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.
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
Ross Smith continued his rampant run at the 2020 International Darts Open by dethroning defending champion Gerwyn Price, as Ian White and Rob Cross also suffered Second Round exits.
Day Two of the season’s final European Tour event in Riesa saw seven seeded players bite the dust as the race to reach next week’s European Championship took another twist.
Smith, who averaged 112.8 in a blistering 6-1 win over Mario Vandenbogaerde on Friday, continued his impressive form as he recovered from 4-0 down to edge out the world number two in a deciding leg.
Smith looked to be heading for home after losing the opening four legs, with Price taking out 130 and 90 along the way, but hit back with finishes of 68 and 113 in restoring parity.
Price stopped the rot with a 13-darter to regain the lead, but hit a 180 and double eight in forcing a decider, before adding another maximum en route to a 14-darter to win it in style.
Smith will now face home favourite Max Hopp in Sunday’s Last 16 after the German number one knocked out last week’s European Grand Prix winner Jose de Sousa 6-3 with a classy display.
Hopp, the 2018 German Open champion, averaged 98.7 and landed five 180s and a 148 checkout in dispatching the in-form Portuguese star.
Reigning European Champion Rob Cross was dumped out at the first hurdle by Host Nation qualifier Franz Roetsch – who continued his landmark run with a 6-3 triumph.
Roetsch had defeated Brendan Dolan in Round One and followed that up with the performance of his career as he averaged 103 with 60 per cent on the doubles in overcoming the world number five.
Third seed Ian White also suffered a shock early exit as he went down 6-3 to Spain’s Jesus Noguera.
Noguera punished just 27 per cent on the doubles from the Stoke star as he moved through to the Last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time and bolstered his hopes of World Championship and European Championship qualification.
Daryl Gurney also departed the tournament at the Second Round stage as he lost out 6-3 to debutant Scott Baker.
Baker will now face Danny Noppert on Sunday after the former World Series Finals runner-up overcame the returning Adrian Lewis 6-3 with a clinical 103.4 average.
World number one Michael van Gerwen battled his way past Latvia’s Madars Razma 6-4 despite an average of just 90 as he set up a show-down with Andy Hamilton.
Former world finalist Andy Hamilton moved into the provisional places for the European Championship after surviving three match darts to edge out Stephen Bunting in a tense decider.
Krzysztof Ratajski avenged last week’s defeat to Martijn Kleermaker in Sindelfingen by progressing 6-4 with a solid 99 average.
James Wade recovered from 2-0 down to defeat Swedish debutant Andreas Harrysson 6-3, while Joe Cullen thrashed Robert Marijanovic 6-1 with a 101.2 average.
Michael Smith landed five maximums en route to a 6-2 victory over Martin Schindler, as Dave Chisnall overcame Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 with a 104.4 average and a high checkout of 135.
Mensur Suljovic, who came from 5-0 down to defeat Jamie Hughes 6-5 last weekend, set up a rematch between the pair after a deciding leg success over Gabriel Clemens.
Suljovic produced a timely 11-darter in the decider to get over the line, while Hughes was a 6-4 winner over Steve West in the opening match of the day despite an average of just 84.5
Premier League runner-up Nathan Aspinall held his nerve to edge out Jason Lowe 6-5 and will now face Wade in Round Three for the second consecutive weekend.
Saturday October 24
Jamie Hughes 6-4 Steve West
Adrian Lewis 3-6 Danny Noppert
Michael Smith 6-2 Martin Schindler
Joe Cullen 6-1 Robert Marijanovic
Daryl Gurney 3-6 Scott Baker
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
James Wade 6-3 Andreas Harrysson
Rob Cross 3-6 Franz Roetsch
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Stephen Bunting 5-6 Andy Hamilton
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Jason Lowe
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Madars Razma
Gerwyn Price 5-6 Ross Smith
Jose De Sousa 3-6 Max Hopp
Ian White 3-6 Jesus Noguera
The Second Round action gets underway at the 2020 International Darts Open in Riesa on Saturday as the 16 seeds start their campaigns.
The International Open is the fourth and final European Tour event of the season, following which the 32-man field for next week’s European Championship will be confirmed.
A host of players remain in contention for places in the European Championship and will look to bolster their qualification hopes by reaching the final day in Riesa.
Jason Lowe currently occupies 33rd position in the qualification tables and would move into the provisional field if he could overcome Premier League finalist Nathan Aspinall.
Aspinall was narrowly edged out 6-5 by Michael van Gerwen in the Quarter-Finals last week and is out to remain on a collision course with the Dutchman for a rematch at the same stage of proceedings.
