Kyle Anderson began his bid to win a third title inside six weeks with a superb defeat of Dirk van Duijvenbode as the HappyBet German Darts Grand Prix began last night.
Australian star Anderson followed up his maiden Players Championship victory at the start of August with victory in the Auckland Darts Masters, and marched into the second round of the European Tour event in Mannheim with a 6-4 win.
Van Duijvenbode played his part in a high-quality contest, hitting back from 2-0 to level before moving 4-3 up, but finishes of 72, 64 and 94 in successive legs gave Anderson victory.
The Australian ended the contest with a 101.44 average, with Dutch youngster Van Duijvenbode replying with a 100.85 average in defeat as Anderson progresses to a meeting with Kim Huybrechts on Saturday.
“I was watching Dirk in the practice room and he was throwing pretty well and I knew I had to play well,” said a determined Anderson.
Vincent van der Voort set up a second round tie with fellow former European Tour event winner Mervyn King courtesy of a 6-2 defeat of Andrew Gilding, who paid for missed doubles as the Dutchman took leads of 2-0 and 5-1 before sealing the win.
“It was a win and I’m happy with that,” said Van der Voort. “He’s a difficult player to play against but I want to get back to my best and you need some matches that go your way, and this helps a little bit.
“I know when my back holds up I can compete with anyone in the world. I’ve known Mervyn for 20-25 years, he’s an amazing player and I’ll have to play really well to beat him.”
Steve Beaton, last weekend’s Dutch Darts Masters runner-up, was knocked out in Mannheim with a 6-4 defeat to Scottish qualifier Jamie Bain, who now meets Jelle Klaasen.
Beaton led 2-0 and 3-1 before missed doubles allowed Bain in to take the next three, and the Aberdeen ace closed out victory with six doubles from nine attempts.
“Against Steve you have to play your best,” said Bain. “I grew up watching Steve and he’s one of my heroes, and still is to this day, so to beat him on a stage like this is amazing.
“I thought early on he was going to run away with it but he missed a few doubles. It was a different Steve to last week and I took advantage.”
Polish ace Krzysztof Ratajski defied a 103 average from Robert Owen to claim a 6-4 win in the meeting between two of last weekend’s quarter-finalists as he moves through to face another Welshman, Gerwyn Price.
Former European Tour finalist Jamie Lewis edged out Andy Boulton 6-5 in a thriller, hitting a key 180 as he broke throw in the deciding leg to set up a tie with Michael Smith on Saturday.
Former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown reeled off five straight legs from 2-1 down to defeat James Richardson, and the Isle of Wight ace now faces Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney.
Home hopes at the Maimarkhalle were ended as all four Host Nation Qualifiers were eliminated on the opening day of the £135,000 tournament.
Jamie Caven, a former European Tour finalist, knocked out German favourite Max Hopp with a 6-4 success in his first appearance of 2017 on the European circuit.
Caven came from 3-2 down to win four of the next five legs as he progressed to a second round meeting with Benito van de Pas.
Nathan Aspinall takes on Dave Chisnall following a strong showing as he overcame Germany’s Bernd Roith 6-3.
Berlin-based Martin Schindler lost out 6-3 to Mick McGowan, who landed a 135 bull finish as he set up a tie with Austria’s Mensur Suljovic, while Michael Hurtz was knocked out 6-1 by Swedish ace Daniel Larsson, who now plays Simon Whitlock.
Darren Webster produced a fine fightback to defeat Ryan Meikle in a deciding leg, averaging 101 and finishing six doubles from 13 attempts alongside hitting six maximums.
Norwich thrower Webster looked on course to exit the PDC European Tour event in Mannheim when youngster Meikle took three successive legs to move 4-2 up, achieving six perfect darts in one leg.
Webster, though, replied with brilliant legs of 11, 12 and 11 darts, which included a 132 finish, to wrestle back the advantage, and recovered from missing one match dart in leg ten to complete the victory.
Richard North will now face World Champion Michael van Gerwen following a 6-3 success against fellow UK Qualifier Mick Todd, as the Hampshire-based thrower moved a step closer to securing Unibet World Grand Prix qualification.
Ronny Huybrechts also kept alive his hopes of challenging for a World Grand Prix spot with a 6-3 win over Austria’s Zoran Lerchbacher, and the Belgian now takes on UK Open champion Peter Wright on Saturday.
Belgian debutant Tony Martinez was a 6-3 winner against Paul Rowley as he progresses to play Joe Cullen, while Jermaine Wattimena now meets Ian White after defeating Michael Plooy 6-3 in their all-Dutch showdown.
Jan Dekker finished six doubles from 11 attempts in his win over Mickey Mansell as he moves through to meet Rob Cross on Saturday.
Saturday’s second round sees the 16 seeded players enter the tournament, with the £135,000 event then concluding on Sunday across two sessions in Mannheim.