Dart’s World Readers Fill The Vacuum: A Review of The German Darts Grand Prix.

This weekend was scheduled to host the third event of the 2020 PDC European Tour – the German Darts Grand Prix. This tournament, as well as the European Darts Open, was rescheduled as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. It has been tentatively rescheduled for July 31st – August 1st. So with the lack of professional darts to keep us entertained this weekend, here is a look back at the 2019 instalment.

Simon Whitlock took on MVG in last years final.

The 2019 German Darts Grand Prix final saw World Number One Michael Van Gerwen take on Australian Simon Whitlock at Zenith, Munich. The Dutchman was seeking his thirtieth European Tour title, his opponent looking for only his second, having won the Dutch Darts Masters way back in 2012.

Van Gerwen arrived at the tournament having more trophies for the German Darts Grand Prix then Whitlock had European Tour titles in total, the Dutchman taking the titles in both 2017 and 2018. His first Grand Prix victory came after a 6-3 victory over soon-to-be World Champion Rob Cross. He backed this up the following year by overturning Peter Wright 8-5 (Euro Tour finals had been extended to best of fifteen legs in between these two tournaments).

The gulf between Whitlock and Van Gerwen was further emphasised by their head-to-head record going into the final. Of their thirty-nine career meetings, Whitlock had won just five. The previous fourteen contests had all gone in MvG’s favour; a run going back as far as October 2016.

Van Gerwen’s route to the final also showed the fantastic run of form he was in. He posted back-to-back 100+ averages against Ratajski, and then Bunting in his first two rounds. He was then pushed all the way by Ted Evetts in a 6-5 quarter-final match, before breezing past Rob Cross 7-1 in the semi-finals.

So with all this in mind, the way the final played out will not come as a surprise. MvG coasted into a 5-0 lead. He won legs in fourteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, and eleven darts respectively, breaking the Australian’s throw three times in the process.

Whitlock, clearly seeing that the final was out of his reach, began playing up to the crowd. He won three of the next four legs, to bring a clearly-annoyed Van Gerwen back to 6-3. ‘The Wizard’ then attempted a daring 145-out going for the bulls eye, treble fifteen, and bulls eye again, in the tenth leg. He unfortunately missed the second bull in the combination to claim the leg.

Van Gerwen swept in to clean up, and proceed to claim an 8-3 victory and another £25,000 cheque. Despite seemingly faltering in the middle of the match, his game average was still 106.45, showing the exceptionally high standards he has set for himself.

Unfortunately for Whitlock, despite making the final last year, when the Grand Prix is eventually held in 2020, he will not be in attendance, having dropped out of the Top 16 of the ProTour Order of Merit.

Similarly, Johnny Clayton, Max Hopp, Danny Noppert, and Darren Webster have also dropped out. They are to be replaced by Aspinall, Price, Ratajski, Durrant, and Jamie Hughes. Hopp is still set to attend as an invitee alongside Gabriel Clemens, the two being the best German players at the moment.


James Smith

Thanks to James Smith for taking to time to entertain and inform Darts World readers.

Catch up with James’s choice of the six best matches to watch during lockdown here.

Featured Pic: Kelly / PDC Europe

PDC European Tour: More Postponements and New Events Added.

THIRD EUROPEAN TOUR EVENT POSTPONED

The European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen has become the third PDC European Tour event to be postponed due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

The PDC announced on Tuesday at that the European Darts Open in Leverkusen and the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich would not be taking place following measures put in place by federal governments in the regions of Germany.

This measure has also been adopted now in Stuttgart, meaning that the year’s planned second European Tour event in Sindelfingen from March 20-22 will be postponed.

The PDC are working with PDC Europe to schedule new dates for the events, with the possibility that other planned tournaments may move in the calendar to accommodate the rescheduled European Tour events.

Tickets already purchased for the events will remain valid for the equivalent session of the re-arranged event, or refunds will be available.

A Players Championship double-header has been added to the PDC calendar on March 28-29 in Milton Keynes, with further schedule amendments to be confirmed in due course.

NEW PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND ADDED

A new Players Championship weekend will be played on March 28-29 in Milton Keynes to replace the postponed European Tour event in Germany.

The European Darts Open in Leverkusen, which was originally planned for March 27-29, has been postponed following measures put in place by the regional federal government in Germany.

As a result, the PDC will now stage two £75,000 Players Championship events at the Marshall Arena on Saturday March 28 and Sunday March 29.

The tournaments will be streamed live online through PDCTV, with two streams available simultaneously throughout each event.

PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members can now enter these events online through the PDC Online Entry System at www.pdcplayers.com. Entries will close at 1400 GMT on Friday March 20.

