Michael van Gerwen kept alive his hopes of winning a fourth consecutive European Tour title of the year, whilst Phil Taylor, Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Kyle Anderson all booked their places in the quarter-finals of the Austrian Darts Open in Vienna on Sunday afternoon.
Van Gerwen opened up Sunday’s marathon session with a comprehensive 6-1 win against ‘The Adonis’ Steve Beaton. Van Gerwen was on course for a 10-darter in the opening leg, before eventually winning it with his seventh attempt at double.
Beaton missed opportunities for an instant break back in leg two, before MvG posted successive 12-darters to coast into a 4-0 lead. Beaton landed an 80 finish to open his account, but Van Gerwen’s dominance continued, as the Dutchman won the remaining two legs to finish with an average in excess of 101.
Van Gerwen will face Kyle Anderson in the last eight tonight, after the Australian edged out Jelle Klaasen in a pulsating contest which featured twelve maximums. Anderson averaged 103.61 and hit four 180’s to complete a wonderful performance and seal his quarter-final spot in Vienna.
Anderson led 5-4, but Klaasen forced a decider after producing an inspired 132 checkout. After defeating Mensur Suljovic in a last-leg shootout yesterday, Anderson again held his nerve, landing D16 for a 37 finish to prevail. Klaasen hit an astonishing eight maximums and averaged 104.77, but this still wasn’t enough to overcome ‘The Original’.
Phil Taylor missed D12 for a 9-darter as he defeated Kim Huybrechts 6-3 in a high-quality tussle. Both players averaged over 100, with Taylor averaging 101.73 to Huybrechts’ 102.47. Nevertheless, ‘The Power’s’ merciless finishing proved to be the decisive factor.
Taylor capitalised on four missed darts from the Belgian in leg two en route to establishing a 3-0 lead. However, Huybrechts rallied impressively and opened his account with a magnificent 140 finish (T18, T18, D16). ‘The Hurricane’ then broke Taylor’s throw with a clinical 92 checkout, before restoring parity with a commanding hold of throw.
Taylor managed to halt Huybrechts’ momentum by landing a 76 finish to edge back ahead at 4-3, before a dramatic eighth leg ensued. Taylor kicked off the leg with successive maximums, and the Stoke-on-Trent star came agonisingly close to recording the first 9-darter on the European Tour since 2013.
Taylor hit the requisite T20 and T19, but he wired the all-important ninth dart at D12, before returning to seal the leg in 10 darts to move a leg away from victory. Huybrechts continued to battle, but the 16-time world champion was unrelenting, clinching an excellent victory with a fine 13-darter on his trusty D16.
Taylor will face former world champion Stephen Bunting in the last eight, after ‘The Bullet’ prevailed in an all-St Helen’s clash against Dave Chisnall. Chisnall scored very strongly in patches, but profligate finishing was ultimately Chizzy’s undoing.
Bunting stormed into an early 2-0 advantage, following up a strong hold of throw with a maximum and a 13-dart break of throw. Chisnall responded strongly however, converting a 66 finish on D20, before levelling up proceedings with an 11-darter having recorded two 180’s in the leg.
‘The Bullet’ fired back instantly though, taking out 91 on the bullseye for a 3-2 lead, before breaking Chisnall for the second time to regain his two-leg cushion. Bunting pinned D10 to move to the cusp of victory, and despite Chisnall leaving 41 after 9 darts in the eighth, Dave spurned five darts at double, as Bunting nailed D8 to clinch an emphatic win.
Alan Norris averaged 102.82 and hit seven maximums, but still suffered deciding-leg heartbreak against second seed Peter Wright. Norris fired in 14 and 13 darters to claim the opening two legs, but Snakebite seized the initiative by reeling off three consecutive legs, including a 12-darter in the fifth.
Norris responded by winning successive legs to move 4-3 ahead, but Wright returned the favour, sealing back-to-back legs to move to the cusp of victory. However, Norris continued his fine run of scoring before pinning D10 to force an eleventh and final leg.
