Kicking off the Last 16 action in Jena on the final day of the Happy Bet German Darts Masters was the Aussie Kyle Anderson as he took on the Austrian Mensur Suljovic. The Aussie has a tremendous record against Suljovic winning all four of their previous meetings although they haven’t met since July last year.
Anderson made a terrific start to the contest taking just six darts to find his first maximum and he sealed the first leg with a 14-darter as he took out D6. Anderson went on to double his lead just after he missed the bull for a 161 finish, he experienced a bit of double trouble as he missed five darts for a 2-0 lead but Suljovic missed a dart at D16 for a 112 and Anderson returned to pick out D2 for a 2-0 advantage. The Aussie went to on to extend his lead to 3-0 after firing in a 13-darter on D8. Suljovic was simply not at the races at this having just one attempt at a double in the first three legs. The Austrian went on to get his first leg on the board as he took out 77 for a level 15-darter to reduce the deficit to 1-3. Suljovic missed two darts to break Anderson’s throw but he wasn’t punished by the Aussie as Anderson couldn’t take out 84. Suljovic returned to pick out D9 for a break of throw and reduced the deficit to 2-3 and had the darts to level in the sixth leg. The Austrian missed three clear darts to level the match at 3-3 and he was punished to the max as Kyle Anderson picked out 68 for a 4-2 advantage and another break of throw. Anderson broke Suljovic’s heart in the seventh leg as he fired in a 110 finish to make it 5-2 with the Austrian waiting on D18. The Aussie very nearly ended the match in perfect style as he missed the bull for a 170 finish, but Suljovic missed three clear darts at D16 to stay in the match and Anderson returned to take out 25 for a 6-2 victory his fifth in a row against Suljovic.
The next last 16 clash in Jena was an all-Dutch affair as Jelle Klaasen faced Jeffrey de Graaf, Klaasen leads 3-1 on the head to head meetings leading up to this match.
De Graaf got off to a flier as he fired in a 13-darter to open up an early 1-0 lead. Klaasen very nearly hit a 170 finish to level the match as he narrowly missed the bull, he returned however to take out 25 to level at 1-1 in 14 darts. De Graaf re-established the lead as he took out 99 on D16 for a 15-darter. Klaasen missed four darts to level things up at 2-2 and he was punished by De Graaf as he picked out D8 for a break of throw and a 3-1 lead. Klaasen once again missed a crucial opportunity as he missed four darts to make it 3-2 and once again he was punished by De Graaf as he picked out D1 for a 4-1 lead. Klaasen held his throw firmly to reduce the deficit to 2-4 as he found D4. De Graaf went within a leg of the Quarter-Finals as he took out D8 for a 5-2 advantage with Klaasen waiting on tops. Klaasen reduced the deficit to 3-5 as De Graaf missed two match darts and Klaasen picked out D9 to stay in the match. Klaasen wasn’t out of the match however as he punished some slack darts from De Graaf as he picked out D18 to move within a leg at 4-5. Klaasen missed two darts at D16 to stay in the match, but again he wasn’t punished by De Graaf who couldn’t finish 82 and Klaasen returned to take out D8 to level the match at 5-5 to force an 11th and deciding leg. Klaasen won his fourth leg in succession to book his place in the Quarter-Finals as he fired in a 13-darter to break De Graaf who led 5-2, to win 6-5.
The next match was arguably one of the most anticipated of the last 16 ties as James Wade took on the in-form Welshman Gerwyn Price.
Price established an early lead as he fired in a 13-darter on tops to take the opening leg for an early break of throw. Wade went on to break the Welshman straight back punishing some scrappy visits from price as ‘The Machine’ took out 88 to level things up at 1-1. The Aldershot left-hander went on to take the lead as he took out 90 for a 17-dart hold of throw for a 2-1 lead. Price missed a dart at tops for a 15-darter and Wade took full advantage as he took out 25 on his favourite D10 to extend his lead to 3-1. Wade went on to win his fourth leg on the spin as he again finished on his favourite D10 to move further ahead at 4-1. Price stopped the rot as he reduced the deficit to 2-4 as he fired in a 14-darter on his favourite D20. Wade missed a dart at tops for a 116, but Price went on to miss a dart at tops himself for a 120 as Wade returned to pick out his reliable favourite D10 once again to extend his lead to 5-2. Wade confirmed his place in the Quarter-Finals as he fired in D10 which has been his friend in this match as he picked up a 6-2 victory.
Next up in Jena the World number Three Peter Wright took on the former Lakeside World champion Stephen Bunting. Wright has been impressive on the doubles leading up to this one with a 67% checkout rate and a tournament average of 98.65. Wright established an early lead with a 17-dart hold of throw as he took out tops to seal the opening leg. Bunting missed a crucial opportunity to level the match at 1-1 as he missed two darts at D8 and he was punished by Wright who took out 84 to double his lead to 2-0 and a break of throw. Bunting however broke Wright straight back with a terrific 11-darter after hitting two maximums in the leg and ended it by hitting D16 to reduce the deficit to 1-2. In leg four there was a third consecutive break of throw as Wright fired in a 114 finish for a 15-dart break to move 3-1 ahead. Bunting missed a big opportunity for another break of throw as he missed a dart at D16 and again he was punished by Wright as he hit D16 himself for a 14-darter and a 4-1 advantage. Wright went within a leg of the Quarter-Finals as fired in a 96 finish for a level 15-dart break of throw to move 5-1 ahead. Snakebite sealed the win as he pinned the D8 for a 6-1 victory and maintained his high checkout rate as he hit 6/10 on the doubles (60%) to book his place in the last eight.
