England’s James Wade had to come from behind twice to beat unseeded Seigo Asada 3-2 in the second round of the PDC Darts World Championships.
But the ninth seed was criticised for celebrating in his Japanese opponent’s face after clinching the second set.
Former player and Sky Sports pundit Wayne Mardle described Wade’s performance as “aggressive” and likened it to “bullying”.
But when asked about the incident, Wade said he was “doing it for the UK”.
“I dug in deep there. It’s a magnificent feeling. I could have easily lost that. I’ve done it for my son, for my country, so it’s good,” he told Sky Sports.
“I kept giving it to him, I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to really hurt him in his face and I wanted to progress. That was for my 10-week old son and for the UK.”
The Japanese player showed no signs of being intimidated however, taking the third set to regain the lead with a double 16, but Wade held his nerve to win the next two sets and book his place in the third round.
Mardle, though, was among those to be left unimpressed. “Does he mean he wanted to punch him in his face?” he asked. “What does he mean? I’m absolutely lost for words.
“That’s just not on. The intimidation, overly aggressive. I hope he wakes up in the morning and thinks, ‘I’ve made a mistake there’.
“He can’t think that’s right and no-one watching it can think it’s right. That’s thuggish behaviour, there’s no place in darts for that.”
Elsewhere, there were second-round wins for England’s Michael Smith, who ended Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp’s tournament with a 3-1 win, and Ryan Joyce who beat Australian Simon Whitlock 3-0.
Irishman William O’Connor beat James Wilson 3-2 to seal his place in the last 32 of the competition.