Reports

Michael van Gerwen kicks off bid to retain HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix with 6-2 win over Keegan Brown

By Alex Moss
7 MAY 2017 • 8:43AM

Michael van Gerwen eased past Keegan Brown 6-2 as he made a fine start in his bid to retain his HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix title in Sindelfingen yesterday.

Although the world number one averaged a lowly 97 by his high standards, van Gerwen was rarely troubled as he quickly brushed aside Brown.

Having landed two breaks of throw, van Gerwen checked out 100 on his way to a 5-0 lead, before former world youth champion Brown hit back with a 120 checkout to avoid the whitewash.

Brown then hit double 10 to win his second leg in a row, but it was too late as van Gerwen cruised over the finishing line in the eighth leg.

World number three Peter Wright also booked his place in the third round with a 6-2 win over James Richardson.

Last year’s beaten finalist surged into a 4-1 lead, with a 116 checkout then helping Wright, who has already won two European Tour titles this year, complete a 6-2 win.

World number five James Wade was the first seed to crash out in the evening session, after he lost 6-5 in a heated affair with Mark Webster.

Wade had opened up a 4-2 lead and looked destined to progress to the last 16, before Webster fought back with consecutive legs to level at 4-4.

The former BDO world champion then went in front for the first time in the match as he clinched his third leg in a row, but after Wade forced the decider it was Webster who hit double 10 to seal a 6-5 win.

Michael Smith was the second seeded player to be knocked out in the evening session as he lost in a deciding leg to Steve West.

The former world youth champion was staring another defeat in the face as West moved 5-3 ahead, before a late flurry from the 26-year-old sent the match into a decider, which West won by hitting double 12.

Ian White was also sent packing last night as he lost out 6-4 to unseeded Adrian Lewis in the final game of the second round.

White took out 126 as the pair shared the opening eight legs, before Lewis then broke at the crucial time to take the lead and held throw in the 10th leg to complete a 6-4 win.

Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic saw off Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 and Gerwyn Price defeated Dimitri van den Bergh 6-3.

Earlier in the day, Dave Chisnall averaged a staggering 112 as he produced the performance of the afternoon in a 6-3 victory over Matt Clark.

The Premier League star fired in five 180s and hit 50 per cent of his doubles as he quickly booked his place in the third round.

Ulf Ceder continued his brilliant European Tour debut with a 6-3 win against Cristo Reyes.

The Finnish qualifier landed a 114 checkout on his way to taking a 5-1 lead and, after Reyes won back-to-back legs to keep the match alive, Ceder hit double five to progress to the last 16.

Rob Cross kept up his impressive start to life as a PDC tour card holder, knocking out Simon Whitlock 6-3.

The 26-year-old, who has already won a Players Championship title this year, landed 50 per cent of his doubles as he swept aside the Australian.

Jan Dekker’s fine form showed no signs of letting up as he advanced to the third round at the expense of Alan Norris.

The Dutchman reached the semi-finals on the Pro Tour last weekend and was taken all the way to a decider by Norris, but fired in an incredible 160 checkout to clinch a 6-5 victory.

Elsewhere, Joe Cullen made light work of Jonny Clayton in a 6-1 thrashing, hitting 60 per cent of his doubles and also landing a brilliant 156 checkout to seal the win.

Home hopes in the event were dashed as Max Hopp slipped to a 6-3 defeat to Kim Huybrechts, while Benito van de Pas edged out Joe Murnan 6-5 and Jelle Klaasen got the better of Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2.

HappyBet European Darts Grand Prix
May 5-7, Glaspalast, Sindelfingen, Germany
Draw Bracket (Third Round Onwards)
Mensur Suljovic (3) v Joe Cullen (14)
Mark Webster v Jelle Klaasen (11)
Kim Huybrechts (7) v Jan Dekker
Peter Wright (2) v Daryl Gurney (15)
Rob Cross v Steve West
Dave Chisnall (5) v Adrian Lewis
Benito van de Pas (8) v Gerwyn Price (9)
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ulf Ceder

Schedule of Play
Saturday May 6
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Alan Norris 5-6 Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes 3-6 Ulf Ceder
Jelle Klaasen 6-2 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Simon Whitlock 3-6 Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Matt Clark
Joe Cullen 6-1 Jonny Clayton
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Joe Murnan
Kim Huybrechts 6-3 Max Hopp

Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
James Wade 5-6 Mark Webster
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Dimitri van den Bergh
Michael Smith 5-6 Steve West
Daryl Gurney 6-4 John Henderson
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright 6-2 James Richardson
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Keegan Brown
Ian White 4-6 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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