Sedlacek Stars On Czech Opening Day

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Home hero Karel Sedlacek celebrated a dramatic comeback victory on Day One of the Gambrinus Czech Darts Open, as Ross Smith, Jose de Sousa and Steve Beaton also progressed in Prague.

The opening day of the £175,000 event saw 16 first round ties take place in the Czech capital, with Sedlacek one of two Host Nation representatives to seal a spot in Saturday’s second round.

Sedlacek raised the roof at the PVA Expo with a deciding-leg win over Dutch debutant Jeffrey Sparidaans, conjuring up a spectacular 170 checkout in leg six, before rallying from 5-4 down to prevail.

The 44-year-old will be joined in round two by his compatriot Dalibor Smolik, who pinned six of his seven attempts at double to deny Richard Veenstra and set up a showdown against World Youth Champion Josh Rock.

However, UK Open semi-finalist Adam Gawlas was unable to deliver on home soil, succumbing 6-3 to Madars Razma, who produced a trio of ton-plus checkouts to silence the partisan home crowd.

Host Nation Qualifiers Filip Sebesta and David Pisek were also sent packing in the afternoon session, losing out to Dylan Slevin and Geert Nentjes respectively.

European Champion Ross Smith produced the performance of the day in Prague, defeating Finnish debutant Jani Laurila 6-3 to set up a second round tie against reigning champion Luke Humphries.

Smith fired in seven maximums to kick off his campaign in style, averaging 99 and boasting a 60% checkout success rate to cap off an accomplished display.

“Fair play to Jani, he played really well, especially on his debut,” reflected Smith, who was averaging over 108 for periods of the contest.

“I was chatting to him before the game and he’s a really nice guy. His finishing was fantastic. I’m sure we will see a lot more of him.

“I’ve not been feeling great this week, but I will take that performance any day and I’m confident going into tomorrow now.”

Steve Beaton produced a superb display of combination finishing to dump out Darius Labanauskas, converting 117, 110, 77 and 76 checkouts in the closing stages to recover from a 4-2 deficit.

Vincent van der Voort ran out an emphatic 6-1 winner against 2019 champion Jamie Hughes in his opener, punishing Hughes’ doubling woes to create a tie against UK Open champion Andrew Gilding.

Kim Huybrechts breezed through to round two in similarly comprehensive fashion, dispatching an out-of-sorts Callan Rydz to wrap up his first European Tour victory of 2023.

Jose de Sousa was another high-profile winner on Friday, averaging 98 and landing five 180s to defeat Bradley Brooks 6-4, which sets up a second round meeting with former UK Open champion Danny Noppert.

Martijn Kleermaker will face Austrian Darts Open winner Jonny Clayton for a place in round three on Saturday evening, after racing to an impressive 6-3 victory against Stephen Bunting in Friday’s finale.

Elsewhere, Brendan Dolan defied a late Jelle Klaasen fightback to set up a clash with world number three Peter Wright, rounding off a clinical display to dump out the resurgent Dutchman.

Belgian duo Mario Vandenbogaerde and Mike De Decker also moved through to round two in the Czech Republic, after celebrating 6-4 wins against Matt Campbell and Ian White.

Vandenbogaerde defied a 170 checkout from Campbell before rallying from 5-3 down to triumph, while De Decker crashed in four 180s to fend off a spirited rally from Stoke-on-Trent star White.

Meanwhile, Martin Lukeman kicked off Friday’s action with a 6-2 success against Hungary’s Patrik Kovacs, while Swiss star Stefan Bellmont saw off Rowby-John Rodriguez to continue his emergence.

The 16 seeded players enter the tournament in Saturday’s second round, with top seed Humphries and three-time World Champion Van Gerwen amongst the names set to take centre stage.

The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

Click here for results & match stats.

2023 Gambrinus Czech Darts Open

Schedule of Play

Friday May 12

First Round

Afternoon Session

Martin Lukeman 6-2 Patrik Kovacs

Stefan Bellmont 6-4 Rowby-John Rodriguez

Geert Nentjes 6-5 David Pisek

Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-5 Matt Campbell

Dylan Slevin 6-3 Filip Sebesta

Dalibor Smolik 6-4 Richard Veenstra

Brendan Dolan 6-4 Jelle Klaasen

Mike De Decker 6-4 Ian White

Evening Session

Jose de Sousa 6-4 Bradley Brooks

Vincent van der Voort 6-1 Jamie Hughes

Ross Smith 6-3 Jani Laurila

Steve Beaton 6-4 Darius Labanauskas

Madars Razma 6-3 Adam Gawlas

Kim Huybrechts 6-1 Callan Rydz

Karel Sedlacek 6-5 Jeffrey Sparidaans

Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Stephen Bunting

Saturday May 13

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Andrew Gilding v Vincent van der Voort

Josh Rock v Dalibor Smolik

Damon Heta v Dylan Slevin

Ryan Searle v Steve Beaton

Dave Chisnall v Geert Nentjes

Martin Schindler v Kim Huybrechts

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Mario Vandenbogaerde

Nathan Aspinall v Martin Lukeman

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Danny Noppert v Jose de Sousa

Rob Cross v Madars Razma

Peter Wright v Brendan Dolan

Michael van Gerwen v Mike De Decker

Joe Cullen v Karel Sedlacek

Luke Humphries v Ross Smith

Jonny Clayton v Martijn KleermakerDimitri Van den Bergh v Stefan Bellmont

—–ENDS—–

Images: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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