Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross will clash in a blockbuster third round tie at the German Darts Grand Prix on Monday, after Van Gerwen produced a stirring fightback to edge out Chris Dobey in Munich.
Van Gerwen and Cross locked horns in last month’s German Darts Championship final, and they will renew their rivalry on Easter Monday after coming through their respective second round tussles.
‘The Green Machine’ was involved in a thrilling affair against Dobey, recovering from 3-1 and 5-3 down to topple ‘Hollywood’ and preserve his bid for an unprecedented 34th European Tour triumph.
Dobey was left to rue missing two match darts at D18 in the ninth leg, and Van Gerwen conjured up a stunning 11-darter to force a decider, where he converted a clinical 93 kill to advance with a 105.55 average.
Cross’ progress was more serene, as the two-time European Champion punished a profligate display from Karel Sedlacek to complete a 6-3 success, despite squandering 21 darts at double.
Elsewhere, world No 1 Peter Wright was sent packing in Munich after succumbing in a last-leg shootout to Scott Waites, in a battle of the double world champions.
Waites recovered from 5-3 adrift to edge out ‘Snakebite’ in a nervy affair, taking out 68 and 71 finishes before pinning double 16 to advance with a 93.3 average and two maximums.
The former Grand Slam champion will take on in-form Australian Damon Heta in round three, after ‘The Heat’ battled past five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Heta stormed into an early lead with successive ton-plus finishes, and while Van Barneveld provided spirited resistance, Heta secured a deserved 6-4 victory with a 99.73 average, three 180s and 46% on the outer ring.
Max Hopp delighted the German crowd by continuing his resurgence with a 6-3 victory over former World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, pinning 50% of his attempts at double to punish a below-par display from the Belgian.
Hopp will now meet Premier League champion Jonny Clayton for a place in the quarter-finals, after ‘The Ferret’ posted a 102.32 average and fired in four 180s to demolish Dave Chisnall.
Hopp is joined in round three by his former World Cup partner Martin Schindler, who survived four match darts in his second round tie against Brendan Dolan on Sunday afternoon.
‘The Wall’ faces a tough assignment against Ryan Searle in the last 16. ‘Heavy Metal’ was locked at two apiece against Danny Baggish, before following up back-to-back 13-darters with a 112 checkout to progress with a 100.2 average.
Nevertheless, Gabriel Clemens bowed out following a disappointing display on home soil. ‘The German Giant’ averaged just 77 in defeat to Martin Lukeman, who converted 50% of his attempts at double en route to a convincing 6-3 victory.
Lukeman now plays UK Open semi-finalist Keane Barry, who received a bye through to round three after top seed Gerwyn Price withdrew through illness earlier in the day.
World Championship runner-up Michael Smith produced an impressive display of scoring to account for Dutchman Berry van Peer in Sunday’s finale, averaging 100.9 and landing 11 140s to complete a 6-4 victory.
Smith’s reward is a tasty last 16 showdown against former UK Open finalist Luke Humphries, who defied six maximums from a revitalised Jeffrey de Zwaan to prevail by the same scoreline.
Wesley Plaisier is through to the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time in his career, after reeling off three consecutive legs from 4-3 down to dump out Masters champion Joe Cullen.
Plaisier will play his compatriot Dirk Van Duijvenbode for a place in the last eight, with ‘The Aubergenius’ firing in a 14-darter to account for Croatia’s Boris Krcmar in another 11-leg thriller.
Meanwhile, in Sunday’s curtain-raiser, World Youth champion Keegan Brown dumped out a struggling Callan Rydz to set up a meeting with Latvia’s Madars Razma, who overcame second seed Jose De Sousa.
Image Credit: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe
2022 Interwetten German Darts Grand Prix
Sunday April 17
Keegan Brown 6-3 Callan Rydz
Rob Cross 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Boris Krcmar
Madars Razma 6-4 Jose de Sousa
Wesley Plaisier 6-4 Joe Cullen
Luke Humphries 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Martin Schindler 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Jonny Clayton 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Max Hopp 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Damon Heta 6-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Martin Lukeman 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
Keane Barry Bye (Gerwyn Price withdrew)
Scott Waites 6-5 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Chris Dobey
Ryan Searle 6-2 Danny Baggish
Michael Smith 6-4 Berry van Peer
Monday April 18
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Keane Barry v Martin Lukeman
Martin Schindler v Ryan Searle
Scott Waites v Damon Heta
Jonny Clayton v Max Hopp
Madars Razma v Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Michael Smith v Luke Humphries
Wesley Plaisier v Dirk van Duijvenbode