Hurricane Huybrechts Blows Out MVG

Red Dragon Darts

Kim Huybrechts produced a sensational moment of brilliance as he kept home hopes alive at the Belgian Darts Open with a superb 6-4 win over Michael van Gerwen in the headline tie of Saturday’s second round in Wieze.

Huybrechts, who has been outspoken on event venues, and crowd behavior, in recent months, went into his contest with Van Gerwen as a heavy underdog, but punished 20 missed doubles from the Premier League and World Matchplay champion during a dramatic contest.

Huybrechts capitalised on misses from Van Gerwen in three of the opening five legs, and also took out 121 as he opened up a 4-1 lead.

Van Gerwen hit back to level with three straight legs, but missed tops in leg nine as Huybrechts moved back ahead.

The Dutch star then missed seven further darts at a double to send the game into a deciding leg, and Huybrechts pounced by finishing 134 with treble 18 and two double tops to bring almost 3,000 fans in the Oktoberhallen to their feet.

“This is the biggest win so far of my career,” he said. “I’ve played in the Premier League and I beat Michael in the Grand Slam of Darts, but that’s the most amazing crowd I’ve ever experienced.

“To win with a finish like that is something I’ll always remember. I was already focusing on the next leg – I was thinking it was going to be five-five. He missed, I’m on 134 and I’m thinking “maybe” and then boom!”

Huybrechts won the last of his two previous European Tour titles in 2015, but will be on a high as he enters Sunday’s final stages with a third round tie against Adrian Lewis, who averaged 103 in an impressive 6-1 defeat of Croatia’s Boris Krcmar.

Whilst Huybrechts was a popular winner in his home event on Saturday, the other two remaining Belgian aces – Dimitri Van den Bergh and Mike De Decker – saw their hopes of victory ended in round two.

Van den Bergh suffered an agonising 6-5 loss to Andrew Gilding, with the Belgian number one missing darts to break in legs five and seven.

That proved crucial, and though Van den Bergh took out a 13-darter to take the game into a decisive 11th leg, Gilding was first to a double as he took out 24 for victory.

De Decker led 2-1 early in his tie with Rob Cross, who took three successive legs to turn the tie before defying an 11-darter from the Belgian to close out the win.

World Champion Peter Wright was also eliminated, and Dutchman Niels Zonneveld came back from 4-2 down with finishes of 100 and 126 before defeating the Scot in a deciding leg.

The win moves Zonneveld into the final day of a European Tour event for a first time, with the left-hander now up against Gilding in round three.

“It’s really amazing,” said Zonneveld. “He was 4-2 up but I got it back and hit some good finishes.”

Flawless Gabriel Clemens finished six doubles from as many attempts in a sensational 6-1 win over Ryan Meikle.

The German took out 120, 124, 76, 62 and 101 as he opened up a 5-1 lead, and he then finished 100 with two double tops to complete a remarkable doubling display.

Clemens now takes on Rob Cross, who finished six doubles from ten attempts in a 6-4 win over Belgium’s Mike De Decker.

Clemens was joined in the last 16 in Belgium by fellow German Martin Schindler, who averaged 96 in his 6-2 defeat of Czech Republic star Karel Sedlacek.

Schindler now plays Rusty-Jake Rodriguez in the third round on Sunday afternoon, with the Austrian youngster taking out 82 in the deciding leg of his second-round clash with third seed Damon Heta.

Jose de Sousa survived four missed match darts from Ross Smith as he progressed to the last 16, hitting back from 5-3 down as the Englishman missed a pair of match darts in each of the final two legs.

De Sousa faces a third-round tie with Ryan Searle, who raced past former World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks for the loss of just one leg.

Dave Chisnall landed a 170 finish and posted two 12-darters and an 11-dart leg in his fine 6-2 win over Dutchman Jelle Klaasen.

Chisnall’s third-round opponent will be Nathan Aspinall, who finished six doubles from 12 attempts and averaged 98 in his dominant 6-1 win over Jamie Hughes.

World Series of Darts Finals runner-up Dirk van Duijvenbode continued his strong form with a 99.53 average in his narrow 6-5 win over Mervyn King, who missed the bull for victory in a dramatic deciding leg.

Van Duijvenbode will take on Jonny Clayton on Sunday afternoon in a repeat of a meeting in the World Series of Darts Finals last weekend.

The Welshman was a narrow 6-5 winner against Keane Barry, who missed double 16 for a 101 finish in the deciding leg of their tie before Clayton took out 79 in two darts.

Masters champion Joe Cullen proved too strong for Sweden’s Dennis Nilsson, with a 6-2 triumph creating a third-round clash with UK Open champion Danny Noppert, who hit back from 4-2 down against Madars Razma to win in a deciding leg.

Sunday sees the Belgian Darts Open conclude, with the afternoon session’s third round followed in the evening session by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

Coverage will be streamed through DAZN for viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and on PDCTV for subscribers in all other territories, as well as through bookmakers worldwide, with coverage also live on VTM2 in Belgium.

2022 Belgian Darts Open

Saturday, September 24

Second Round

Afternoon Session

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-5 Damon Heta

Gabriel Clemens 6-1 Ryan Meikle

Martin Schindler 6-2 Karel Sedlacek

Ryan Searle 6-1 Bradley Brooks

Jose de Sousa 6-5 Ross Smith

Dave Chisnall 6-2 Jelle Klaasen

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-5 Mervyn King

Nathan Aspinall 6-1 Jamie Hughes

Evening Session 

Rob Cross 6-4 Mike De Decker

Jonny Clayton 6-5 Keane Barry

Andrew Gilding 6-5 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Niels Zonneveld 6-5 Peter Wright

Joe Cullen 6-2 Dennis Nilsson

Kim Huybrechts 6-4 Michael van Gerwen

Adrian Lewis 6-1 Boris Krcmar

Danny Noppert 6-5 Madars Razma

Sunday September 25

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Niels Zonneveld v Andrew Gilding

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez v Martin Schindler

Dirk Van Duijvenbode v Jonny Clayton

Rob Cross v Gabriel Clemens

Ryan Searle v Jose de Sousa

Nathan Aspinall v Dave Chisnall

Joe Cullen v Danny Noppert

Kim Huybrechts v Adrian Lewis

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)




Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order


Images: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe

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