De Zwaan celebrates beating Van Gerwen at the 2018 World Matchplay (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
The tenth European Tour event of the season draws to a close in Vienna on Sunday as the 16 remaining hopefuls vie to claim the Austrian Darts Championship title.
The first ranking tournament for four weeks has seen a number of big names caught cold after the summer break, but seven of the top eighth seeds remaining in the running for the £25,000 title at the Multiversum Schwechat.
Seven seeded players crashed out at the first hurdle on Saturday, including Daryl Gurney, Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall, paving the way for a clutch of in-form outsider to mount a run deep into the competition.
Two young guns ranked outside of the world’s top 90 go head-to-head with a Quarter-Final place on the line as home hero Rowby-John Rodriguez faces Belgium’s Mike De Decker.
Rodriguez followed up his deciding leg win over Josh Payne on Friday with a sensational 6-4 scalp of Gurney with a 98.6 average and is now looking to feed off the vociferous home support in an attempt to reach his first Euro Tour Quarter-Final since 2015.
De Decker, meanwhile, edged out Chris Dobey 6-5 in his opener before punishing more missed doubles from Jonny Clayton to claim a 6-3 victory, and the 23-year-old is now out to break new ground on the European Tour.
Austrian number one Mensur Suljovic also looks to maintain home interest in the competition by overcoming a resurgent James Wilson in the afternoon session.
Suljovic saw off 17-year-old Czech debutant Adam Gawlas in his opener and will be eyeing revenge over Wilson – who prevailed 7-4 in the Semi-Finals of last year’s German Championship.
Wilson has already dispatched Gavin Carlin and Steve Beaton and appears back in form after being blighted by eye problems for much of the season so far.
Arguably the pick of the Third Round ties sees Dutch dynamos Michael van Gerwen and Jeffrey de Zwaan collide in the final match of the afternoon.
De Zwaan has proved to be MVG’s bogey opponent over the past 18 months, having suffered successive defeats to his compatriot in TV majors in 2018.
Van Gerwen is on the hunt for a third consecutive PDC title to follow up his World Series successes in Melbourne and Hamilton and what would be a fifth European Tour title of the campaign.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis looks to avoid a potential banana skin at the hands of enigmatic Scotsman Cameron Menzies.
Lewis was less than convincing in defeating Christian Bunse 6-4 with a 90 average on Saturday and faces a player riding the crest of the wave after a 6-2 scalp of Michael Smith.
Menzies, who does not hold a PDC Tour Card, is appearing on the final day of a European Tour event for just the second time and will look to utilise his dangerous scoring power once again.
Peter Wright, runner-up in the European Grand Prix, looks to remain in the running for a first Euro Tour title of 2019 by ending the hopes of multiple Euro Tour semi-finalist Joe Cullen.
Wright, who averaged 99 in denying Dimitri van den Bergh on Saturday, has won 14 of his 18 previous encounters with Cullen.
Number two seed Ian White steps up his pursuit of a third European Tour title of the season when he faces former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown – who incredibly has won just one of their 12 previous meetings.
Danish Open champion Dave Chisnall faces a quick-fire show-down with two-time Euro Tour finalist Ricky Evans, while Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price faces a tricky test against former UK Open finalist Vincent van der Voort – who has already seen off Justin Pipe and Simon Whitlock.
The action gets underway from midday, with Last 16 and Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs, Semi-Finals best of 13 and the final best of 15.
Austrian Darts Championship 2019 Schedule
All times BST (local time one hour ahead)
Sunday September 1
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Gerwyn Price v Vincent van der Voort
Adrian Lewis v Cameron Menzies
Mensur Suljovic v James Wilson
Ian White v Keegan Brown
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Mike De Decker
Peter Wright v Joe Cullen
Dave Chisnall v Ricky Evans
Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Evening Session (6.15pm-10.15pm)
Lewis/Menzies v Price/Van der Voort
White/Brown v Suljovic/Wilson
Wright/Cullen v Rodriguez/De Decker
Van Gerwen/De Zwaan v Chisnall/Evans