European Darts Grand Prix 2020 preview and schedule: Friday evening session, including Huybrechts, Henderson and Dobey
There's plenty of entertainment in the offing at the first night of the European Darts Grand Prix .
Let's get right into it, shall we? The opening tie is a real cracker; a meeting between World Cup of Darts rivals. Belgium's Kim Huybrechts , the winner of this event in 2015, meets Scotland debutant John Henderson . With any luck, their European Darts Grand Prix will be played with the intensity of their legendary World Matchplay battle back in 2018.
Max Hopp always has the backing of any German crowd, even a diminished one. The Maximiser will play Pero Ljubic, who makes his second European Tour appearance after turning up for this very tournament last year (though it was actually 17 months ago; damn you, 2020.)
Robert Marijanovic is another of the German faction taking part in Sindelfingen, and he'll meet Derk Telnekes with a second round tie against Michael Smith at stake. After that, Madars Razma hopes to continue some promising form, as he plays Irish ace Steve Lennon.
Martijn Kleermaker has done fairly well in his maiden PDC Pro Tour season, making the Last 16 on his European Tour debut and winning some games at the Summer Series. The big Dutchman gets started on Friday evening against perhaps the least known of the nine Germans in the mix, Markus Buffler.
Damon Heta already has one fond memory in Germany to cling to; The Heat recently took an Autumn Series title in Niedernhausen. In Sindelfingen, he starts what he hopes will be a strong run by matching up against Adam Hunt.
There's an all-German match for the local fans to savour. Steffen Siepmann, who earned his spot through the PDC Tour Holders' qualifier a full seven months ago, takes on Gabriel Clemens. As the current leading light of Teutonic tungsten, Clemens will have the pressure of being the favourite not just in this match-up but in the comparative performances of his countrymen.
The evening's rounded off with a game between two players capable of putting on a real show. Chris Dobey's World Grand Prix is best left forgotten; he can move on with a win over William O'Connor, who has shown on a few occasions that he can hit some big numbers. O'Connor will want to get in the groove before returning to World Cup duty with the Republic of Ireland, for whom he and Lennon made a big splash last year.
European Darts Grand Prix Schedule
Friday October 16
Evening Session (18:00 GMT)
18:00 Kim Huybrechts v John Henderson
18:30 Max Hopp v Pero Ljubic
19:00 Derk Telnekes v Robert Marijanovic
19:30 Steve Lennon v Madars Razma
20:00 Markus Buffler v Martijn Kleermaker
20:30 Adam Hunt v Damon Heta
21:00 Steffen Siepmann v Gabriel Clemens
21:30 Chris Dobey v William O'Connor