MICHAEL VAN GERWEN claimed his first German Darts Open title with victory over Ian White in the final in Saarbrucken on Sunday.
Van Gerwen produced his fourth ton-plus average of the day to comfortably defeat White 8-3 and secure his 31st European Title at the Saarlandhalle.
The path to the final was not straightforward for the world number one, who came through three last-leg deciders and survived five match darts on his way to landing the £25,000 top prize.
A dramatic final day of action saw Van Gerwen produce a match-winning 114 finish to defeat Raymond van Barneveld 6-5, before surviving a match dart from Nathan Aspinall in the quarter-finals despite the Dutchman posting a 107.4 average.
In Van Gerwen’s 40th European Tour semi-final, Dave Chisnall missed four match darts as the reigning World Champion won a thriller 7-6 to extend his sensational run of last-leg decider wins to 23 matches.
Van Gerwen then saw off White to make it three wins from four European Tour events in 2019, and 31 European Tour titles from 62 events entered in his glittering career to date.
“I had to play well in this tournament because I was pushed against Nathan Aspinall and Dave Chisnall, and Ian came back quite well in the final too,” said Van Gerwen, who has won six of the ten tournaments he has played in 2019.
“But I always felt quite comfortable and I always believe in myself, you can never give up.
“I knew I had never won here before so I had to win it today and I think I played a phenomenal tournament. I feel great and I’m really happy to be the winner.”
The final of the £140,000 tournament began with a hold of throw each before Van Gerwen landed the first break with a superb 130 checkout to go 3-1 up.
The next four legs were all won by Van Gerwen in convincing fashion, as White struggled to match the Dutchman’s heavy scoring.
However, White broke throw for the first time with a 13-darter, which he followed with an 86 checkout to keep the contest alive, only for Van Gerwen to find double eight to end White’s hopes of a second European Tour title in his third final on the continent.
“I’m pleased to have reached the final because it’s so hard playing top players all the time in these events,” said White, who defeated Van Gerwen in their last two meetings in Saarbrucken.
“But when you get to the final you want to win it so I’m a bit disappointed with how that went but Michael is the best player in the world.
“I know I can beat him and I know other people can because as we saw today people had chances to beat him so we’ve just got to keep going.”
Departing Dutchman Van Barneveld starred in the final day of a European Tour event for the first time in over two years, while an unpredictable final in Saarbrucken saw all four quarter-final clashes go the distance.
Multiple-televised finalist Chisnall reached his first Euro Tour semi-final in almost two years with a thrilling 6-5 defeat of Mensur Suljovic, as former World Champion Rob Cross made it through to his second European Tour semi-final of the year with a 6-5 win over Gerwyn Price.
PDC- Josh Phillips, Pics – Sven Neuschäfer/PDC Europe
JOHN HENDERSON ended Max Hopp’s reign as German Darts Open champion with a superb 6-3 victory in Saturday’s second round at the Saarlandhalle as Michael van Gerwen made a winning start to his challenge for a 31st European Tour title.
Former World Youth Champion Hopp had claimed his maiden senior title with victory in Saarbrücken 12 months ago and was seeded tenth as he opened his title defence against Scottish qualifier Henderson.
The young German took the opening leg, only for Henderson to land an 11-darter and a 140 finish amongst four straight legs to take command.
Hopp finished 114 and a 13-darter as he stayed in the hunt at 5-3, but was left waiting on a checkout in leg nine as Henderson powered home a 160 combination to seal his third round place.
“I hit the big scores and the finishes at the right times,” said Henderson. “I feel I can play a lot better than that but it’s so good to get over the finishing line against a great player like Max.
“He’s a lovely lad, a great darts player and has got a super future in front of him. It was a great game to play in and I’m so grateful of getting through.”
Henderson will now face a a third round tie with Adrian Lewis, who produced a brilliant display of finishing to defeat James Richardson 6-3, landing combinations of 146, 96, 84 and 78 as he took out six doubles from nine attempts.
World Champion Michael van Gerwen cruised past World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh despite a below-par display in which the Dutchman missed 22 darts at a double in a 6-1 win.
Van Gerwen will now contest an all-Dutch last 16 contest with Raymond van Barneveld, who prevailed 6-5 in a thriller against Jermaine Wattimena.
Van Barneveld swept into an early 4-1 lead as he continued the form which had seen him defeat home favourite Gabriel Clemens in Friday’s first round.
Wattimena hit back and punished three missed match darts in leg ten to take the tie all the way, but the five-time World Champion claimed the decider to create a mouth-watering third round game.
“I felt so comfortable in the first couple of legs but then Jermaine came back,” said Van Barneveld. “I believe in my set-up now, I believe what I can do and I’m really happy to go to the last 16 tomorrow.
“I didn’t play many Euro Tours lately but I’m enjoying it and hopefully tomorrow against Michael we’ll have a good game.”
In-form James Wade survived six missed match darts from Luke Humphries as he battled back from 5-2 down to book his spot in Sunday’s finals day.
The pair traded early 11-darters before the Newbury youngster took out 149 as he moved to the brink of victory, only for Wade to claw his way back into the contest before claiming the deciding leg.
Wade now plays Nathan Aspinall in round three, after the UK Open champion claimed his first career win over Jonny Clayton with a 6-3 success in their tie.
World number two Rob Cross averaged over 102 with a fine 6-4 win over Chris Dobey, who hit back from 2-0 down to level but saw the 2018 World Champion prove too strong by sealing the win with an 11-darter.
“It was a topsy-turvy game,” said Cross. “I’ve averaged 102 and didn’t feel like I got out of third gear, which is a good thing.”
Cross’ third round opponent will be Joe Cullen, who dropped just one leg against Jerry Hendriks and sealed a 6-1 victory with a 126 bullseye finish.
Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price came from 3-1 and 4-2 down to claim a deciding-leg win over Steve Beaton, who was unable to follow the heroics of his nine-darter in Friday’s first round.
Beaton followed two early 103 finishes with a 167 checkout to lead 5-4 without missing a dart at a double, but Price finished a 12-darter to level and then took out 119 to book his third round spot.
Price now plays Jamie Hughes, who reeled off three straight legs from 4-3 down against Simon Whitlock to claim a strong victory, ending with an average of over 99.
Former German Darts Open winner Peter Wright maintained his 100% record against Steve Lennon with a 6-2 defeat of the Irish ace, averaging almost 102 in the process.
Wright will face Dave Chisnall in the third round, with the St Helens coming from 2-0 down to see off Ted Evetts 6-3 in their Saturday contest.
2018 Dutch Darts Championship winner Ian White began his bid to win a second European Tour title in impressive style with a 6-3 defeat of Jeffrey de Zwaan.
A 108 finished from the Dutch youngster was not enough as White finished back-to-back 12-darters as he completed the win with a 101 average.
White now plays Darren Webster, who enjoyed a 6-3 win over Vincent van der Meer after a fast start saw him claim the opening three legs without reply to put himself in command.
Mensur Suljovic edged past Mickey Mansell by proving too strong in the deciding leg of their tight contest, as the Austrian set up a third round tie with Daryl Gurney.
Recent German Darts Championship winner Gurney took the opening four legs of his tie with David Pallett before sealing a 6-2 win with a 121 bullseye checkout.
The German Darts Open concludes on Sunday, with the afternoon session’s third round followed in the evening by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
Coverage will be available in PDCTV-HD at video.pdc.tv and through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
The sight of Raymond van Barneveld defeating Gabriel Clemens on Friday will have brought cheer to the members of the ‘Barney Army’. Keen-eyed RVB fans were quick to notice a change, that may be important for the five-time World Champion in his attempts to qualify for one final hurrah at Ally Pally this December.
Social media and darts collectors quickly picked up on a change of darts and set up, that seemed to be paying dividends. The darts being used looked remarkably similar to a classic ‘Barney’ dart known as Treble B’s. These are a simple, ring gripped, blue and silver dart that suit his relaxed throw. Much of Ray’s success has been achieved with this style and indeed this model. He had also swapped his set up to a retro looking style. Straightforward medium black stems and standard flights (orange) fit nicely with back to basics theme.
Many have doubted the benefits, for RVB, of chopping and changing his equipment. Perhaps he has also, belatedly, come to this conclusion and reverted to a tried and trusted formula for his final charge. What his sponsor will think about this is another matter! Will they fear being left with old stock? Or see a new opportunity for yet another model?
STEVE BEATON stole the show with a nine-dart finish on Day One of the German Darts Open in Saarbrücken on Friday, while Raymond van Barneveld was one of 16 first round winners.
The opening day of the fourth European Tour event of the year saw ever-consistent 55-year-old Beaton strike perfection in the second leg of his 6-3 win over Kirk Shepherd at the Saarlandhalle.
The nine-darter was the third of the year on the European Tour, following perfect legs from Michael van Gerwen and James Wade, and the 20th on the PDC circuit in 2019.
“It was a special moment to hit a nine-darter on the European Tour,” said Beaton, who reached the quarter-finals of the UK Open in March.
“I didn’t think about it too much, I just threw! All I was thinking about was winning the game to make up for my first round loss last week.
“It shows I’ve still got it. I love the game and I always say I’m being paid to do something I enjoy. As long as I can keep doing it I will keep playing.”
Beaton will now face Premier League high-flyer Gerwyn Price in Saturday’s second round as the 16 seeded players enter the £140,000 tournament.
Friday saw 32 qualifiers competing in the first round, with five-time World Champion Van Barneveld returning to form with an impressive 6-3 victory over hometown hero Gabriel Clemens.
Making his first stage appearance since reversing his immediate retirement decision in late March, crowd favourite Van Barneveld averaged 99.47 and missed just three darts at double in an assured display from the departing Dutchman.
“This win is important to me, I’ve been struggling but today I played a really good game and I feel it’s coming back,” said Van Barneveld, who will now face fellow-Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.
“I’ve lost some weight and I’m feeling happier mentally. I’ve been trying and trying to get myself together and this win will help me.
“I found these darts in a drawer last week and they seem to be going well for me so far.”
Van Barneveld or Wattimena could face Van Gerwen in Sunday’s third round, but the world number one faces a tough first assignment in his bid for a 31st European Tour title against Dimitri Van den Bergh, who secured a routine 6-2 success over German debutant Thomas Kohnlein.
German number one Max Hopp will begin the defence of his title against John Henderson after the Scot landed a stunning 142 checkout in the deciding leg to claim a hard-fought 6-5 win over Stephen Bunting.
The performance of the day came from World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan, who posted a 102.82 average to prevail 6-3 over Australia’s Kyle Anderson in a high-class contest.
Jamie Hughes also averaged over a ton (100.37) to defy a 105.54 average from Brendan Dolan, winning the match with a 122 checkout, and rising star Ted Evetts continued his upward trajectory with a comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Vincent Kamphuis.
World Championship quarter-finalist Luke Humphries recorded the sole whitewash of the day against Pavel Jirkal to set up a meeting with James Wade, while UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall landed a 140 finish on his way to a 6-1 victory over Dennis Nilsson.
David Pallett enjoyed a win on his first European Tour appearance of 2019, claiming a tense 6-5 victory over Mike de Decker, as James Richardson also came through a sudden-death shoot-out with Wayne Jones.
Mickey Mansell and Jerry Hendriks both secured 6-3 triumphs over Steve West and James Wilson respectively, while it was a difficult day for the German Qualifiers as Lukas Wenig, Kevin Munch and Karsten Koch exited at the hands of Chris Dobey, Steve Lennon and Vincent van der Meer respectively.
Saturday’s second day of the German Darts Open will be broadcast on video.pdc.tv, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites listed below.
2019 German Darts Open Schedule of PlayFriday April 26First RoundAfternoon Session James Richardson 6-5 Wayne Jones Mickey Mansell 6-3 Steve West Jamie Hughes 6-4 Brendan Dolan Vincent Van der Meer 6-4 Karsten Koch David Pallett 6-5 Mike de Decker Luke Humphries 6-0 Pavel Jirkal Steve Beaton 6-3 Kirk Shepherd Jerry Hendriks 6-3 James Wilson
Evening Session Ted Evetts 6-1 Vincent Kamphuis Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Dennis Nilsson Chris Dobey 6-4 Lukas Wenig Jeffrey De Zwaan 6-3 Kyle Anderson Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Thomas Kohnlein Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Gabriel Clemens John Henderson 6-5 Stephen Bunting Steve Lennon 6-1 Kevin Munch
Saturday April 27Second RoundAfternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 GMT) Darren Webster v Vincent van der Meer Simon Whitlock v Jamie Hughes Joe Cullen v Jerry Hendriks Daryl Gurney v David Pallett Adrian Lewis v James Richardson Gerwyn Price v Steve Beaton Ian White v Jeffrey de Zwaan James Wade v Luke Humphries
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 GMT) Dave Chisnall v Ted Evetts Jonny Clayton v Nathan Aspinall Rob Cross v Chris Dobey Peter Wright v Steve Lennon Max Hopp v John Henderson Mensur Suljovic v Mickey Mansell Michael van Gerwen v Dimitri Van den Bergh Jermaine Wattimena v Raymond van Barneveld
The Bronzed Adonis clocks a 9 dart leg en-route to the second round. This remarkable effort generated more than the usual number of ‘talking points’ from an early encounter.
Steve’s fans, which often include everyone except his opponent, were cheering today when the 55-year-old claimed his place in the second round, in Saarbruecken, via a 6-3 defeat of Kirk Shepherd.
With MVG reaching his thirtieth birthday yesterday, it is remarkable to think that the evergreen, or ever-bronzed?, Beaton reached a televised quarter-final before the current World No.1 was born. 5 Years before!
Steve is having an excellent 2019 in the bigger events. A tremendous run in the UK Open and strong performances in the European Tour events are proving the basis for what must be, at least, the tenth Indian summer of his career. He will add again to the record books, this time as the oldest player to hit a perfect stage in a screened professional match.
Many thousands of darts fans will hope that this could be a springboard to Steve capturing a major (PDC) title, perhaps The European Championships?. Surely, the 1996 BDO World Champion would be as popular a winner as there has ever been?
Kicking off the final day in Saarbrücken was the World number One Michael van Gerwen as he came up against the promising young talent that is Adam Hunt in the first of the afternoon’s Last 16 matches. The pair have met eight times previously with Van Gerwen winning seven of them. Hunt missed match darts against MVG last time the pair met though and it was the round prior to Van Gerwen hitting two nine-darters in one match against Ryan Murray in a UK Open qualifier in Wigan.
Van Gerwen enjoyed an early break in the opening leg with a sensational 10-dart leg, the best leg of the tournament so far to lead 1-0. Van Gerwen went on to double his lead with Hunt waiting on tops to break, but he never got a chance as the Dutchman fired in D10. Van Gerwen enjoyed another break of throw in leg three as he fired in a 12-darter taking out 96 with the World number One averaging 111 at this point. Hunt was gifted a way back into the match as Van Gerwen bust his score on 54 and Hunt took his chance well as he took out 42 to break MVG straight back to reduce the deficit to 1-3. Van Gerwen managed to break Hunt straight back though in the next leg with Hunt waiting on D16 as he extended his lead to 1-4 courtesy of a 15-darter. Van Gerwen went within a leg of the Quarter-Finals with another 15-darter to move four legs clear. Van Gerwen looked to seal the win in spectacular style as he hit back-to-back maximums, he missed six match darts and Hunt took full advantage as he pinned in the D20 to make it 2-5. Van Gerwen only had to wait another leg to seal the win as he took out 47 on D16 despite Hunt applying the pressure as he fired in his third maximum.
The second Last 16 clash in Saarbrücken featured the DIAMOND Ian White as he took on Mervyn King, both players were impressive in the previous round.Mervyn King held his firmly in the opening leg as he fired in a 15-darter with the minimum of fuss as he found his reliable D16 for a 1-0 lead. White levelled the contest straight away with a 16-darter after as he took out D20 at the third attempt. White broke King’s throw crucially in leg three with a terrific leg as he fired in two maximums followed by an 81 finish for an 11-darter and a 2-1 lead. The Stoke man extended his lead to 3-1 with a 15-darter despite King opening the leg with a maximum as White took out 84 on the Bull. King pulled it back to 2-3 with a superb leg as he found his second maximum in as many legs as he once again picked out D16 with White ready to pounce on 54. White regained a two-leg lead courtesy of a 14-darter as he picked out D8 for a 4-2 lead with an impressive 107 average at this point. King showed his typical never give up attitude as he took out 106 for a 12-darter to move within a leg of White closing the gap to 3-4. The pair traded 180’s in leg eight as King looked to break White’s throw as he kicked off with a max. White extinguished them hopes immediately as he took out 74 for a 5-3 lead to go within a leg of the Quarter-Finals. King continued his 180 hitting as he found his fifth of the match, but amazingly he missed four darts to stay in the match but the drama continued as White missed three darts at D16 for the match. King returned to the oche and found D2 to reduce the deficit to 4-5.White sealed the victory as he fired in a 14-darter as he picked out D10 completing another terrific display from the Stoke-on-Trent right hander as he averaged 106.55 the highest average in the tournament so far.
Simon Whitlock took on the rapidly-rising star Rob Cross in the third game of the afternoon. It was a bright start from Cross as he held throw well in the opening leg as he fired in D16 at the third attempt for a 16-darter for a 1-0 lead. The Aussie responded well as he looked to have the leg sewn up as he narrowly missed a dart at the bull for a 12-darter, but Cross had other things in mind as he took out a terrific 124 finish on the bull to break Whitlock’s throw to double the advantage for a 2-0 lead. Cross continued his dominance of the match as he fired in D20 for a 3-0 advantage punishing a poor leg from the Aussie. The pair traded 180’s in leg four as Whitlock looked to get his first leg on the board, The Aussie did exactly that as he took out 25 on D8 to reduce the deficit to 1-3 whilst under pressure from Cross who was waiting on D18. Cross looked to regain a three-leg lead but he missed a dart at D7 for the leg and Whitlock wasn’t in a generous mood as he took out 92 in two darts to reduce the deficit to 2-3. Whitlock completed the comeback as he won his third leg in succession as he took out 48 for a 14-darter to level things up at 3-3. Cross didn’t let Whitlock’s trio of winning legs get to him as he picked out D3 after previously missing two darts at D6 to re-establish the lead at 4-3 after Whitlock missed two darts to take the lead himself. Cross went within a leg of the Quarter-Finals courtesy of a 15-darter as he picked out D4 for a 5-3 advantage. Cross sealed the victory and his third leg on the spin as he took out 66 for another 15-darter capping off another terrific display from the in-form man from Kent as he averaged 101.34 in his defeat of the Wizard.
Benito van de Pas and Joe Cullen looked to book their places in the Quarter-Finals in Saarbrucken. The match didn’t get off to a flying start, but it was Benito van de Pas who managed to hold throw for a 1-0 lead just after hitting the games first maximum as he found D20. Cullen gifted Van de Pas a 2-0 lead as the Bradford man missed the bull for a 170 and another two darts at D8 to level and the Dutchman accepted the gift as he found D16 for a two-leg lead. Cullen opened his account as he broke Van de Pas’ throw courtesy of a 15-dart leg as he found D18 to reduce the deficit to 1-2. This time it was the Dutchman’s turn to gift a leg to his opponent as he threw a dart out of the board despite not being on a double and Cullen returned to take out 94 with a double-double finish on D18 & D20 to level things up at 2-2. Van de Pas regained the lead at 3-2 as he punished three missed darts from the Cullen for the leg as Van de Pas picked out Tops. Van de Pas won his second leg in succession to extend his lead to 4-2 as he picked out D18 for a 16-dart leg. The Dutchman completed a hat-trick of legs courtesy of a 14-darter as he took out 66 to go within a leg of the last 8. Cullen started the fightback as he went within two legs of Van de Pas as he took out 74 for a 15-darter to make it 3-5. Cullen looked dead and buried in the ninth leg as Van de Pas set up 58 for the match, but Joe Cullen provided a moment of brilliance as he fired in a spectacular 170 finish to put him right back in the match at 4-5. Joe Cullen put himself right back in the mix as he hit his second ton plus checkout in succession as he fired in a terrific 124 finish on the bull for his third leg on the spin to force a deciding leg. Benito van de Pas held his nerve in the decider as he picked out D18 for a 13-darter to dash Cullen’s hopes of a place in the last 8.
The next Last 16 match in Saarbrücken featured the World number three Peter Wright and Cristo Reyes. Wright kicked off the match in impressive style as he fired in a 13-dart leg with the minimum of fuss to stamp his authority on the match. The Spaniard Reyes replied superbly as he bettered Wright’s hold of throw as he fired in a 12-darter taking out D10 to level at 1-1. Reyes’ red-hot scoring continued as he hit a 15-dart leg courtesy of a majestic 104 finish whilst Wright missed a dart at D12 for a 141. Reyes extended his lead to 3-1 as he picked out D11 just after he narrowly missed it for a 142. Cristo Reyes must of thought Christmas came early as Peter Wright missed three darts at Tops, but amazingly the Spaniard didn’t accept the gift as he missed three darts himself on D16 and D8. Snakebite returned to find D20 to pull it back to 2-3. Wright then went on to level things up at 3-3 courtesy of a 14-darter as he took out 87 as the momentum swung the way of Snakebite. Reyes wasn’t ruling himself out of this one though as he fired in to maximums in leg seven and he regained the lead at 4-3 after finding D1 eventually in his sixth attempt at a double in the leg. Wright gifted Reyes another chance to extend his lead as he missed three darts at D20 but yet again Reyes didn’t accept the gift as he missed three darts for a 5-3 lead. Snakebite returned to pick out D20 to level things up at 4-4. Reyes broke the Wright throw again to lead 5-4 as he fired in his sixth maximum of the match followed by an 86 finish to go within a leg of the Quarter-Finals. There was another break of throw in leg 10, the fourth in succession as Wright took out 100 with two D20’s for a 12-darter to force a deciding leg. Reyes summed up his performance really as he crucially missed one match dart at D12 and Wright returned to pick out D5 for a 6-5 win, Reyes outscored Snakebite throughout the duration of the contest but 5/19 on the doubles from Reyes was the deciding factor.