The events are currently titled for player entries as Players Championship 9MK and Players Championship 10MK. However, following the close of entries, subsequent Players Championship events in 2020 will be renumbered accordingly.

Rescheduled dates for the postponed European Tour events will be confirmed in due course.

ENDS

MVG Reaches 30!

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won an incredible 30th European Tour title of his career as he retained his German Darts Grand Prix title in Munich, beating Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the final. 
The World Champion, who turns 30 himself on Thursday, was rampant in the final – averaging 106.45 as he charged to a 5-0 lead before cruising to victory. 

After two early breaks of throw set the tone, a showpiece 137 checkout on two double-tops put the Dutchman firmly in command.

Whitlock, who was without a win against Van Gerwen in 14 attempts ahead of the final, was left languishing as the reigning champion then took out 100 in two darts for a five-leg advantage. 

Eventually the Australian found a way into the game with back-to-back legs to trail by three.

The pair then traded blows, but Van Gerwen was clinical on the doubles – landing eight of his 12 total attempts – as he quickly skittled the remaining two legs to clinch the £25,000 top prize. 

“I’m absolutely delighted to retain my title here in Munich and clinch a 30th European Tour title,” said the Dutchman. 

“This is a great achievement for me. I wasn’t at my best at the start of this evening, but I did the right things at the right times and always felt confident.”

“Simon is a great player and I’m just happy to get past him and win another title for my fans”

This milestone 30th European Tour title for Van Gerwen puts him 24 ahead in the record books of his nearest competitor Peter Wright, with six. 

Nevertheless, he didn’t have it all his own way on the final day in Munich as he was pushed all the way by Ted Evetts in the Quarter-Finals. 

Averaging just 91, some slack darts allowed Evetts to recover from 5-2 down and take out checkouts of 144 and 128 as he forced a deciding leg, before falling at the final hurdle. 

In the Semi-Finals, he faced tough opposition in the form of Rob Cross, but continued his ruthless run against the former World Champion – backing up his 8-2 Premier League win from midweek with a 7-1 victory to reach the final. 

Whitlock’s run to the final started with him seeing off the in-form Ross Smith 6-4 in the third round. 

He then breezed past Joe Cullen in the Quarter-Finals 6-1, with the 29-year-old only narrowly avoiding the whitewash in the penultimate leg. 

And in the Semi-Finals, he felt the scorn of the patriotic home crowd as he sent Max Hopp packing in a last leg decider. 

The German, who was chasing his second European Tour title, looked to be heading for the final as he led 6-4, but a host of costly misses allowed Whitlock to clinch three legs in succession to progress.

Elsewhere, there was a strong run for Czech Republic’s Karel Sedlacek in his second European Tour event, as he saw off Darren Webster in the third round before falling to Hopp at the last eight. 

The European Tour action will continue next weekend (April 26-28) in Saarbrucken, where Hopp will be looking to retain his title at the 2019 German Darts Open.


German Darts Grand Prix – Full Results & Summary


MVG Claimed his 30th European Tour Title in the German Darts Grand Prix
Picture: Michael Cooper

Micheal Van Gerwen claimed another European Tour title, in style, over the weekend. MVG seems almost impervious in these events. After being given a scare by Ted Evetts, in the Qtr-Finals, MVG stepped up the pace defeating Rob Cross & Simon Whitlock for the combined loss of only four legs. The format is relatively short but with full stage & TV/streaming atmosphere. This combination seems to suit the world number one. Perhaps Munich appeals to him his victory ensured he retained he won in 2018.

Other highlights included a superb first-round performance from Nathan Derry and great runs from Max Hopp & Karel Sedlacek. Both players defeated higher ranked players and gave the European crowd added entertainment. Getting to the Semi & Qtr-Finals respectively they also maintained the tradition of upsets in the Euro Tour.

Check out the results below and see how your favourite qualifier got on.

“Slingshot” Nathan Derry defeats Steve Beaton 6-1

First Round
Ritchie Edhouse 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Ted Evetts 6-2 Mark Wilson
Arron Monk 6-3 Marko Puls
Keegan Brown 6-5 Magnus Caris
Ross Smith 6-3 Mark Barilli
Josh Payne 6-2 Jyhan Artut
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Diogo Portela
Kyle Anderson 6-2 Kevin Munch

Nathan Derry 6-1 Steve Beaton
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Alan Norris
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Martin Schindler
Michael Rasztovits 6-3 Chris Dobey
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Dragutin Horvat
Ricky Evans 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Glen Durrant 6-1 Jamie Hughes
Cristo Reyes 6-2 Michael Hurtz

Second Round
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Ian White
Ted Evetts 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Darren Webster 6-1 Nathan Derry
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Danny Noppert
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Arron Monk
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 James Wade
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Adrian Lewis


