CLEMENS’ COMEBACK STUNS WRIGHT IN RIESA

Gabriel Clemens produced a remarkable fightback to stun Peter Wright on the opening day of the NEO.bet International Darts Open, as Martin Schindler also impressed in Riesa.

Day One of the year’s third European Tour event saw 16 first round matches take place at the WT Energiesysteme Arena, with Clemens’ comeback dominating the headlines.

Wright converted a quartet of ton-plus finishes to establish a 4-1 buffer, following up a remarkable two-dart 110 finish in leg one with 121, 100 and 116 checkouts to take control of the contest.

However, Clemens capitalised on a mid-game slump from the Scot, before surviving three match darts in a nerve-shredding decider to advance to a second round showdown against Dirk van Duijvenbode.

Clemens was joined in round two by his World Cup partner Martin Schindler, who breezed past debutant Jan Dueckers in an all-German affair, courtesy of a 97 average and five maximums.

World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall survived a major scare to account for debutant Owen Bates, surviving two match darts after Bates conjured up a 170 finish on his way to levelling from 5-2 down.

Elsewhere, Gian van Veen made it back-to-back wins over Raymond van Barneveld on the big stage, punishing a profligate performance from the Dutch legend to book a meeting with 2018 World Champion Rob Cross.

Cameron Menzies put in a devastating display of scoring to spoil Simon Whitlock’s European Tour return, landing five 180s and averaging 101 despite missing 18 darts at double.

Chris Dobey – a winner on the Players Championship circuit on Monday – dispatched Dylan Slevin to continue his fine form, defying a ton-plus average from the Irishman to set up a tussle against Krzysztof Ratajski.

Ten-time TV title winner James Wade produced a typically efficient performance in seeing off an in-form Mike De Decker, and his next assignment will see him take on Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko.

International Darts Open Riesa 2024

Jose de Sousa will play World Champion Luke Humphries in Saturday’s second round, after winning six of the last seven legs to defeat Norway’s Cor Dekker 6-3 – aided by a 160 finish midway through the contest.

Earlier in the day, UK Open champion Dimitri Van den Bergh ran out a comfortable 6-2 winner against Czech qualifier Alexander Masek, and his reward is a meeting with 2022 UK Open winner Danny Noppert.

Richard Veenstra landed a brace of ton-plus finishes to complete a comeback win over Andrew Gilding, while Mervyn King’s European Tour return culminated in a 6-3 defeat against William O’Connor.

Brendan Dolan produced one of his best performances on the European Tour to win through a high-quality tussle against Kai Gotthardt, averaging 103 to set up a showdown against reigning champion Gerwyn Price.

Dolan’s fellow countryman Daryl Gurney also stormed through to round two in emphatic style, courtesy of a whitewash win against debutant Patrick Klingelhoefer.

However, there was success for Host Nation Qualifier Michael Unterbuchner, who fended off a late rally from Luke Woodhouse to celebrate his first win on the European Tour stage.

Ritchie Edhouse and Callan Rydz were also convincing winners on Friday afternoon, closing out comprehensive 6-1 victories against Jitse van der Wal and Lee Evans respectively.

The 2024 NEO.bet International Darts Open continues on Saturday, as the second round takes place across two sessions in Riesa.

Defending champion Price will take centre stage as he begins his bid for a record-extending fifth International Darts Open crown, while Humphries opens his challenge for back-to-back European Tour titles.

The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

2024 NEO.bet International Darts Open

Friday April 12

First Round

Afternoon Session

Ritchie Edhouse 6-1 Jitse van der Wal

Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kai Gotthardt

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Alexander Masek

Richard Veenstra 6-4 Andrew Gilding

Daryl Gurney 6-0 Patrick Klingelhoefer

Callan Rydz 6-1 Lee Evans

William O’Connor 6-3 Mervyn King

Michael Unterbuchner 6-4 Luke Woodhouse

Evening Session

Jose De Sousa 6-3 Cor Dekker

Chris Dobey 6-1 Dylan Slevin

Martin Schindler 6-1 Jan Dueckers

James Wade 6-3 Mike De Decker

Cameron Menzies 6-4 Simon Whitlock

Gian van Veen 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld

Gabriel Clemens 6-5 Peter Wright

Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Owen Bates

Saturday April 13

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Ross Smith v William O’Connor

Damon Heta v Callan Rydz

Ryan Searle v Daryl Gurney

Krzysztof Ratajski v Chris Dobey

Danny Noppert v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Stephen Bunting v Michael Unterbuchner

Jonny Clayton v Nathan Aspinall

Michael Smith v Ritchie Edhouse

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Ricardo Pietreczko v James Wade

Dave Chisnall v Richard Veenstra

Joe Cullen v Martin Schindler

Gerwyn Price v Brendan Dolan

Josh Rock v Cameron Menzies

Luke Humphries v Jose de Sousa

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Gabriel Clemens

Rob Cross v Gian van Veen

Photos credit Jonas Hunold/PDC 

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