Kevin Doets books important win at European Darts Open; opponent for Michael van Gerwen also confirmed

Kevin Doets has advanced to the second round at the European Darts Open in Leverkusen. The Dutchman defeated Nico Blum 6-3 and did excellent business in the qualifying race for the World Matchplay.

'Hawkeye' dreams of making his debut at the prestigious tournament in Blackpool. Doets is currently one spot outside the qualifying spots, but has at least reduced his deficit to his rival James Wade back to 1,000 pounds. Wade will play Michael Smith later in the day in the first round.

Doets took a comfortable lead against Blum as he hit 15-dart legs to take the first four legs. Blum then reduced the deficit to 5-3, before Doets decided the match with a 16-darter.

Michael van Gerwen's opponent for the second round of the European Darts Open was also confirmed. Dylan Slevin secured a spot in the second round of this tournament by beating Jamie Hughes 6-4.

Neither man had originally qualified for this tournament, but Slevin and Hughes advanced after five players pulled out for the event in Leverkusen. Against Hughes, Slevin gained a break lead in the fifth leg via a 17-darter.

The Irishman then doubled the lead with a 16-darter. Hughes then came back to 4-4. First "Yozza" halved the deficit with a 16-darter and then came the equalizer with a 15-darter. Hughes then missed a chance to take over the lead before Slevin threw out 76 to move to within one leg of victory. Slevin delivered the verdict on Hughes with a 21-darter in the tenth leg.

The opening match of the tournament was won by Dom Taylor. The Englishman won 6-3 over Radek Szaganski, forcing a clash with third seed Damon Heta. Taylor had to give up the first leg to Szaganski, but then managed to take four legs in a row. Szaganski closed the gap to 2-4 with a 170 finish, but the win went to Taylor with 6-3.

Karel Sedlacek also managed to qualify for the second round at the European Darts Open. Thanks to an average of 96 and a finishing percentage of 50 percent, the Czech was too strong for Matthew Dennant (6-3).

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