Max Hopp 6-3 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 6-3 Michael Rasztovits
Ricky Evans 6-0 Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Josh Payne
Joe Cullen 6-5 Glen Durrant
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Ross Smith 6-4 Peter Wright

Max Hopp was the last remaining German player in the GDGP 2019 . Reaching the Semi-Finals.
(Photo: Steve Welsh)

Third Round

Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Ted Evetts 6-4 Ricky Evans
Rob Cross 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Dave Chisnall
Karel Sedlacek 6-5 Darren Webster
Max Hopp 6-3 Kim Huybrechts 
Joe Cullen 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Ross Smith 

Quarter-Finals
Michael Van Gerwen 6-5 Ted Evetts
Rob Cross 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Max Hopp 6-5 Karel Sedlacek
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Joe Cullen

Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Rob Cross
Simon Whitlock 7-6 Max Hopp

Final
Michael van Gerwen 8-3 Simon Whitlock

German Darts Grand Prix – Day 2. A “Rapid” Whitewash.

RICKY EVANS claimed a shock 6-0 win over Michael Smith, while Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross were among the winners in round two of the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich on Sunday.

Max Hopp is the last remaining German player i the GDGP 2019 . (Photo: Steve Welsh)

Day Two of the third European Tour event of 2019 saw fast-throwing Evans sensationally knock out World Championship runner-up Smith in just 10 minutes 12 seconds to advance to Monday’s last 16.

Evans, who reached the final of the German Darts Championship in March, restricted Smith to just two darts at double as he got his bid for a first PDC title off to a flying start.

“Michael is normally the one doing that to me so I’m not going to get complacent, but I’m very glad to be through,” said Evans.

“I’ve never beaten Michael in the PDC so it’s nice to get that monkey off my back and it’s a great feeling to beat such a top player.

“I’m delighted to be in the next round and hopefully I can go one better than last time.”

Evans will face Ted Evetts in round three, after the multiple-Development Tour event winner produced another confident display, landing two ton-plus checkouts in a 6-2 win over Jonny Clayton.

Sunday’s second round of the £140,000 tournament saw Saturday’s 16 winning Qualifiers take on the 16 seeded players, as seven seeds suffered defeat at the Kulturhalle Zenith.

Reigning champion Van Gerwen was made to work hard for his 6-4 victory over Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski, but a 114 winning finish ensured the World Champion remains on course for an incredible 30th European Tour title.

The world number one will now meet Stephen Bunting, who once again caught the eye in his second successive 6-1 win of the weekend against Danny Noppert.

A resilient display from Joe Cullen saw him recover from 4-1 down to defeat Glen Durrant 6-5 in a gripping contest.

Durrant got off to a flying start and led 3-0 before Cullen took out a 146 checkout to get his first leg on the board, only for Durrant to restore his three-leg cushion.

Cullen dug deep to take the match to a deciding leg which he ended with five consecutive treble 20s before finding double five for a 130 finish to win the decider against throw in spectacular style.

“The European Tour brings the best out of me every time, I love playing in Germany,” said Cullen.

“No matter how tough the draw is I play well in these events, and even though I was 4-1 down I noticed Glen was struggling to find the treble a bit which gave me confidence.

“To win it with that 130 at the end was pretty special and gives me extra belief going into tomorrow.”

Cullen will take on Ritchie Edhouse who claimed a shock 6-5 win over two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, winning the deciding leg with a stunning 160 finish.

The sole German representative heading into Sunday, Max Hopp delighted the Munich crowd with a 6-3 success over Keegan Brown and he will now meet Kim Huybrechts, who survived a match dart before taking out 70 to knock out European Champion James Wade 6-5.

World number two Cross began his quest for a maiden European Tour title with a 6-3 victory over Austria’s Michael Rasztovits and he will now face world number five Daryl Gurney, who saw off Kyle Anderson 6-4.

European Tour fans’ favourite Mensur Suljovic will meet Dave Chisnall after the pair claimed 6-2 victories over Josh Payne and Arron Monk respectively, with Chisnall averaging 108.96, the highest of the tournament so far.

Simon Whitlock claimed a much-needed 6-4 win over Cristo Reyes and he will now come up against in-form Ross Smith, who got the better of third seed Peter Wright 6-4.

Darren Webster returned to form with an emphatic 6-1 triumph over Nathan Derry, and he will take on Czech Karel Sedlacek, who defeated second seed Ian White 6-4 in a game of missed doubles.

Monday’s third and final day of the German Darts Grand Prix will see the last 16 matches take place in the afternoon session, before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.

