The German Darts Grand Prix heads into its third and final day.
There are just 16 players left in the running. The top seven seeds are all still in play. But after a series of Sunday shocks, there are plenty of unseeded competitors still in action. 2017 German Darts Grand Prix champion Michael van Gerwen is the favourite, with last year’s runner-up Rob Cross also in the running. But all of the nine seeds and seven non-seeds will fancy a shot at glory in Munich.
Two players in impressive form kick off proceedings on Monday afternoon. Michael Smith was at his fluent best in a comprehensive win over Chris Dobey. He will take on a tough opponent in James Wade, however. Following the English pair is sixth seed Mensur Suljovic, who for once will not have the crowd on his side. Max Hopp, the German wunderkind, will have all of Munich on his side. After putting in his best performance all year against Mervyn King, what the Maximiser needs isn’t the same support – it’s the same nerve-handling ability. Speaking of handling nerves, nothing says clutch darts like 120 and 164 checkouts to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 win. After his dramatic turnaround against Yordi Meeuwisse, Joe Cullen takes on the so far underwhelming Steve West.
Alan Tabern and Luke Humphries caused two of the bigger surprises of the Sunday sessions. Tabern defeated Kyle Anderson in a tense clash; Peter Wright will be much harder to overcome. Luke Humphries’ reward for a stunning thrashing of Gerwyn Price is a meeting with world champion Rob Cross. Daryl Gurney and Ian White then meet in a game which should feature lots of heavy scoring. There’s an all-unseeded clash as Keegan Brown plays Darren Webster, before hot favourite van Gerwen meets Alan Norris. The eight winners progress to the evening’s quarter-finals, while one of the field will go on to take the second European Tour title of 2018 in Munich.
Michael Smith v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Max Hopp
Joe Cullen v Steve West
Peter Wright v Alan Tabern
Rob Cross v Luke Humphries
Daryl Gurney v Ian White
Keegan Brown v Darren Webster
Michael van Gerwen v Alan Norris
Author: Ed McCosh