Adrian Lewis began his bid to win a second PDC European Tour title in Sindelfingen with a commanding 6-2 win over Stephen Bunting, whilst in-form Dutch star Jan Dekker produced the performance of the opening-round on a dramatic opening day at the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix on Friday.
Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis set up a second-round meeting with his fellow Stoke star Ian White after easing past an under-par Stephen Bunting. ‘Jackpot’ averaged 96.30, landed four maximums and converted 46% of his attempts at double to prevail 6-2 against the off-colour former Lakeside world champion.
Nevertheless, the performance of the day was delivered by Jan Dekker, who averaged a sublime 108 to demolish former BDO star James Wilson. Dekker enjoyed a stunning mid-game burst to romp to victory; registering successive 11-darters, a 13-darter and a 122 bull finish to set up a showdown with Alan Norris on Saturday afternoon.
Belgian hotshot Dimitri van den Bergh produced a terrific display to dump out Mervyn King in an entertaining tussle. ‘The Dream-Maker’ posted four maximums in a dominant display of scoring; averaging 96.86 to round-off a 6-4 victory over ‘The King’, who was condemned to an early exit despite hitting four of his six attempts at double.
Dirk van Duijvenbode held off a valiant fightback from his compatriot Jermaine Wattimena to prevail in a dramatic affair. Wattimena recovered from 4-0 down to level, but Van Duijvenbode eventually progressed in a nail-biting decider with a 94.88 average, to set up a meeting with another Dutchman in the shape of Jelle Klaasen.
John Henderson also prevailed by virtue of an eleventh and deciding leg; surviving a spirited fightback from Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp. The Scot led 4-1 at one stage, but Meulenkamp recovered to force a decider, only for Henderson to seal victory with an 89.24 average; setting up a tie with Daryl Gurney in the last 32.
Steve West produced an imperious display of finishing to defeat Chris Dobey on Friday evening. West struggled for consistency in the scoring department but successfully converted six of his seven darts at double, to seal a comfortable 6-3 victory and a second-round meeting with three-time European Tour winner Michael Smith.
Former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster will face eight-time major winner James Wade in round-two, after recording a hard-fought win against host-nation qualifier Berndt Roith. Both players struggled for large periods, but the Welshman triumphed 6-4 with a modest 81.56 average and a 36% checkout success rate.
Max Hopp delighted the home crowd with victory over Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher in the final game of the first-round. The former World-Youth champion averaged 95.49, fired in three maximums and took out a brilliant 121 finish en route to victory, to set up a last 32 tie against Belgian star Kim Huybrechts.
Another former World-Youth champion Keegan Brown will take on world number one Michael van Gerwen in round-two, after dumping out Jeffrey de Graaf in a topsy-turvy contest. Brown fired in an incredible six maximums but missed seventeen darts at double. Nevertheless, he eventually clinched a 6-4 triumph with an 86.79 average.
New Target signing Rob Cross will take on Simon Whitlock for the second European Tour event in succession after surviving a valiant fightback from Luke Woodhouse. Cross stormed into a 5-0 advantage only to be pegged back to 5-3, but the former Challenge Tour prevailed with a 96.31 average to set up a showdown with ‘The Wizard’.
Welsh star Jonny Clayton continued his fine form to record a comprehensive 6-2 victory over former Lakeside world champion Christian Kist. The diminutive Welshman crashed in four maximums, averaged 96.81 and converted 46% of his double attempts, as he prepares to face recent Pro Tour winner Joe Cullen in round-two.
James Richardson continued his good form to secure an emphatic victory over European Tour newcomer Paul Rowley. ‘Ruthless’ averaged 94.51, landed a maximum and converted a superb 75% of his attempts at double, to set up a tasty second-round clash against Peter Wright, who is searching for his third European Tour title of the year.
Finland’s Ulf Ceder enjoyed a dream European Tour debut to dump out the legendary Steve Beaton. Ceder averaged 94.28, landed two maximums and crashed in finishes of 105 and 120 to seal an emphatic 6-2 victory over the former Lakeside world champion, and his reward is a second-round tie with Spanish star Cristo Reyes.
Krzysztof Ratajski produced a mightily impressive display to defeat emerging Irishman Steve Lennon. Lennon crashed in four maximums but was unable to defeat the clinical Polish star, who averaged 99.52 and converted 55% of his attempts at double to book a second-round tussle with third seed Mensur Suljovic.
Matt Clark produced an exhibition of finishing to set up a second-round tussle with the in-form Dave Chisnall. Clark edged out host-nation qualifier Rene Berndt 6-4 in an entertaining affair; averaging 88.44, posting three maximums and dispatching 75% of his double attempts, as Berndt was punished for a costly miscount in the tenth and final leg.
Finally, Joe Murnan reeled off three successive legs to defeat host-nation qualifier Gabriel Clemens in a scrappy affair. ‘Shaggy’ averaged 85.61, registered three maximums and successfully converted 35% of his attempts at double to prevail and set up a meeting with German Darts Open finalist Benito van de Pas.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix
May 5-7, Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, Germany
Friday May 5
Ulf Ceder 6-2 Steve Beaton
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Steve Lennon
James Richardson 6-2 Paul Rowley
Matt Clark 6-4 Rene Berndt
Rob Cross 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Keegan Brown 6-4 Jeffrey de Graaf
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Christian Kist
Joe Murnan 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Jan Dekker 6-3 James Wilson
Steve West 6-2 Chris Dobey
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Mark Webster 6-4 Bernd Roith
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Mervyn King
John Henderson 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Max Hopp 6-4 Zoran Lerchbacher
Saturday May 6
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Alan Norris v Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes v Ulf Ceder
Jelle Klaasen v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Simon Whitlock v Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall v Matt Clark
Joe Cullen v Jonny Clayton
Benito van de Pas v Joe Murnan
Kim Huybrechts v Max Hopp
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
James Wade v Mark Webster
Gerwyn Price v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael Smith v Steve West
Daryl Gurney v John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic v Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright v James Richardson
Michael van Gerwen v Keegan Brown
Ian White v Adrian Lewis