The Second Round of the inaugural Czech Darts Open takes centre stage in Prague on Saturday as the successful qualifiers…
Brown aims to do the double over MVG on the Euro Tour (credit:Stefan Strassenburg/PDC Europe)
The Second Round of the inaugural Czech Darts Open takes centre stage in Prague on Saturday as the successful qualifiers each face off against one of the 16 seeds.
Day One of the season’s ninth European Tour event, the last ranking tournament before the cut off for the World Matchplay, saw a number of players’ hopes of qualifying for Blackpool crushed.
Keegan Brown’s victory over Host Nation qualifier Ondřej Plšek moves him into pole position for a place in the sport’s summer show-piece, consequently ousting Kyle Anderson, while Steve West was among the other challengers to fall by the wayside.
Brown now needs to rely on other results going his way in order to safeguard his Matchplay spot, but faces a formidable task himself in the shape of world number one Michael van Gerwen.
Van Gerwen is returning to action following a two-week vacation and is on the hunt for a fifth European Tour title of the season and will be looking to avenge his defeat to Brown in March’s German Darts Championship.
Arguably the stand-out tie of the day sees box office stars Michael Smith and Corey Cadby collide, with the Australian looking to capitalise on a dip in recent form from the world finalist and make it three wins from three in their head-to-heads.
Cadby marked his long-awaited Euro Tour debut with a 6-0 whitewash of Wessel Nijman but will be forced to raise his game against ‘Bully Boy’ – who is out to progress beyond the Last 16 stage of a Euro Tour event for the first time this season.
Another unmissable show-down sees Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price take on three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.
Price has reached back-to-back Semi-Finals on the European Tour and will be keen to surpass that stage this weekend, but starts out with a crunch clash against the two-time ProTour event winner – who averaged 110 in a 6-1 rout of Daniel Larsson on Friday.
Northern Ireland meets Republic of Ireland in the afternoon session as Players Championship Finals winner Daryl Gurney takes on World Cup finalist William O’Connor.
Having seen off Robert Thornton in Round One, Stephen Bunting now aims to record a third straight win over Peter Wright when he collides with the number five seed.
Ian White, a back-to-back European Tour event winner this year, bids to avenge his 6-4 defeat to Karel Sedlacek in April’s German Grand Prix when he clashes with the home favourite in Round Two.
White missed an astonishing 32 darts at doubles in that match to forget and will have a partisan Prague crowd to contend with as he aims to end home interest in the competition.
Ron Meulenkamp is tasked with reaching the Semi-Finals in his bid for Blackpool and his next test comes in the shape of the legendary Steve Beaton.
Darren Webster, whose progress has been hampered by tennis elbow in recent months, looks to end a torrid run of results by overcoming former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert.
Two World Cup representatives lock horns in the opening match of the afternoon as Welsh ace Jonny Clayton faces an in-form Jermaine Wattimena.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis looks to avoid an early exit at the hands of heavy-scoring Tipton thrower Jamie Hughes, while last Sunday’s Players Championship event winner James Wade faces Mervyn King – who came from 3-0 down to defeat Steve West 6-5 on Friday.
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall starts out against former UK Open semi-finalist Andrew Gilding, while ninth seed Ricky Evans meets in-form Ted Evetts – who claimed the scalp of Krzysztof Ratajski in his opener.
Former Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic starts out against Premier League ‘Contender’ John Henderson, meanwhile Australian ace Simon Whitlock looks to end Justin Pipe’s hopes of gatecrashing the World Matchplay.
Chris Dobey, who is already assured of a debut at the Winter Gardens next month, takes on world number 17 Joe Cullen – quarter-finalist in last week’s Danish Open.
The action gets underway from midday, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
Czech Darts Open 2019 Schedule
All times BST (local time one hour ahead)
Saturday June 29
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Jonny Clayton v Jermaine Wattimena
Darren Webster v Danny Noppert
Simon Whitlock v Justin Pipe
Nathan Aspinall v Andrew Gilding
Daryl Gurney v William O’Connor
Ian White v Karel Sedlacek
Steve Beaton v Ron Meulenkamp
James Wade v Mervyn King
Evening Session (6.15pm-10.15pm)
Ricky Evans v Ted Evetts
Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey
Peter Wright v Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen v Keegan Brown
Mensur Suljovic v John Henderson
Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant
Adrian Lewis v Jamie Hughes
Michael Smith v Corey Cadby