The next match featured the in-form Welshman Gerwyn Price and the Belgian youngster Dimitri van den Bergh. It was a slow start from both players It’s fair to say, Price took the opening leg as he took out 56 for an 18-dart leg. Price went on to double his lead and break the Belgian’s throw with another 18-dart leg as he took out 60 on D10. Van den Bergh responded by kicking off leg three with a maximum and although he missed three darts for the leg, he picked out D10 to reduce the deficit to 1-2. The Belgian completed the comeback as he fired in D8 punishing Price’s four missed darts at double for a 3-1 lead. The pair traded maximums at the start of the fifth leg as the Belgian produced darts from another planet as he fired in a 140 finish for his third leg on the spin for a 3-2 lead. Price responded superbly to losing three legs on the trot as fired in SEVEN perfect darts, it ended up being an 11-darter from the Welshman as he took out 48 to level things up at 3-3. Van den Bergh restored parity at 4-3 after producing a 13-darter to break Price’s throw as he picked out D18. The Belgian had a big opportunity for a 5-3 lead but he missed two darts at double and the Welshman accepted the gift as he picked out D12 to level things up once more at 4-4. The momentum swung the way of the Welshman after he fired in a 14-darter to move 5-4 ahead. Gerwyn Price sealed the win as he picked out D6 just after he missed one dart at D12 for a 98 finish. It’s yet another Quarter-Final for the in-form Welshman.
The penultimate match of the afternoon was set to be a cracker as Dave Chisnall who is bang in form at the minute came up against Jelle Klaasen who of course reached the final in Jena last weekend. Klaasen found back-to-back maximums in the opening leg followed by finding D8 for a 15-darter and a 1-0 lead. Chisnall responded brilliantly as he levelled things up with a 14-darter as he took out 94 just after Klaasen hit his third maximum to apply the pressure. Klaasen’s maximum hitting was superb as he hit his fourth in three legs to leave D20 after 12 darts, the Dutchman pinned the D20 at the first time of asking for a 2-1 lead and a 13-darter. The Cobra extended his lead to 3-1 as he fired in a 16-darter as he picked out tops which included Klaasen finding his fifth 180 and hitting 3/4 on the doubles. The fifth leg belonged to the Dutchman as he found another 16-darter to open up a 4-1 lead in no time at all. Chisnall stopped the rot as he punished missed darts at double from Klaasen to pull it back to 2-4. It clearly gave Chisnall some momentum as he produced a terrific 11-dart leg to move within a leg of Klaasen at 3-4. The momentum soon moved towards the Dutchman as he fired in a 15-darter to move within a leg of the match as he took out 56. Klaasen confirmed his place in the Quarter-Finals as he took out 60 for a 17-dart leg.
The final game of the afternoon featured Mensur Suljovic and Stephen Bunting.
The Austrian got the better of Bunting in the opening leg as he took out 72 for a 17-dart leg. The pair exchanged 180’s at the start of the second leg, but again the Austrian just found that extra 5% as he took out 81 for a terrific 12-darter and a 2-0 advantage. Suljovic made it a hat-trick of legs which he celebrated with his trademark ghost headbutt after he fired in a 15-darter taking out 76 for a 3-0 lead. Suljovic’s onslaught continued as he picked out D20 for a 16-darter to move 4-0 ahead. Unfortunately for Bunting despite hitting three maximums he found himself 5-0 down as the Austrian fired in a 15-dart leg taking out 61. Mensur Suljovic completed the rout after a sensational 11-darter to complete a 6-0 whitewash win over Stephen Bunting.
The pair were first onto the oche on day 2, but neither seemed to want the first leg, as they missed a number of doubles. Roith, 57, eventually hit tops – much to the crowd’s delight.
