Peter Wright crashed out to home favourite Max Hopp in a dramatic double-session of action at the German Darts Open on Saturday, as Dave Chisnall and Rob Cross turned on the style to register impressive whitewash wins in Saarbrucken.
Max Hopp continued his resurgence to stun world number two Peter Wright, to the delight of a partisan German crowd. ‘Snakebite’ led 4-2 but he was denied the chance to reach his third straight European Tour final as Hopp reeled off four consecutive legs to prevail with a 94.26 average, two 180’s and a 33% checkout conversion rate.
World number one Michael van Gerwen breezed through to the last 16 after thumping his fellow countryman Danny Noppert 6-1. ‘The Green Machine’ was far from his blistering best but still fired in two ton-plus checkouts- including a 164 in the third leg, to triumph with a 95.86 average and 60% on the doubles.
World champion Rob Cross stormed into round-three with an imperious 6-0 whitewash win over World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh. ‘Voltage’ was in ruthless mood; averaging 103.66, landing five maximums and converting 60% of his attempts at double; denying the Belgian a single dart at double.
Mervyn King produced a solid display to dump out an in-form James Wade in Saarbrucken. Wade reached the semi-finals in each of the opening two European Tour events so far this season, but King registered a break of throw in both the first and final leg of the contest, to secure a 6-3 win with a 94.20 average.
Benito van de Pas survived SEVEN match darts as he recovered from 5-2 down to edge out Paul Nicholson in a nervy affair. ‘The Asset’ stormed into a 4-0 lead after an abject start from ‘Big Ben’, but he was unable to close it out and the Dutchman took full advantage; averaging 85.98 to book his spot in round-three.
Mensur Suljovic responded to his Premier League elimination by bouncing back with a commanding 6-2 win over quick-fire Jermaine Wattimena. ‘The Machine Gun’ was punished for missing nine of his eleven attempts at double as Suljovic secured his fourth consecutive win over the Dutchman, averaging 94.86 in the process.
Daryl Gurney eased through with an emphatic 6-1 victory over host-nation qualifier Reine Eidams. The German averaged in the mid 70’s in his opening round-win and was completely outplayed by ‘Super Chin’, who averaged 92.68, posted the solitary maximum and boasted an impressive 60% checkout success rate to continue his good form.
Joe Cullen held his nerve to see off Development Tour winner Luke Humphries in a dramatic deciding-leg tussle. The pair missed 31 darts at double between them, but Cullen converted a two-dart 83 combination in the decider for a 14-dart clincher and a 92.45 average, which maintains his strong start on the European Tour in 2018.
However, there were also a number of eye-catching performances in Saturday’s afternoon session, with Dave Chisnall and Darren Webster both registering classy ton-plus averages en route to victory.
Chisnall stormed into the third-round with a stunning whitewash win over Spain’s Jose Justicia. Chizzy underlined his intentions by kicking off proceedings with a sublime 12-darter and he maintained that standard; averaging 108.65, landing four maximums and converting 50% of his attempts at double; limiting Justicia to just two darts at double.
Michael Smith continued his fine form to defeat Steve Lennon 6-4 in a hard-fought tussle. Lennon whitewashed Robert Thornton in round-one last night and fought back from 4-1 down to level with a 12-darter and two ton-plus finishes, but ‘Bully Boy’ held his nerve to prevail with a 95.69 average, four 180’s and a 43% checkout success rate.
Gerwyn Price continued his impressive response since suffering Premier League elimination by fending off a valiant fightback from Kirk Shepherd. The Welshman led 4-1 before Shepherd reduced the arrears to 4-3 with impressive 90 and 84 combinations, but ‘The Iceman’ kept his cool to wrap up a 6-4 win with a 93.75 average.
Darren Webster produced a sensational display to ease past Steve West 6-2 in the opening match of Saturday’s double-session. ‘The Demolition Man’ opened up with an 11-darter as he stormed into a 5-0 lead, and although West hit back with a 106 kill followed by a 14-darter, Webster capped off a fine performance to triumph with a 103.38 average.
Alan Tabern made it through to the third-round for the second straight European Tour event, courtesy of a convincing 6-2 win over 16th seed Steve Beaton. Tabern averaged 94.13 and dispatched 47% of his attempts at a double, to become the third St Helen’s star to triumph on Saturday afternoon in Saarbrucken.
Jelle Klaasen secured his first victory on the European Tour in 2018 with a comprehensive 6-1 win over European Tour debutant Maik Kuivenhoven. ‘The Cobra’ was well below par in this all-Dutch affair, but after the opening two legs were shared he reeled off five on the spin to seal his progression with an 83.56 average.
Ian White capitalised on a profligate display from Cameron Menzies to register a scrappy 6-3 win in his opening round tie. Menzies fired in three maximums but squandered 13 darts at double, as an under-par ‘Diamond’ averaged 83.67 and dispatched 26% of his attempts at double to set up a last 16 showdown against Dave Chisnall.
Finally, Swedish star Daniel Larsson received a bye through to the last 16 after Simon Whitlock withdrew from the tournament. ‘The Wizard’ has been battling illness for the last few weeks and opted to pull-out ahead of a decisive Premier League double-header in Rotterdam this week.
2018 German Darts Open
Saturday April 14
Darren Webster 6-2 Steve West
Ian White 6-3 Cameron Menzies
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Alan Tabern 6-2 Steve Beaton
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Jose Justicia
Michael Smith 6-4 Steve Lennon
NB: Simon Whitlock’s withdrawal through illness means that Daniel Larsson receives a Bye.
Photo Credit: Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe
Mervyn King 6-3 James Wade
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Rene Eidams
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Paul Nicholson
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Danny Noppert
Max Hopp 6-4 Peter Wright
Joe Cullen 6-5 Luke Humphries
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Rob Cross 6-0 Dimitri Van den Bergh