All the action will be broadcast on video.pdc.tv, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

2019 German Darts Grand Prix
Schedule of Play
Sunday April 21Second RoundAfternoon Session
Karel Sedlacek 6-4 Ian White
Ted Evetts 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Darren Webster 6-1 Nathan Derry
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Danny Noppert
Daryl Gurney 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Arron Monk
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 James Wade
Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Adrian Lewis

Evening Session
Max Hopp 6-3 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 6-3 Michael Rasztovits
Ricky Evans 6-0 Michael Smith
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Josh Payne
Joe Cullen 6-5 Glen Durrant
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Cristo Reyes
Ross Smith 6-4 Peter Wright

Monday April 22Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT)
Third Round
Michael van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting
Ricky Evans v Ted Evetts
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic v Dave Chisnall
Karel Sedlacek v Darren Webster
Kim Huybrechts v Max Hopp
Ritchie Edhouse v Joe Cullen
Ross Smith v Simon Whitlock

Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 GMT)
Quarter-Finals
Van Gerwen/Bunting v Evans/Evetts
Cross/Gurney v Suljovic/Chisnall
Sedlacek/Webster v Huybrechts/Hopp
Edhouse/Cullen v Smith/Whitlock

Semi-FinalsFinal

Monday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

Format
All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.

Prize Fund
Winner: £25,000
Runner-up: £10,000
Semi-Finalists: £6,500
Quarter-Finalists: £5,000
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
Total: £140,000 

PDC

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Ratajski & Durrant Progress. German Darts Grand Prix – Day 1.

KRZYSZTOF RATAJSKI will face Michael van Gerwen in the second round of the German Darts Grand Prix, after the Polish number one was one of 16 winners on Day One of the European Tour event in Munich on Sunday.

“Slingshot” Nathan Derry defeats Steve Beaton 6-1

The opening day of the third European Tour event of the year saw Ratajski overcome home crowd favourite Martin Schindler 6-2 in a dominant display from the three-time PDC event winner.

After Ratajski took an early 3-1 lead, Schindler landed a 116 finish, the highest of the match, to get himself back in the contest, but that was as good as it got for the German youngster as Ratajski reeled off the final three legs to end the tie with a 97.9 average.

Ratajski’s reward for victory will see him face 29-time European Tour event winner Van Gerwen in Sunday’s second round as the 16 seeded players enter the £140,000 tournament.

Saturday saw 32 qualifiers competing in the first round, with Glen Durrant producing a 99.06 average, the second highest of the day, to secure a resounding 6-1 win over the in-form Jamie Hughes.

Durrant took out a 114 checkout on his way to an early 3-0 lead, before Hughes replied by finding double top to get his first leg on the board.

However, Durrant responded in the best way possible, reeling in a 170 checkout to regain his three-leg cushion, and wrapped up the victory with legs of 16 and 14 darts to set up a meeting with Joe Cullen.

“Jamie is a good friend of mine and I didn’t enjoy playing him but now I’ve won I feel settled into the competition and I’m happy with how it went today,” said Durrant.

“I needed to come to the PDC to see how good I am, and so far it’s going well.

“The crowds are amazing, I love playing in Germany and when I look out into the crowd it’s a brilliant feeling. I can’t wait to get back out there on Sunday.”

The performance of the day came from Stephen Bunting, who averaged 99.7 in an impressive 6-1 win over Alan Norris, and the former World Grand Prix semi-finalist will now take on Danny Noppert.

Tenth seed Max Hopp will be the only German to star in the second round, and he will face Keegan Brown, who came through a last-leg decider to beat Sweden’s Magnur Caris 6-5.

Kim Huybrechts also won a last-leg shoot-out against German Qualifier Dragutin Horvat, and the Belgian number one will now come up against Premier League high-flyer James Wade.

Kyle Anderson got the better of Kevin Munch 6-2 to set up a tie with German Darts Championship winner Daryl Gurney, while Ricky Evans will play Michael Smith after Evans battled his way to a hard-fought 6-5 victory over Gabriel Clemens.

A sublime performance from Nathan Derry saw the Northern Irishman fire in six 180s on his way to a shock 6-1 win over Steve Beaton, as Chris Dobey also succumbed to a surprise 6-3 loss at the hands of Austrian Michael Rasztovits.

Development Tour leader Ted Evetts continued his progress with a convincing 6-2 win over Mark Wilson, Ross Smith was clinical on the doubles in his 6-3 success over Mark Barilli, and Ritchie Edhouse came through a tight battle with Brendan Dolan 6-4.

Czech Republic thrower Karel Sedlacek fended off a spirited comeback from Diogo Portela to secure a 6-4 win over the popular Brazilian.

It was a tough day for German Qualifiers as Jyhan Artut, Michael Hurtz and Marko Puls went down to defeats to Josh Payne, Cristo Reyes and Arron Monk respectively.

PDC

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