Reports

Adrian Lewis wins battle of former world champions on opening day of the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix

By Alex Moss
6 MAY 2017 • 8:23AM

Adrian Lewis got his bid to win a second PDC European Tour title in Sindelfingen underway with a 6-2 win over Stephen Bunting in the HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix yesterday.

The two-time PDC world champion took on the former BDO world champion Bunting in the pick of the first round ties at the Glaspalast, and the world number four prevailed in style to advance to Saturday’s last 32.

The former world champions shared the first two legs before Lewis hit a 180 on his way to an 11-darter to go 2-1 in front.

Bunting levelled in 14 darts and the Stoke ace then moved back into the lead at 3-2, before Lewis pounced on Bunting’s misses to break throw and lead 4-2.

“Jackpot” hit tops to open up a three-leg cushion and then checked out 102 to complete a 6-2 win.

Lewis now takes on Ian White in the second round, in a repeat of the 2012 final the pair shared in Sindelfingen which remains the former’s only previous European Tour win.

Elsewhere, Steve West produced the day’s best display, finishing with six doubles from seven attempts as he saw off Chris Dobey 6-2, with the aid of checkouts of 130 and 120, to set up a clash with Michael Smith in the last 32.

Jan Dekker continued his good form as he averaged a superb 108 to beat James Wilson 6-3, with a mid-game burst featuring two 11-darters, a 13-darter and a 122 bull finish proving crucial, as the Dutchman progressed to play Alan Norris today.

Dirk van Duijvenbode survived an excellent fightback from Jermaine Wattimena to edge through to a meeting with Jelle Klaasen, taking the first round tie 6-5 in a see-saw encounter between the two Dutchmen.

Van Duijvenbode raced into a 4-0 lead before seeing his fellow countryman hit back to level, and after the pair shared the next two legs it was van Duijvenbode who sealed victory on tops in the decider.

Mark Webster overcame a stern challenge from German favourite Bernd Roith before claiming a 6-4 win to set up a clash with fellow left-hander James Wade in the second round.

The former BDO world champion came from a leg down to lead 3-1 and 4-2, only to see Roith check out 136 and 93 to level, but Webster punished missed doubles from his opponent to take the next two legs to complete the win.

There was something for the home crowd to cheer in the final game of the evening, though, as Max Hopp battled back from 3-0 down to beat Zoran Lerchbacher 6-4.

The 20-year-old has been struggling for form recently, but sealed a brilliant comeback with a 121 checkout on the bull in the 10th leg to beat the Austrian.

Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski reached the second round on the European Tour for the second time this year, beating Ireland’s Steve Lennon 6-4 with a 99.52 average to set up a second round tussle with Mensur Suljovic.

Finnish qualifier Ulf Ceder enjoyed a dream debut on the European Tour as he knocked out former Sindelfingen winner Steve Beaton 6-2 in the first game of the day, and will now play Spain’s Cristo Reyes in the last 32.

James Richardson and Matt Clark both hit six doubles from eight attempts as they defeated Paul Rowley and Germany’s Rene Berndt respectively, while Joe Murnan got the better of Host Nation Qualifier Gabriel Clemens 6-3.

Former World Youth champion Keegan Brown will take on world number one Michael van Gerwen after beating another Dutchman, Jeffrey de Graaf, 6-4 in the first round.

Brown took out finishes of 118, 96 and 56 to overturn a 4-3 deficit and book a meeting with the defending champion in the last 32.

In-form Rob Cross continued his fine start to the year with a 6-3 win over European Tour debutant Luke Woodhouse, which set up a clash with Simon Whitlock on Saturday.

Wales’ Jonny Clayton averaged 97 in a 6-2 win over Dutchman Christian Kist, and will now face Joe Cullen in the second round.

Belgian ace Dimitri van den Bergh produced an impressive comeback to defeat former Sindelfingen winner Mervyn King 6-4.

King led 3-1 and then edged 4-3 up as he searched for a second round spot, but van den Bergh hit double five and checkouts of 68 and 76 to win and progress to a second round meeting with Gerwyn Price.

John Henderson survived a deciding leg shootout against Ron Meulenkamp to set up a clash with Daryl Gurney in the last 32.

The Scot raced into leads of 3-0 and 4-1, before Meulenkamp finished 126 to level at 4-4 in the eighth leg.

The pair shared the next two legs, before Henderson held his nerve in the decider to prevail.

HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix
May 5-7, Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, Germany
Draw Bracket (Second Round Onwards)
Mensur Suljovic (3) v Krzysztof Ratajski
Joe Cullen (14) v Jonny Clayton
James Wade (6) v Mark Webster
Jelle Klaasen (11) v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Kim Huybrechts (7) v Max Hopp
Alan Norris (10) v Jan Dekker
Peter Wright (2) v James Richardson
Daryl Gurney (15) v John Henderson
Simon Whitlock (4) v Rob Cross
Michael Smith (13) v Steve West
Dave Chisnall (5) v Matt Clark
Ian White (12) v Adrian Lewis
Benito van de Pas (8) v Joe Murnan
Gerwyn Price (9) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Keegan Brown
Cristo Reyes (16) v Ulf Ceder

Schedule of Play
Friday May 5
First Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Steve Beaton 2-6 Ulf Ceder
Steve Lennon 4-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Richardson 6-2 Paul Rowley
Matt Clark 6-4 Rene Berndt
Rob Cross 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Jeffrey de Graaf 4-6 Keegan Brown
Christian Kist 2-6 Jonny Clayton
Gabriel Clemens 3-6 Joe Murnan

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
Ron Meulenkamp 5-6 John Henderson
Stephen Bunting 2-6 Adrian Lewis
Max Hopp 6-4 Zoran Lerchbacher

Saturday May 6
Second Round
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

Sunday May 7
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Third Round

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

Best of 11 legs. Sunday’s games are played in draw bracket order.

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