Snakebite recorded his fourth 180 of the match, the 11th overall, to secure control of the leg. Nevertheless, the Scot astonishingly bust 120 by hitting successive T20’s, handing Norris a reprieve. However, ‘Chuck’ was unable to take advantage, missing two match darts before Wright sank D10 to scrape through in a thriller.
Wright will face nine-time major finalist Terry Jenkins in the last eight, after the Herefordshire ace reeled off four consecutive legs to dump out seventh seed Benito van de Pas.
Van de Pas stole the opening leg against throw after Jenkins missed four darts to hold, before Benito doubled his lead with a majestic 110 finish. Jenkins reduced the deficit after the pair both endured double-trouble in leg three, but ‘The Raging Bull’ squared up the contest by following up his first maximum with an impressive 80 finish.
The Dutchman responded strongly by converting 81 for a 12-dart break, but after Van de Pas wired the bull for a 130 outshot, Jenkins drew level once more on D4. The nine-time major finalist hit his second maximum en route to edging 4-3 ahead, before moving to the cusp of the last eight with a moment of inspiration.
After van de Pas recorded visits of 180 and 125 to leave 76 after 12 darts, Jenkins broke the Dutchman’s heart with a sublime 132 finish (25, T19, Bull) for a 5-3 lead. Van de Pas hit his fourth maximum as he fought to stay afloat, but Jenkins sealed his progression by nailing D9 with his last dart in hand.
Nigel Heydon is through to his first European Tour quarter-final after a whitewash victory over Ian White. Heydon was solid if unspectacular, averaging 92.97 and hitting over 50% of his doubles. The same could not be said for Ian White, who was uncharacteristically profligate in the latter stages of legs.
Heydon clinched the opening leg on D8, before capitalising on seven missed darts from ‘The Diamond’ to extend his advantage. Heydon converted 72 on D6 for 3-0, before winning his fourth straight leg after further misses on the double from White.
White almost opened his account with a 141 checkout in the fifth leg, but his dart at D12 was narrowly pulled, as his missed doubles tally rose to ten. The Stokie kicked off the sixth leg with a maximum, but some sloppy scoring ensured he didn’t register a dart at double after 15 darts, and ‘The Undertaker’ capped off a clinical display with a two-dart 64 kill.
Heydon will take on Michael Smith, who survived a major scare after coming from 4-1 down to defeat Ron Meulenkamp. It was an attritional battle with both men averaging in the mid 80s, but the third seed displayed impressive resolve; winning five straight legs to book his quarter-final spot.
Smith broke throw on D6 in the opening leg, before Meulenkamp reeled off four legs in succession to seize complete control of the contest. The Dutchman levelled up on tops, before pinning D10 for three straight legs to lead 4-1, with Smith’s average languishing in the late 70’s.
The turning point came in the sixth leg, when Meulenkamp missed four darts for a 5-1 advantage. Smith had missed D16 for a spectacular 132 (Bull, Bull, D16) checkout, but he returned to post D8 and stop the rot. The Dutchman’s scoring then wavered and ‘Bully-Boy’ restored parity at four apiece in rapid fashion.
Meulenkamp had an opportunity to halt Smith’s charge and establish a 5-4 advantage, but missed doubles again proved expensive. The young Dutch star missed four more darts as Smith moved 5-4 ahead, before the St Helen’s star produced his best leg of the encounter, completing victory with a commanding 13-dart hold.
Austrian Darts Open
Sunday June 12
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Steve Beaton
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Jelle Klaasen
Phil Taylor 6-3 Kim Huybrechts
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Peter Wright 6-5 Alan Norris
Terry Jenkins 6-3 Benito van de Pas
Nigel Heydon 6-0 Ian White
Michael Smith 6-4 Ron Meulenkamp
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Michael van Gerwen v Kyle Anderson
Phil Taylor v Stephen Bunting
Peter Wright v Terry Jenkins
Nigel Heydon v Michael Smith