The next last 16 clash featured the Aussie Simon Whitlock and the German qualifier Steffen Siepmann.
What a start it was by Whitlock as he fired in seven perfect darts to kick things off, but i wasn’t all straight forward as he eventually won the leg in 17 darts for a 1-0 lead. Whitlock doubled his lead in spectacular style as he took out 92 courtesy of two D18’s for a 15-darter to lead 2-0 with the German qualifier yet to have an attempt at a double. Siepmann tried to replicate Whitlock’s double-double attempt on 92 but narrowly missed the second D18 and the Aussie returned to take out 44 for a three-leg lead at 3-0. Steffen Siepmann got his first leg on the board as he seemed to mess up 56 but picked out D3 eventually to reduce the deficit to 1-3. Whitlock extended his lead to 4-1 courtesy of a 14-dart break of throw as he took out D20 just after Siepmann missed two darts for the leg. The Aussie went within a leg of the match as he fired in D8 at the fourth time of asking for a 5-1 lead. Whitlock completed the rout and booked his place in the Quarter-Finals as he took out 70 as he pinned D16 for the win. Next up in Jena seen Michael Smith who was very impressive in his last game as he took on the young Austrian Rowby-John Rodriguez. Smith took the opening leg with a 17-dart hold of throw in a leg which he dominated. Smith eventually doubled his lead to 2-0 at the sixth time of asking as Rodriguez was waiting on D18 as he was averaging 25 points less than Smith at this point. Smith extended his lead to 3-0 with a 17-dart hold of throw. Smith continued his dominance in the contest as he fired in a 14-darter as he pinned D9. Smith won his fifth leg in succession as he fired in a terrific 110 finish for a 15-dart hold of throw and a 5-0 lead. Smith missed one match dart and it was punished by the Austrian as he picked out D8 to reduce the deficit to 1-5. Smith sealed the 6-1 victory as he pinned tops for a 14-darter to book his place in the Quarter-Finals. The penultimate game of the afternoon had all the makings of a classic as Raymond van Barneveld took on the Belgian Kim Huybrechts.
It was Van Barneveld who took the opening leg with a 14-dart break of throw as he found D20. The Dutchman started off the second leg in spectacular style as he found his first maximum and it was back-to-back 14-darters for Van Barneveld as he moved 2-0 ahead.
Huybrechts moved within a leg as he fired in a 14-darter of his own as he took out 86 on D16 to restore parity at 1-2. But Van Barneveld responded emphatically with a superb 11-darter as he took out 41 to extend his lead to 3-1 and 3/6 on the doubles for the Dutchman. Kim Huybrechts provided a moment of tungsten brilliance as he fired in a terrific 156 finish to cut the deficit to 2-3. The Dutchman yet again responded on his own throw as he fired in a 13-darter as he pinned D16 to restore a two-leg lead at 4-2. Van Barneveld missed a dart at the bull for a 130 to move 5-2 ahead, but Huybrechts made a crucial error as he missed three clear darts at D20 and RVB punished the error as he pinned D4 with his last dart in hand to move 5-2 ahead. The Belgian was not giving up on his hopes of reaching the last 8 as he broke Van Barneveld straight back after producing a 13-darter to reduce to deficit to 3-5. Van Barneveld was waiting on 62 for the match, but the Belgian fired in a fantastic 110 finish on the bull to move within a leg of Van Barneveld at 4-5. RVB booked his place in the Quarter-Finals as he pinned tops for a hard fought 6-4 victory.
The final last 16 match featured the World number One Michael van Gerwen who averaged 110.12 in his opening win last night over John Michael as he took on Cristo Reyes.
Success for Van Gerwen could set up a mouth-watering clash with Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Gerwen kicked off proceedings with a 14-darter as he pinned D20 for a 56 checkout and a 1-0 lead.
Both players missed darts to take the second leg, but it was Reyes who pinned D10 to level up the match at 1-1 with a 16-dart hold of throw. Van Gerwen missed a dart at D18 for a 15-darter and it was punished by Reyes as he took out 74 for a 14-dart break of throw for a 2-1 lead. The Spaniard produced a 17-dart hold as he took out 60 to move 3-1 ahead. Back came the World number One in the fifth leg as he fired in a 12-darter as he took out 88 on D14 to reduce the deficit to 2-3. Van Gerwen stepped it up a gear as he broke the Reyes throw to level things up with a spectacular 11-dart break of throw as he took out 85 in Mensur Suljovic-style on D14. Van Gerwen won his third leg on the spin as he moved 4-3 ahead courtesy of a 14-darter as he pinned D9. Van Gerwen extended his lead to 5-3 as he fired in a 13-darter as he pinned D20 for his fourth consecutive leg. Van Gerwen completed a terrific 6-3 win as he hit back-to-back maximums and fired in an 11-darter in a spectacular display as he averaged 110.78 even better than yesterday’s win over John Michael.
Happy Bet German Darts Masters
Kyle Anderson 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Jeffrey de Graaf
James Wade 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Steffen Siepmann
Michael Smith 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Quarter-Finals (From 6pm)
Kyle Anderson – Jelle Klaasen
James Wade – Peter Wright
Michael Smith – Simon Whitlock
Raymond van Barneveld – Michael van Gerwen