The 2020 PDC European Tour draws to a close in Riesa on Sunday as the 16 remaining players battle to…
The 2020 PDC European Tour draws to a close in Riesa on Sunday as the 16 remaining players battle to be crowned International Darts Open champion.
A condensed Euro Tour campaign has consisted of just four events this season, nine fewer than originally scheduled, meaning a number of new faces are set to appear in next week’s European Championship.
Following Sunday’s conclusion, the top 32 players from the European Order of Merit will comprise the field for the European Championship in Oberhausen.
As it stands, four of the remaining 16 hopefuls sit outside of the provisional field and will require one further win in order to move in to the top 32.
One of the the quartet is in-form Ross Smith, who is looking to continue his superb run of results by overcoming home favourite Max Hopp.
Smith averaged 112.8 in a 6-1 demolition of Mario Vandenbogaerde on Friday before overturning a 4-0 deficit to dethrone back-to-back champion Gerwyn Price in a last-leg decider.
Smith is now eyeing a fifth consecutive win over Hopp – who was a semi-finalist in the 2018 European Championship, having notably claimed the German Open title earlier that year.
Having thrashed Jelle Klaasen 6-1 in Round One, ‘The Maximiser’ then defeated last week’s European Grand Prix winner Jose de Sousa 6-3 on Saturday night.
Not since 2012 has Michael van Gerwen gone an entire season without picking up a European Tour title, and the world number one will look to go one better than last week’s runner-up spot in Sindelfingen.
Van Gerwen averaged just 90 in a struggle of a 6-4 win over Latvia’s Madars Razma on Saturday and now faces former World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton.
A resurgent Hamilton has moved into the provisional field for the European Championship following victories over Simeon Heinz and Stephen Bunting to mark his best run of the season.
Former European Champion James Wade looks to avenge last week’s 6-2 defeat to Nathan Aspinall when the pair meet at the same stage of the competition.
Jamie Hughes will also have revenge on his mind when he faces Mensur Suljovic, having incredibly squandered a 5-0 lead in an eventual 6-5 defeat seven days ago.
Gibraltar Open winner Krzysztof Ratajski looks to end the landmark run of Host Nation qualifier Franz Rötzsch – who has already knocked out Brendan Dolan and Rob Cross, averaging 103 in the latter tie.
A repeat of their recent World Grand Prix Quarter-Final sees Dave Chisnall aim to repeat the dose on Joe Cullen, with both having registered impressive ton-plus averages in Round Two.
Multiple Euro Tour event winner Michael Smith aims to end the ground-breaking run of Spain’s Jesus Noguera – who knocked out third seed Ian White to reach this phase for the first time.
Scott Baker is another man who finds himself in uncharted territory, and ‘The Mod’ looks to follow up his wins over Michael Unterbuchner and Daryl Gurney by overcoming former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert.
Noppert averaged 103.4 in a 6-3 victory over Adrian Lewis on Saturday and is looking to reach his second Euro Tour Quarter-Final of the year.
The action gets underway from 12pm BST, with all matches up to and including the Quarter-Finals to be contested over the best of 11 legs, Semi-Finals best of 13 and the final best of 15.
International Darts Open 2020 Schedule
Sunday October 25
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Michael van Gerwen v Andy Hamilton
James Wade v Nathan Aspinall
Krzysztof Ratajski v Franz Rötzsch
Mensur Suljovic v Jamie Hughes
Ross Smith v Max Hopp
Dave Chisnall v Joe Cullen
Jesus Noguera v Michael Smith
Scott Baker v Danny Noppert
Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Van Gerwen/Hamilton v Wade/Aspinall
Ratajski/Rötzsch v Suljovic/Hughes
R Smith/Hopp v Chisnall/Cullen
Noguera/M Smith v Baker/Noppert