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  • Baltic Sea Darts Open: Michael Van Gerwen And Luke Humphries Light Up Kiel With Monster Averages

Baltic Sea Darts Open: Michael van Gerwen and Luke Humphries light up Kiel with monster averages

Michael van Gerwen and Luke Humphries lit up the NEO.bet Baltic Sea Darts Open with sensational second-round displays in Kiel on Saturday.

Day Two of the £175,000 event saw 16 second round ties take place at the Wunderino Arena, as Van Gerwen and Humphries underlined their title credentials with emphatic victories.

Van Gerwen was pitted against his younger compatriot Wessel Nijman in a tricky-looking opener, after the 23-year-old dumped out Luke Littler in Friday’s first round.

However, Van Gerwen produced the performance of the day to kick off his title bid, averaging 107.78 and taking out a brace of ton-plus checkouts to race to a 6-2 victory.

World Champion Humphries also sent out a statement with his 6-1 drubbing of Sebastian Bialecki, missing double 12 for a nine-darter midway through the contest.

Humphries – a runner-up at this event 12 months ago – averaged 103 to set up a third round showdown against Ross Smith, winning his last four legs in 10, 12, 15 and 13 darts.

“I was gutted to miss the nine-darter,” admitted Humphries, a winner at last month’s German Darts Grand Prix in Munich.

“You do feel a little bit of nerves because you want to give the crowd something special. It would have been a great moment, but regardless of that, it was a really good performance.”

Reigning champion Dave Chisnall was sent packing in a dramatic finale to the day’s play, relinquishing a 5-2 lead against Madars Razma, who had accounted for Chris Dobey in Friday’s first round.

Peter Wright’s big stages woes continued as he slipped to a 6-2 defeat against 2023 UK Open champion Andrew Gilding, who will renew his rivalry with Van Gerwen for a place in the last eight.

Elsewhere, Danny Noppert delivered a finishing masterclass to win a captivating Dutch derby against Raymond van Barneveld, in a contest which saw both players average over a ton.

Trailing 4-1, Noppert landed 120, 112, 81 and 101 combinations to move to the brink of victory, before completing a superb comeback with an 11-darter in the decider.

Damon Heta and Rob Cross also recorded ton-topping averages earlier in the day, winning through encounters against Dutch duo Gian van Veen and Maik Kuivenhoven respectively.

Heta averaged 104 and fired in a stunning ten-darter to wrap up a 6-4 success against Van Veen, while Cross averaged 102 and converted 125 and 167 checkouts to end Kuivenhoven’s campaign.

Mike De Decker conjured up a trio of ton-plus checkouts to dump out Krzysztof Ratajski, producing 120, 135 and 151 finishes before surviving two match darts in an edgy final leg.

Ritchie Edhouse celebrated a deciding-leg victory of his own against Jonny Clayton, surviving three match darts in the penultimate leg to progress to the last 16 for the fourth European Tour event in succession.

Stephen Bunting defied a late rally from Andy Baetens to run out a 6-3 winner in a battle of the Lakeside champions, as Joe Cullen won six of the last seven legs to defeat James Wade by the same scoreline.

Earlier in the day, Ross Smith - a runner-up in Sindelfingen last month - put in an impressive display to deny Luke Woodhouse, averaging 99 and landing six 180s to confirm his progress.

Daryl Gurney extended Dirk van Duijvenbode's winless run on the European Tour to book a tussle against Ryan Searle, after the Somerset star hit back from 5-3 down to deny Jermaine Wattimena.

Ricardo Pietreczko returned to winning ways with a whitewash win over his fellow countryman Moritz Hilger, while Host Nation Qualifier Franz Roetzsch caused a major upset with a 6-3 victory over Josh Rock in Saturday's opener.

The third round will take place on Sunday afternoon in Kiel, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers' websites worldwide.


Baltic Sea Darts Open results

Second Round - Afternoon Session

Franz Roetzsch 6-3 Josh Rock
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Ryan Searle 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Ross Smith 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Damon Heta 6-4 Gian van Veen
Joe Cullen 6-3 James Wade
Rob Cross 6-2 Maik Kuivenhoven
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-0 Moritz Hilger

Evening Session

Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Danny Noppert 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Peter Wright
Luke Humphries 6-1 Sebastian Bialecki
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Wessel Nijman
Mike De Decker 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Andy Baetens
Madars Razma 6-5 Dave Chisnall

Photo Credit: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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