Super Smith Dazzles on Day One of International Darts Open

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Ross Smith was the outstanding performer on the opening day of the 2020 International Darts Open, as five German players won through to the second round in Riesa.

Former UK Open quarter-finalist Smith averaged 112.86 in a superb first round victory over Mario Vandenbogaerde, dropping just one leg in a relentless display.

Smith, pictured, – who has previously achieved a nine-darter on the European Tour stage – landed a ten-dart leg amongst six brilliant winning legs of 14 darts or less to create a tasty last 32 tie against reigning champion Gerwyn Price.

Max Hopp’s bid to win a second European Tour title began with a fine 6-1 win over Dutch ace Jelle Klaasen, moving the German ace through to play last weekend’s European Darts Grand Prix champion Jose De Sousa.

Gabriel Clemens, who is closing in on a spot in the world’s top 32, sealed his 6-1 win over Philipp Hagemann with a superb 167 checkout as he averaged almost 100.

Martin Schindler will play Michael Smith in round two after defeating Tytus Kanik 6-1, with the Polish ace taking out 170 in leg two only to see the German ace reel off the next five legs for victory.

They are joined in the last 32 by Host Nation Qualifiers Franz Roetzsch and Robert Marijanovic, who defeated Brendan Dolan and Jamie Lewis respectively on Friday.

Madars Razma held off Kai Fan Leung’s fightback from 4-1 down to trail 5-4 as the Latvian ace moved through to a tie with world number one Michael van Gerwen with a 6-4 success.

Jason Lowe survived four missed match darts from Scott Marsh in the deciding leg of their tie, following up earlier finishes of 117, 124 and 121 with an 89 checkout to snatch victory.

Sweden’s Andreas Harrysson made his long-awaited European Tour debut with a 6-3 win over Benito van de Pas, as he moved through to take on James Wade on Saturday.

Former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton proved too strong for Germany qualifier Simeon Heinz, with a 6-2 win setting up a second round meeting with Stephen Bunting.

Ron Meulenkamp kept his European Championship hopes alive with a 6-2 defeat of experienced German Michael Rosenauer, who paid for 11 missed doubles during the contest.

Steve West saw off Toni Alcinas 6-3 despite the Spanish ace finishing 121 and legs of 13 and 12 darts during their contest, moving himself through to play Jamie Hughes.

Danny Noppert dropped just one leg in his convincing win over Sebastian Pohl as he set up a second round meeting with Adrian Lewis, who makes his return to action on Saturday.

Scott Baker claimed the final two legs of his tie with Michael Unterbuchner to break a four-all deadlock and move through to a meeting with Daryl Gurney.

Martijn Kleermaker – who reached the third round of the European Darts Grand Prix last weekend – came from 5-3 down to snatch victory against debutant Arsen Ballaj and now plays Krzysztof Ratajski.

Spain’s Jesus Noguera moves through to play Ian White following his whitewash of Maik Kuivenhoven in Friday’s final first round tie.

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