Mensur Suljovic and Adrian Lewis have both withdrawn from this weekend’s European Darts Trophy in Göttingen due to personal reasons.
The year’s 13th and final European Tour event will take place at the Lokhalle, with 48 players competing over the weekend for the £25,000 top prize, as the race to qualify for the European Championship intensifies.
Suljovic won the inaugural staging of the Danish Darts Open back in June and currently occupies second spot on the European Tour Order of Merit, therefore his place in Dortmund later this month is secure.
Two-time world champion Lewis is also guaranteed to make his first European Championship appearance since 2015. ‘Jackpot’ won the European Championship title back in 2013 and enjoyed a run to the final of June’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy, which all but confirmed his qualification.
Friday’s first-round in Göttingen will be headlined by a clash between former European Tour winners Kim Huybrechts and Steve Beaton, whilst Dutch Darts Championship finalist Ricky Evans takes on former UK Open semi-finalist Andrew Gilding.
Former Austrian Darts Open champion Vincent van der Voort plays Simon Stevenson as he attempts to secure his last-gasp qualification for Dortmund, whilst recent Players Championship winner Danny Noppert meets Spain’s Toni Alcinas.
Last year’s World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski faces Steve West, whilst former World Youth champion Keegan Brown locks horns with 2017 Development Tour winner Luke Humphries in an intriguing tussle.
Dutch duo Jeffrey de Zwaan and Jelle Klaasen are joined by Marko Kantele, Brendan Dolan, Luke Woodhouse and Richard North in awaiting their opponents from Thursday’s Host Nation Qualifier. Elsewhere, Mervyn King and Stephen Bunting are stepping up to become seeds in the absence of Suljovic and Lewis.
The 16 seeded players enter the fray in Saturday’s second round, with Michael van Gerwen- fresh from winning his fourth World Grand Prix title last weekend, bidding to win an eighth European Tour title of the year.
World number two Peter Wright and world champion Rob Cross also enter the tournament in round-two, whist 2018 European Tour event winners Max Hopp, Jonny Clayton, Ian White and Gerwyn Price are all seeded this weekend.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2018 European Darts Trophy (ET13)
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Simon Stevenson/Vincent van der Voort
Stephen Bunting (16) v Mickey Mansell/George Killington
Joe Cullen (8) v Matthew Edgar/Jeffrey de Graaf
Daryl Gurney (9) v Luke Humphries/Keegan Brown
Michael Smith (5) v Marko Kantele/HNQ5
Gerwyn Price (12) v Kim Huybrechts/Steve Beaton
Ian White (4) v Mark Wilson/John Henderson
Dave Chisnall (13) v Ryan Joyce/Jermaine Wattimena
Peter Wright (2) v HNQ2/Jelle Klaasen
Mervyn King (15) v Luke Woodhouse/HNQ1
Jonny Clayton (7) v HNQ6/Brendan Dolan
Simon Whitlock (10) v Richard North/HNQ4
James Wade (6) v Danny Noppert/Toni Alcinas
Darren Webster (11) v Ricky Evans/Andrew Gilding
Rob Cross (3) v Jeffrey de Zwaan/HNQ3
Max Hopp (14) v Krzysztof Ratajski/Steve West