PHIL TAYLOR kicked off his William Hill World Darts Championship campaign with a comfortable victory on Saturday, while Ricky Evans and Dimitri Van den Bergh caused dramatic upsets at London's Alexandra Palace.
Legendary 16-time World Champion Taylor claimed a straight sets success against Japan's Keita Ono, who had seen off Alex Tagarao 2-0 in the preliminary round.
The world number three produced finishes of 167 and 121 as he moved into the second round, dropping just one leg in the process.
"It's all about surviving the first round," said Taylor, who had switched from his usual darts before the contest to a new design of barrel.
"I've only had these new darts for one day and I've been practising brilliantly with them but it was a different atmosphere when I got up there."
Taylor, who surrendered his last remaining major TV title to Michael van Gerwen in last month's Grand Slam of Darts final, added: "I'm sick of losing. I'm sick of Michael van Gerwen.
"It's like someone doing your job better than you. Everything I'm doing is about getting better. I want to improve and I want to win this."
Taylor will play Kevin Painter in round two after the 2004 World Championship finalist recorded a convincing victory against Kim Viljanen, who had earlier come from a set down to defeat Sven Groen in the preliminary round.
"It's all about getting through the first round," said Painter, who progressed in straight sets.
"I knew Kim was a tricky player after watching his first game and I'm grateful to get the win. The standard in the PDC now is so high that nobody is safe in the first round anymore so I'm glad to be through."
Evans, who won the last-chance PDPA Qualifier to secure a World Championship place, shocked world number ten Simon Whitlock with a sensational comeback win in the match of the tournament so far where the duo shared 17 180s.
Whitlock had looked to be strolling through to the last 32 when he led by two sets and two legs but, when the Australian missed two match darts, Evans launched an incredible fightback.
He won six straight legs to level the match at two sets apiece and the pair shared four legs in the decider to force a tie-break, which the 25-year-old eventually won with a fabulous 130 finish.
"I'm not sure how I won that," admitted the former PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship finalist.
"I can hardly speak. Simon battered me for the first two sets but as soon as I won that third set I played my proper game and I'm over the moon to win. This is for all the people that support me."
World Championship debutant Van den Bergh danced through to the second round with an impressive 3-1 win over number nine seed Ian White.
The 21-year-old Belgian prospect treated the crowd to his best moves during his walk-on before producing four finishes of over 100 to make his mark on the sport's biggest stage.
Despite losing the first set, the youngster hit back by taking the next three in an impressive display to set up a second round clash with Benito van de Pas or Max Hopp.
"I'm happy about my game but I know I can do better," said Van den Bergh, who only made his television debut at last month's World Series of Darts Finals.
Steve Beaton saw off the challenge of New Zealander Koha Kokiri with a classy straight sets victory, which he completed with a brilliant 164 checkout.
"I was delighted with that finish because I didn't want it to go to any more sets," said Beaton, who will take on Michael Smith or Jeffrey De Zwaan in the last 32.
"I'm pleased with how I played. I took a holiday before this, which I've never done before. I haven't been getting the results I should so I've tried something different. Now I can enjoy Christmas, practice and give it a good go in the next round."
Vincent van der Voort was Friday's other winner, defeating Laurence Ryder in three sets to set up a second round clash with Kyle Anderson.
"I'm pleased to be through," said the Dutchman, who reached the quarter-finals 12 months ago.
"We've seen a few shocks so I was determined to keep my concentration and get the job done. The first round is out of the way now and the real tournament starts after Christmas."
The first round continues on Sunday, when another double-session includes five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, 2012 runner-up Andy Hamilton and former Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting.