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European Darts Grand Prix 2024 | Day One Preview and Order of Play

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European Darts Grand Prix 2024 | Day Two Preview and Order of Play

Martin Schindler continues stunning form at the European Grand Prix as Wright and Cullen crash out

Jamie Shaw in European Tour 19 Apr 2024
Martin Schindler reacts (Photo by Jonas Hunold/PDC)

Martin Schindler kick-started his quest for back-to-back European Tour titles with a sensational opening display at the European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen on Friday.

Schindler claimed his first PDC title at the International Darts Open in Riesa last Sunday, and the new German number one maintained his magnificent form to dump out European Championship semi-finalist Gian van Veen 6-2 in Round One.

There was nothing to separate the pair after four legs, but Schindler stole a march in the latter stages, reeling off four straight legs in 13, 12, 14 and 12 darts to triumph with a 108.8 average.

“I’m so happy with that performance, but tomorrow is a different day,” insisted Schindler, who now faces reigning champion Rob Cross in Saturday’s Second Round.

“Rob is one of the best players in the world. He’s a Premier League participant, so like today, I’m going to be warned about what he’s capable of.

“I’m just focused on my game, and if I’m able to play like I can, I might have a chance!”

Friday’s opening round saw 16 matches take place across two sessions at the Glaspalast, with Luke Littler marking his Euro Tour return with a ruthless whitewash of debutant Arno Merk.

Littler, who claimed the Belgian Darts Open on his Euro Tour debut last month, averaged 101 and produced checkouts of 146 and 148 to progress to a mouth-watering clash against Premier League rival Luke Humphries.

Peter Wright was one of three former champions to crash out on the opening day of the tournament, as the Scot paid the price for squandering two match darts in a last-leg shoot-out against Mickey Mansell.

2019 winner Ian White suffered a crushing 6-1 defeat at the hands of Chris Dobey, while 2020 champion Jose de Sousa was swept aside by Daryl Gurney – who wrapped up proceedings with a 124 checkout.

Gabriel Clemens kicked off his campaign with a commanding 6-1 win over his compatriot Rene Eidams, with Stephen Bunting dispatching Croatia’s Romeo Grbavac by the same scoreline.

Raymond van Barneveld delivered a finishing masterclass to open his account on the 2024 European Tour, producing 148, 136 and 128 finishes to seal a 6-2 victory over host nation qualifier Franz Roetzsch.

Roetzsch also landed 116 and 121 finishes in a contest which featured five ton-plus checkouts, but it was Van Barneveld who progressed to a tie against 2023 World Champion Michael Smith.

Ritchie Edhouse, quarter-finalist in Riesa last weekend, celebrated his 41st birthday with a 6-2 rout of James Wade, averaging 103 and firing in five 180s in the process.

Earlier in the day, Sweden’s Johan Engstrom put in a stellar display to stun an out-of-sorts Joe Cullen, averaging 99 to complete a 6-1 demolition and move through to a showdown against Michael van Gerwen.

Christian Perez became the first player from the Philippines to win on the European Tour stage, landing four 180s and pinning 60 per cent of his attempts at double to defeat Niels Zonneveld 6-4.

Perez’ reward is a meeting with two-time World Champion Gary Anderson, while Brendan Dolan will renew his rivalry with Gerwyn Price after extending Andrew Gilding’s winless run on the European Tour.

Scott Williams landed finishes of 124 and 145 on his way to a comprehensive 6-1 win over Niko Springer, as Luke Woodhouse also produced a brace of ton-topping finishes to thwart Martin Lukeman.

Keane Barry fended off a late rally from Stephen Burton to end his losing run in PDC ranking events, after Jeffrey Sparidaans thrashed a struggling Callan Rydz 6-1 in Friday’s opener, to clinch his first win on the Euro Tour stage.


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European Darts Grand Prix 2024 Day One Results

Friday April 19

First Round

Afternoon Session
Callan Rydz 1-6 Jeffrey Sparidaans
Stephen Burton 5-6 Keane Barry
Scott Williams 6-1 Niko Springer
Andrew Gilding 4-6 Brendan Dolan
Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Martin Lukeman
Johan Engstrom 6-1 Joe Cullen
Niels Zonneveld 4-6 Christian Perez
Jose de Sousa 2-6 Daryl Gurney

Evening Session
Ritchie Edhouse 6-2 James Wade
Stephen Bunting 6-1 Romeo Grbavac
Franz Roetzsch 2-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Chris Dobey 6-1 Ian White
Arno Merk 0-6 Luke Littler
Martin Schindler 6-2 Gian van Veen
Peter Wright 5-6 Mickey Mansell
Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Rene Eidams

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