Van Gerwen went on to reach the final in Sindelfingen – where he was beaten by a red hot Jose De Sousa – and the world number one launches his latest quest for a first Euro Tour title of the season with a tie against Latvia’s Madars Razma.
De Sousa became the first Portuguese player to triumph on the Euro Tour and will aim to pick up from where he left off last Sunday when he faces home favourite Max Hopp.
Hopp is one of five German hopefuls left standing in the competition, but has seen his German number one spot now taken by his World Cup team-mate Gabriel Clemens.
Clemens comes up against Austrian ace Mensur Suljovic in the evening session, with both safe in the knowledge they have qualified for the European Championship.
Adrian Lewis returns to action after missing the recent World Grand Prix due to a positive Covid test, and he opens up against former World Series Finals runner-up Danny Noppert.
Stephen Bunting was also forced to miss the Grand Prix after a positive Covid test and will look to make up for lost time with a strong run here, starting out against former PDC World finalist Andy Hamilton.
Former European Champion James Wade faces Swedish debutant Andreas Harrysson – who knocked out Benito van de Pas in Round One on Friday.
Reigning European Champion Rob Cross looks to warm up for next week’s title defence in style, and he faces an opening tie against Host Nation qualifier Franz Roetsch – who defeated Brendan Dolan in Round One.
Premier League star Michael Smith faces a tricky opener against German number three Martin Schindler, while two-time major champion Daryl Gurney meets Euro Tour debutant Scott Baker.
Czech Open winner Jamie Hughes kicks off the afternoon session with a closely-matched tie against Steve West, as multiple major finalist Dave Chisnall takes on Dutch left-hander Ron Meulenkamp.
Krzysztof Ratajski looks to avenge last week’s 6-2 defeat to Dutch ace Martijn Kleermaker when the pair face off at the same stage of the competition.
Former European Matchplay champion Joe Cullen opens up against Robert Marijanovic – who whitewashed Jamie Lewis in Round One.
World Grand Prix and World Series Finals winner Gerwyn Price looks to avoid a potential banana skin at the hands of Ross Smith – who averaged 112.8 in a blistering First Round win over Mario Vandenbogaerde.
Ian White, a multiple European Tour winner, faces Spain’s Jesus Noguera – who whitewashed European Grand Prix quarter-finalist Maik Kuivenhoven in his opener.
The action gets underway from 12pm BST, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.
Saturday October 24
Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)
Jamie Hughes v Steve West
Adrian Lewis v Danny Noppert
Michael Smith v Martin Schindler
Joe Cullen v Robert Marijanovic
Daryl Gurney v Scott Baker
Dave Chisnall v Ron Meulenkamp
James Wade v Andreas Harrysson
Rob Cross v Franz Roetsch
Evening Session (6pm-10pm)
Krzysztof Ratajski v Martijn Kleermaker
Stephen Bunting v Andy Hamilton
Nathan Aspinall v Jason Lowe
Mensur Suljovic v Gabriel Clemens
Michael van Gerwen v Madars Razma
Gerwyn Price v Ross Smith
Jose De Sousa v Max Hopp
Ian White v Jesus Noguera
The 2020 European Tour culminates in Riesa with the International Darts Open, and all matches are available to watch live online.
The fourth and final Euro Tour event of the season features 48 players competing over three days at the Sachsen Arena for £140,000 in prize money.
The top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit are seeded and enter at the Second Round stage, while 32 qualifiers battle it out for the right to join them.
There are 22 Tour Card Holder qualifiers, two Associate Member qualifiers, four Host Nation qualifiers, one East European qualifier and a Nordic & Baltic qualifier.
The two highest ranked German players – Max Hopp and Gabriel Clemens – also qualify.
Gerwyn Price is the defending champion after he defeated Rob Cross 8–6 in last year’s final.
World number one Michael van Gerwen is eyeing a 33rd European Tour title, while World Grand Prix champion Price is looking to claim his second Euro Tour crown of the year.
Nathan Aspinall and Ian White are among the other seeded stars, as well as the likes of Cross, Michael Smith and Krzysztof Ratajski.
Qualifiers include last week’s European Grand Prix winner Jose De Sousa, former Lakeside Champions Stephen Bunting and Jelle Klaasen and former world finalists Andy Hamilton and Danny Noppert.
The tournament runs from October 23-25, with all matches available to watch live on desktop and mobile in the UK and various other regions.
1) Go to Bet365.com via this special link
2) Register an account and make a first deposit up to £100 to receive up to £100 in Bet Credits (18+ only, T&Cs apply)
3) Once registered, go to the sports homepage and select ‘Extra’ from the top menu
4) Select ‘Live Streaming’ and choose ‘Darts’ from the event list