Chisnall," said 23-year-old De Zwaan.
"I wasn't actually playing that well in practice but the confidence was there on stage and that's what you must have to beat a player like Dave.
"I know if I play like that all the time I can be World Champion, but I don't want to think about that yet."