But Bunting then showed his class, averaging 95.54 overall, and rattled off the next six legs to set up a third round match with one of Mensur Suljovic or Mark Walsh.
Next up, young South African Warrick Scheffer immediately broke Ian White with a 117 checkout to take the opening leg.
However, likewise with Bunting, eighth seed White steamrolled back with the likes of 12, 13 and 14-dart legs to go 4-1 up.
Scheffer hung in there, taking two of the next three legs and threw three 180s along the way, but White was able to wrap it up thanks to his terrific figures: an average of 103.15 and 71 per cent on the doubles.
After racing to a 5-0 lead, it looked as though Gerwyn Price had things all rapped up against James Richardson.
But that was far from the case, as the 43-year-old bricklayer dramatically built up his game to somehow level the scores and set up a decider.
There was yet more drama to come, though, as Richardson missed seven match darts against throw (the same number of 180s he managed) to allow The Iceman to eventually finish on D10. Ruthless Richardson could not live up to his nickname!
Three-time Development Tour finalist in 2017 Adam Hunt continued to show what he’s made of by downing Steve West with a cool 120 ‘Shanghai’ checkout to win 6-4.
His average of 87.3 was lower than West’s 90.12, but he now faces one of Michael van Gerwen, who he narrowly lost out to 6-5 in a UK Open qualifier back in February, or Ronny Huybrechts.
Ronny’s younger half-brother Kim Huybrechts was next onto the oche against Mervyn King, but bowed out to The King after a 6-3 loss.
King was in great form as he averaged 97.42, and took out a superb 142 checkout to blow the Hurricane out of the competition to set up a third round showdown with White.
Rob Cross has rapidly risen the rankings since earning a two-year PDC Pro Tour card, and claimed one of his best wins yet against Michael Smith in his European Tour tournament debut.
He took advantage of some poor finishing from Bully Boy to take the first leg against the throw, and rallied to go 5-1 up.
Neither were great on the doubles, as their percentages of 33.33 and 11.11 respectively proved, but Cross eventually triumphed 6-2 to face Simon Whitlock, and guarantees himself £3,000 in prize money.
There will be at least one Belgian in action on Sunday in Saarbrucken, as Dimitri Van den Bergh sent out yet another seed this afternoon session.
Alan Norris looked totally out of sorts, particularly at the start of the match, and averaged a lowly 78.79 to allow The Dreammaker (85.19) to progress and take on Price next.
Darren Webster became a bit of a bogey player for Simon Whitlock in late 2016, beating him in both the Players Championship Finals 6-3 and World Championship 4-0.
It looked as though another whitewash in Demolition Man’s favour was on the cards as he smashed his way to a 3-0 lead, but The Wizard worked his magic to level up the scores.
Webster had darts to go 4-3 up, but Whitlock instead broke him and went on to claim the next two legs to win 6-3. The Australian thus avoided becoming the fifth out of eight seeds in the afternoon session to exit.
Second round afternoon session results
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Bernd Roith
Ian White 6-3 Warrick Scheffer
Gerwyn Price 6-5 James Richardson
Steve West 4-6 Adam Hunt
Kim Huybrechts 3-6 Mervyn King
Michael Smith 2-6 Rob Cross
Alan Norris 2-6 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Darren Webster
Evening session schedule
Cristo Reyes v Nico Blum
Joe Cullen v Vincent van der Voort
Benito van de Pas v Paul Nicholson
Michael van Gerwen v Ronny Huybrechts
Mensur Suljovic v Mark Walsh
Peter Wright v Krzysztof Ratajski
Jelle Klaasen v Christian Kist
Dave Chisnall v Nathan Aspinall
16-year-old host-nation qualifier Nico Blum sent the German crowd into raptures with a brilliant debut victory on the European Tour, as Vincent van der Voort, Mervyn King & Paul Nicholson also triumphed on a dramatic opening day of action at the German Darts Open in Saarbrucken on Friday.
16-year-old sensation Nico Blum marked his European Tour debut with a memorable 6-4 victory over former Pro Tour winner Josh Payne. Blum is the first player in this millennium to compete on the PDC European Tour, and the young German held his nerve impressively to prevail with an 85.49 average and 32% on the doubles.
Vincent van der Voort survived four match darts as he edged out his compatriot Dirk van Duijvenbode in a nail-biting affair. Dirk landed three maximums but missed 20 darts at double; busting D8 in the decider by hitting D11, as Van der Voort sneaked through with an 85.68 average to set up a round-two tussle against thirteenth seed Joe Cullen.
