Peter Wright clinches tenth title of 2017 with victory in HappyBet International Darts Open in Riesa

Peter Wright’s magical 2017 continued on Sunday night at the HappyBet International Darts Open in Riesa, as he lifted his tenth title of 2017.

After a slow start to the weekend, the world number three got better in every match, culminating in a 6-5 win over Kim Huybrechts in the final.

Huybrechts got the early jump on Wright, breaking throw twice in the first three legs, as he raced to a 4-2 lead.

But Wright came back, taking out a 101 against the darts in leg eight to level at 4-4.

Both players held to send the match into a decider, but Wright—who had the darts in the decider—kicked off with consecutive 140s, before taking out a 116 to complete a 12-darter and claim a fifth European Tour title of 2017.

Earlier, Wright started off the final session with a 6-4 win over Jelle Klaasen.

Klaasen got the first break in leg three, taking out double 10 after Wright missed three at double. But Wright then wheeled off three legs in a row to take the lead at 4-2.

Klaasen bounced back, winning the next two legs in 12 and 15 darts. But missed doubles did Klaasen in in the end, as he missed 14 in the match, including five in the final leg.

In the semi-finals, Wright defeated the last unseeded player, Ron Meulenkamp, 6-3, despite the Dutch left-hander averaging nearly 106.

Meulenkamp struggled to get going, only managing a dart at bull from six visits on his throw in the second leg, as Wright eased to a 3-0 lead.

But the quality of both players picked up drastically as the match wore on, highlighted by a 167 out from Meulenkamp for a 12-dart hold to stay alive in the eighth leg.

Meulenkamp had a chance to pinch another leg back in the ninth, but he missed double 13 for a second consecutive 12-dart leg. Wright then hit double four to complete the victory. Wright averaged over 103 and hit 50 percent of his doubles.

Huybrechts, who reached his first Euro Tour final since this event last year, had near perfect timing throughout the entire weekend.

In his first match of the evening, he reached his first Euro Tour semi-final in almost exactly a year, as he beat Gerwyn Price 6-4.

After a pair of holds, Huybrechts missed two darts to break, but Price followed suit, giving Huybrechts a reprieve. Huybrechts held his nerve, taking out double two to move into the lead for the first time at 2-1.

Huybrechts consolidated the break, then earned another by taking out 100 with two tops.

But Price fought back, landing his second 112 out in as many matches after Huybrechts missed double 13 for a 119. Price then threw in a regulation 14-dart hold to trim the deficit to 4-3.

Price had a chance to level in the next leg, but he missed a dart each at tops, double ten, and double five. Huybrechts cleaned up on double 16, and that would be the last opportunity Price had.

In the semi-finals, Huybrechts marched into a 3-0 lead over Joe Cullen before the Yorkshireman nearly had the first nine-dart leg on the Euro Tour in over four years.

Cullen left 141 after six darts, and then hit the treble 20 and treble 15. However, his dart at double 18 fell just inside.

But Cullen would only get sniffs the rest of the way, having the odd chance at bull for a 122 and two darts at double 11 for a 79 out in the final leg. Huybrechts cleaned up nearly every chance he had, as he won 6-2.

In the other quarter-finals, Meulenkamp ended the dream of the Nordic & Baltic qualifier, Dennis Nilsson, 6-2.

Meulenkamp broke in the first leg, but Nilsson immediately leveled, throwing in his best leg of the tournament, a 12-dart break that included a pair of maximums. Nilsson then cleaned up double four for the lead at 2-1.

However, it was one-way traffic the rest of the way. Nilsson struggled to get going, and never even had a visit where he attempted an outshot the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, Meulenkamp raised his level, throwing in four 180s in the last three legs, and five for the match. Meulenkamp finished with a 99.75 average and 60 per cent on his doubles.

And in the final quarter-final, Cullen continued his hot run, as he beat Simon Whitlock 6-3.

Cullen struggled to get a look early in the match, as Whitlock eased into a 2-1 lead, but consecutive legs of 14, 13, and 13 darts turned the tide in Cullen’s favour.

The two exchanged the next two legs, before Whitlock missed three darts at double—including one at bull for a 164 out—allowing Cullen to take out 41 for a 6-3 victory.



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