Michael van Gerwen kicked off the defence of his German Darts Masters title with a sensational 110.12 average, as Peter Wright, Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade were amongst the other big names to triumph on a dramatic double-session of darts at the Sparkassen Arena in Jena on Sunday.
Top seed Michael van Gerwen kicked off his title defence with a thumping victory over Greece’s John Michael. ‘The Green Machine’ produced a stunning display to secure victory in a matter of minutes; posting the first ton-plus average of this year’s event.
The world number one averaged 110.12, landed the solitary maximum, converted 75% of his attempts at double and sealed his progression with a blockbusting 136 finish. The Greek ace did little wrong; averaging 91.30 and hitting one of his two double attempts, but he was helpless in the face of Van Gerwen’s brilliance.
Peter Wright remains on course for a second successive European Tour title after defeating former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster 6-3. Snakebite averaged 98.65, converted 66% of his attempts at double and pegged a classy 106 checkout to complete victory, as ‘Webby’ was dumped out despite averaging 96.29.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld secured his fifth consecutive victory over eighth seed Alan Norris to reach the last 16. Both players made a strong start but each suffered bouts of double-trouble in the latter stages. However Van Barneveld clinched a hard-fought 6-4 win after averaging 89.08 and landing ten 140’s.
Barney will face Kim Huybrechts in round-three, after the Belgian eased past European Tour debutant Daniel Larsson. The Swede whitewashed Justin Pipe in round-one but was unable to replicate those heroics, as ‘The Hurricane’ triumphed 6-2 after averaging 92.44, landing three maximums and taking out a stunning 145 finish to round-off victory.
Mensur Suljovic survived four match darts as he came from 5-3 behind to edge out Jamie Lewis in a nail-biting affair. The Welshman spurned four darts to triumph 6-3 and Suljovic reeled off three successive legs to prevail with a 90.77 average, as a nerveless 104 kill in the ninth leg inspired the Austrian’s fightback.
James Wade is safely through to round-three, after punishing a multitude of missed doubles from former World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton. The Scot landed three maximums but converted just three of his nineteen attempts at double, as Wade prevailed with a 91.35 average, one maximum and a 38% checkout success rate.
Wade will face Gerwyn Price in the last 16, after the UK Open finalist silenced the German crowd with an emphatic 6-1 win against home-favourite Max Hopp. ‘The Iceman’ wasn’t at his best but still cruised to victory over the former World-Youth champion; averaging 93.24 and converting 50% of his attempts at double.
Simon Whitlock secured his first victory on the European Tour in 2017, with a hard-fought victory over Welshman Jonny Clayton. ‘The Wizard’ suffered a disappointing opening-round defeat to Kevin Painter in last month’s German Darts Championship, but made amends to prevail in Jena with a solid 96.55 average, compared to Clayton’s 98.09.
Jelle Klaasen defied his injury woes to defeat an in-form Daryl Gurney in a topsy-turvy tussle. The Northern Irishman scored prolifically and crashed in five maximums, but he missed sixteen darts at double, as ‘The Cobra’ recorded a hard-fought 6-4 win with an 87.29 average, three maximums and a 32% checkout success rate.
Klaasen will face his fellow Dutchman Jeffrey de Graaf in round-three, after the former BDO star produced another heroic comeback to reach the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time in his career.
De Graaf came back from 5-1 behind to defeat Ricky Evans in round-one and recovered from a similarly improbable deficit to dump out sixth seed Ian White. The Dutchman trailed 5-2 against ‘The Diamond’, but averaged 91.93, landed five maximums and converted 50% of his attempts at double to secure a thrilling victory.
Cristo Reyes set up a third-round clash with world number one Michael van Gerwen after edging out Mervyn King in a nerve-jangling deciding leg. The sixteenth seed averaged 92.13, landed three maximums and boasted a checkout success rate of 46% to triumph, and set up a repeat of his classic Ally Pally clash with MvG.
Stephen Bunting set up a last 16 clash against second seed Peter Wright after recording a hard-fought win over Ted Evetts. Evetts landed four maximums but spurned six darts to force a decider, as the former Lakeside world champion triumphed 6-4 with a 90.78 average and a 50% checkout success rate.
Three-time European Tour winner Michael Smith breezed into round-three with a comprehensive 6-1 win over host-nation qualifier Dragutin Horvat. ‘Bully-Boy’ averaged 98.51, landed five maximums and boasted a checkout success rate of 55%, whilst he also registered seven perfect darts in the final leg of the contest.
Aussie ace Kyle Anderson produced an impressive display to dump out fourteenth seed Steve West. West converted finishes of 95, 101 and 104 but it wasn’t enough to book his place in Monday’s third-round. Anderson averaged 96.72, crashed in four maximums and converted 46% of his double attempts to set up a last 16 tie with Mensur Suljovic.
Rowby-John Rodriguez produced a clinical display of finishing to dump out fifth seed Benito van de Pas. The Austrian averaged 94.18, registered the solitary maximum and converted 50% of his shots at double, including an eye-catching 123 outshot. ‘Little John’ will now face twelfth seed Michael Smith for a place in the quarter-finals.
Host-nation qualifier Steffen Siepmann survived four match darts to cause a major shock and dump out recent Players Championship winner Joe Cullen. Siepmann missed an incredible 27 darts at double in his first-round victory over Andrew Gilding, but the German averaged 80.92 and converted 55% of his double attempts to stun ‘The Rockstar’.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
HappyBet German Darts Masters
Sparkassen-Arena, Jena, Germany
Sunday April 16 – Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Jeffrey De Graaf 6-5 Ian White
Stephen Bunting 6-4 Ted Evetts
Kyle Anderson 6-4 Steve West
Michael Smith 6-1 Dragutin Horvat
Kim Huybrechts 6-2 Daniel Larsson
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Max Hopp
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Benito van de Pas
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
James Wade 6-3 Robert Thornton
Steffen Siepmann 6-5 Joe Cullen
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Jamie Lewis
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright 6-4 Mark Webster
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Alan Norris
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 John Michael
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Mervyn King