Mervyn King edged out Robbie Green in a gripping deciding-leg to set up a meeting with ninth seed Kim Huybrechts. Green fired in three maximums and registered finishes of 110 and 160, but it proved immaterial. The pair exchanged maximums in a thrilling final leg, as King rounded-off victory inside 14 darts to triumph an impressive 97.16 average.
Former World-Youth finalist Nathan Aspinall produced a terrific display to dump out former World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton. ‘The Asp’ averaged 94.55, fired in three maximums and converted six of his eight attempts at double, to set up a tasty second-round tie against sixth seed Dave Chisnall.
Rob Cross impressed on his European Tour debut with a thumping 6-1 win over Dutch star Jeffrey de Graaf. Cross, who clinched his maiden PDC title at Players Championship Three last month, averaged 95.54, landed two maximums, a 177 and a 174, whilst also converting finishes of 68, 89 and 109 to triumph in emphatic fashion.
Paul Nicholson continued his resurgence to book a second-round clash against Benito van de Pas, after producing a professional display to dismantle young German Martin Schindler. ‘The Asset’ crashed in four maximums, took out an exhibition style 100 finish (S20, D20, D20) and finished with a 92.68 average as he breezed to a 6-1 victory.
Dimitri van den Bergh produced a clinical display to whitewash former world finalist Andy Hamilton. ‘The Hammer’ was making his first European Tour appearance of 2017, but the Belgian showed no mercy; averaging 91.09, landing two maximums and dispatching 55% of his double attempts, as Hamilton departed Germany empty-handed.
Darren Webster impressed on his first European Tour appearance of 2017; easing past recent Players Championship finalist Peter Jacques, who was making his European Tour debut. Jacques didn’t miss a dart at double, but ‘The Demolition Man’ lived up to his nickname; landing five maximums and averaging 97.15 to prevail by a 6-3 scoreline.
Mark Walsh rolled back the years to edge out in-form Dutchman Jimmy Hendriks in a last-leg shootout. Walsh averaged 95.01, crashed in four maximums and took out a classy 136 checkout to establish a 4-2 cushion. Hendriks fought back valiantly to force a final leg, but Walsh triumphed with a stunning 121 outshot in the decider.
Ronny Huybrechts breezed through to round-two with a whitewash victory over Zoran Lerchbacher. ‘The Rebel’ averaged 88.41, landed two maximums and converted 38% of his attempts at double, to ease past the under-par Austrian and set up a second-round showdown with world number one Michael van Gerwen.
Former Lakeside world champion Christian Kist set up an all-Dutch clash with Jelle Klaasen in round-two, after recording a hard-fought victory over European Tour debutant Steve Lennon. Kist’s experience paid dividends, as he punished thirteen missed doubles from Lennon to sneak home 6-4 with a modest 84.22 average.
Warrick Scheffer reeled off five consecutive legs to prevail on his European Tour debut against Finland World Cup star Marko Kantele. Kantele established an early 3-1 advantage, but the South African then won five legs on the spin; averaging 86.60 and converting 43% of his double attempts to set up a second-round tie against Ian White.
James Richardson will take on UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price on Saturday afternoon, after defeating an off-colour John Henderson in round-one. Richardson raced into an early 4-0 lead and although Henderson reduced the arrears to 5-3, ‘Ruthless’ dispatched a fine 111 checkout via D16 to seal his progression with an 83.90 average.
Krzysztof Ratajski produced a clinical display of finishing to defeat Jamie Bain and set up a second-round tie against another Scot; second seed Peter Wright. Ratajski converted 104 finishes in successive legs to establish an early 3-1 cushion, before closing out a comfortable 6-3 triumph with an 86.03 average and a 46% checkout success rate.
Adam Hunt fended off a spirited fightback from host-nation qualifier Rene Berndt to book his place in round-two. Hunt eased into a commanding 5-1 lead, before Berndt claimed the next two legs inside 25 darts to threaten a fightback. However, the Newcastle ace held his nerve to convert a clinical two-dart 100 kill to prevail with a 93.04 average.
Host-nation qualifier Bernd Roith prevailed in a marathon eleven-leg tussle with Brian Woods, to set up a second-round tussle with former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting. Woods led 4-2 but became embroiled with the crowd, as Roith won four of the remaining five legs to edge through with a 79.16 average, compared to Woods’ 71.98.
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