Dutch Open Diary: Finals Day (Pt I)

Red Dragon Darts

Sunday at the Dutch Open means finals day. But before that, there was plenty of action as the men’s event continued from the last 64 onwards and the youth events were played as well. 

Before getting ready for my own game,  I myself took part in the boys (14-18) event,  I went to the Press/VIP room to drop off my bag, and I noticed the atmosphere was very relaxed in there. A lot of practice was going on already, but everyone seemed calm and Willem Mandigers was even singing at one point (or at least he tried). 

The men’s event was now played in the venue where the ladies and paradarts tournament had been played on Saturday. With only 64 players left in the men tournament, that meant there was also a lot of room to practice. Youth players were practicing there as well, including the likes of girls World Championship finalist Wibke Riemann and boys World Champion Bradly Roes!

The venue where the youth events were played was extremely busy, mainly because of all the parents who were proudly supporting their children. I was told my first-round opponent withdrew and so recieved a bye into the last 64. I then decided to practice a little more, as the events had all got started and there was enough space on the practice boards. 

Some very talented youth players were practicing as well, including Tinus van Tiel, Dylan van Lierop and Sydnee de Vries. Van Tiel’s dad said to his son ‘If you hit two trebles every visit and finish perfectly, I’m happy’. No high expectations then!

Finally, I understand players who say ‘back in the practice room I hit everything!’, as I was practicing really great! In the game itself however, my opponent was extremely good and I lost 0-3. One game later, my opponent couldn’t find anything though as he lost 0-3 himself to an eventual semi-finalist. I then marked a game, between two very fast players but thankfully it all went well, and it was another different aspect in the world of darts to discover.

Back to the men’s event, as I spotted that Jelle Klaasen whitewashed Richard Veenstra 4-0, we were guaranteed a new men’s winner now! The men were already into the last 16 by this point, as Gian van Veen took out number one seed James Hurrell!

Mark Barilli eliminated Anthony Allen, and Ivo Leeksma was still going strong as he took out Belgian John Desreumaux who was very disappointed. Danny Holt did not seem very disappointed and was more philosophical after his last 16 defeat to Jurjen van der Velde as Holt said ‘well, I can finally get a beer now!’

Bradly Roes was the last player who managed to reach the quarter-finals, after a 4-2 win over Tom van den Hoogen, as his very vocal supporters were absolutely over the moon! Roes seemed to be using the ‘Dimitri van den Bergh method’ as he took his time, and a deep breath every time he had to hit an important double, and it clearly worked! 

The quarter-finals were played on the Dartconnect boards, in front of a big audience. Thibault Tricole had a very easy 5-1 win over Johan van Velzen, and was the first man to make the last 4. Jelle Klaasen had a very slow start, but still won 5-2 against the very impressive  Jurjen van der Velde, and Mark Barilli came back from 1-3 down to beat Gian van Veen 5-3! 

Finally, Bradly Roes ran out of steam as he lost to Ivo Leeksma who made his first-ever WDF ranked semi-final!

I will be back with a final diary installment, recounting the stage finals later….


Words and Images: Wim Blokpeol

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