Former world champion Gerwyn Price withdrew halfway through his third round match at the Players Championship in Wigan after what he claimed were “absolutely pathetic conditions”.
Price was trailing 4-2 on legs against Brendan Dolan in a best-of-11 encounter when he forfeited the match at Robin Park Tennis Centre and Dolan was handed a bye into the next round.
The Welshman later wrote on Instagram Stories: “Absolutely pathetic conditions, travel all the way to Wigan to play in a professional game and we have to play in less than amateur conditions.
“Never have (a) ever given a game up, well that’s me out tomorrow as well. Gutted because my game was really good today and I rely on these events so much.”
Price did not elaborate on why he felt the playing conditions were so poor. The second Players Championship event takes place at the same venue on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for tournament organiser the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) told the PA news agency: “Gerwyn decided not to complete his match against Brendan Dolan and left the venue immediately.
“We understand he felt the venue was cold.”
Teenage sensation Luke Littler, meanwhile, hit a nine-dart finish to see off Michele Turetta in Wigan.
Littler, 17, became a household name during a shock run to the final of the World Championship at the turn of the year.
‘The Nuke’ then went on to beat Michael van Gerwen to win the Bahrain Masters in January, becoming the youngest player to hit a televised nine-darter in his quarter-final victory over Nathan Aspinall.
Littler’s strong form continued as he was beaten by home favourite Van Gerwen in the final of the Dutch Masters the following week.
He has moved into round four of the first Players Championship event of the year after wrapping up a 6-1 win over Turetta in typical Littler style, completing a nine-dart finish along the way, and he progressed into the semi-finals by knocking out James Hurrell 6-3.
Luke Humphries, who beat Littler to claim his first World Championship crown, was the victim of a shock defeat as the second seed crashed out 6-0 to Ian White in round two.