Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright safely progressed through to finals day at the German Darts Open, as Dave Chisnall and Jelle Klaasen both recorded brilliant whitewash wins to set up a tasty third-round clash, on a dramatic day of darts in Saabrucken on Saturday.
Chisnall produced the performance of the second-round to continue his brilliant form. ‘Chizzy’ dropped just five legs in thrashing both Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor in the Premier League on Thursday and maintained that form; whitewashing former World Youth finalist Nathan Aspinall after averaging 104.86 and landing four maximums.
Chisnall will face Jelle Klaasen in round-three, after ‘The Cobra’ produced a finishing masterclass to whitewash Christian Kist. Klaasen reached the final of last week’s German Darts Masters and maintained his fine form to dismantle his compatriot; averaging 94.93 and hitting all six of his attempts at double; including finishes of 70, 72, 86 and 114.
Michael van Gerwen kicked off his German Darts Open campaign by beating Ronny Huybrechts in a high-quality affair. ‘The Rebel’ averaged 100.38 and landed four maximums, but was punished for converting just 23% of his double attempts, as Van Gerwen recorded a 6-3 win with a 103.32 average and a 50% checkout success rate.
Peter Wright began his bid for a second European Tour title of the year with a comprehensive 6-1 win over Polish star Krzysztof Ratajski. Ratajski took out a fine 118 checkout to avoid the whitewash, but Snakebite eased to victory with a 101.10 average and a brilliant 75% checkout conversion rate.
Mensur Suljovic breezed through to round-three with a professional display against the veteran Mark Walsh. ‘Walshie’ did little wrong; averaging 92 and hitting 50% of his double attempts, but the third seed closed out an emphatic 6-2 victory after averaging 98.90, posting two maximums and dispatching 46% of his shots at double.
Gerwyn Price survived seven match darts to edge out James Richardson in an astonishing contest. Price stormed into a 5-0 lead and appeared on the verge of a whitewash victory, but Richardson fought back superbly; firing in seven maximums as he reeled off five straight legs of his own to force a decider.
‘The Iceman’ was reeling, but Richardson was unable to complete the remarkable turn-around; spurning seven match darts in a dramatic conclusion. Price took full advantage; sinking D10 with his last dart in hand to sneak through with an 86.54 average and a 55% checkout success rate.
Ian White produced an excellent display to defeat emerging South African star Warrick Scheffer in a high-quality affair. Scheffer averaged 96.22, landed three maximums and missed just one dart at double, but it wasn’t enough, as White ran out a convincing 6-3 winner after averaging 103.15 and converting 75% of his attempts at double.
Mervyn King produced a clinical display to dump out ninth seed Kim Huybrechts in an entertaining tussle. The Belgian star posted five maximums but hit just three of his thirteen attempts at double, as King conjured up a majestic 142 finish to prevail 6-3 with a 97.42 average and a 55% checkout success rate.
Simon Whitlock reeled off six straight legs from 3-0 down to end his hoodoo against Darren Webster. ‘The Demolition Man’ stormed into an early lead with a 104 average, but ‘The Wizard’ recovered magnificently to prevail 6-3 with a 96.53 average, four maximums and a 33% checkout success rate, to set up a last 16 tie against Rob Cross.
Cross’ dream European Tour debut continues as he punished a multitude of missed doubles from Michael Smith to ease through to the third-round. Smith converted just two of his eighteen attempts at double, as Cross triumphed 6-2 with a 90.18 average. three maximums and a 33% checkout success rate.
Joe Cullen returned to winning ways on the European Tour with an impressive 6-4 victory over Vincent van der Voort. The pair both registered three maximums apiece, but Cullen’s superior finishing was the decisive factor. ‘The Rockstar’ hit 46% of his doubles compared to van der Voort’s 26%, as he triumphed with a 98.72 average.
Cullen will face Benito van de Pas in round-three, after ‘Big Ben’ saw off a resurgent Paul Nicholson in a scrappy contest. Neither player were at their best, but Van de Pas prevailed 6-3 after averaging 87.16, landing three maximums, converting 32% of his attempts at double and registering two ton-plus finishes.
Alan Norris became the fourth seeded casualty to lose out on Saturday afternoon, as Dimitri van den Bergh eased past the off-colour ‘Chuck’. Norris struggled throughout; averaging a miserly 78.79, as van den Bergh averaged 85.19 and hit 38% of his doubles to set up a third-round clash against Gerwyn Price.
Former Lakeside world-champion Stephen Bunting cruised into round-three with an emphatic 6-1 victory over host-nation qualifier Berndt Roith. ‘The Bullet’ averaged 95.54, landed a maximum and took out a fine 102 checkout to seal his progression, as Roith was ruthlessly punished for converting just one of his eleven darts at double.
Cristo Reyes ended the hopes of 16-year-old teenage sensation Nico Blum. The young German became the first player born in this millenium to record a victory on the European Tour last night, but he was unable to replicate these heroics against the Spaniard, as Reyes averaged 97.24 to cap off a clinical 6-1 win.
Finally, Adam Hunt reeled off four consecutive legs as he recovered from 4-2 down to dump out sixteenth seed Steve West. Hunt crashed in four maximums and produced finishes of 97, 110 and 120 to prevail 6-4 with an 87.30 average; setting up a third-round showdown with world number one Michael van Gerwen.
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