Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright both missed double 12 for nine-darters on a thrilling day of second-round action at the European Championship in Hasselt, Belgium, on Saturday, which also saw Phil Taylor remain on course for a fifth European Championship crown.
However, the performance of the day was delivered by world number one Michael van Gerwen, who landed nine maximums en route to a comprehensive 10-2 victory against Welshman Gerwyn Price.
‘The Green Machine’ averaged 105.50, hit nine maximums and converted 44% of his attempts at double to breeze through to the quarter-finals. Price performed better than the scoreline suggested; averaging almost 97. Nevertheless, ‘The Iceman’ was punished for hitting just two of his eleven attempts at double.
Elsewhere, 16-time world champion Phil Taylor stormed into the last eight with an emphatic 10-3 triumph against Joe Cullen. Taylor was at his clinical best, averaging 103.98, firing in five maximums and boasting an extremely impressive checkout ratio of 67%, as Cullen was denied an appearance in his second major quarter-final.
Peter Wright missed D12 for his first ever televised 9-darter as he overcame Cristo Reyes in an intriguing tussle. Snakebite came agonisingly close to making history in leg three, but he recovered from the initial disappointment to complete a 10-7 win, averaging 100.79, hitting six maximums and converting 50% of his doubles.
James Wade continued his fine form with a convincing 10-3 win against World Youth champion Max Hopp. ‘The Machine’, who whitewashed world champion Gary Anderson in round-one yesterday, hit 10 of his 20 double attempts after Hopp was only able to muster an 87 average.
Second seed Mensur Suljovic survived a major scare as he edged out Ian White in a thrilling last-leg decider. Suljovic led 7-2 and 8-3 at one stage, but ‘The Diamond’ fought back sublimely. Nevertheless, ‘The Gentle’ averaged 100.89 and recorded five maximums to book a place in his maiden European Championship quarter-final.
Jelle Klaasen set up a last-eight showdown with his compatriot Michael van Gerwen after comfortably defeating former world champion Stephen Bunting 10-4. Klaasen averaged over 101 and landed nine maximums in just fourteen legs to overwhelm ‘The Bullet’, who hit just 36% of his double attempts.
James Wilson sealed a spot in his maiden PDC major quarter-final with a tense deciding-leg victory over former major finalist Mervyn King. King averaged 99.23 compared to Wilson’s 93.64, but ‘The Jammie Dodger’ landed six maximums and produced the goods in decisive moments to edge a thrilling encounter.
Finally, Kyle Anderson cruised into the quarter-finals with a comprehensive 10-4 victory against James Richardson. The Australian ace was hugely impressive; averaging 94.95, hitting five maximums and converting 56% of his attempts at double, as Richardson was punished for an underwhelming 86 average.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Unibet European Championship
Saturday October 29
Kyle Anderson 10-4 James Richardson
Mensur Suljovic 10-9 Ian White
Peter Wright 10-7 Cristo Reyes
James Wilson 10-9 Mervyn King
Jelle Klaasen 10-4 Stephen Bunting
Phil Taylor 10-3 Joe Cullen
James Wade 10-3 Max Hopp
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 Gerwyn Price
Sunday October 30 (1.45pm-6pm local time, 12.45pm-5pm UK time)
James Wilson v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Jelle Klaasen
Mensur Suljovic v Phil Taylor
Kyle Anderson v Peter Wright
Best of 19 legs
Evening Session (8pm-12am local time, 7pm-11pm UK time)
van Gerwen/Klaasen v Wilson/Wade
Suljovic/Taylor v Anderson/Wright
Best of 21 legs
Best of 21 legs