Humphries Marvelous in Munich

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INSPIRED COOL HAND LUKE PRODUCES MAGICAL DISPLAY IN MUNICH

Luke Humphries produced an outrageous display to open his challenge at the NEO.bet German Darts Grand Prix on Easter Sunday, as reigning champion Michael Smith began his title defence in style.

Day Two of the year’s second PDC European Tour event saw the 16 seeded stars enter the fray in Munich, as World Champion Humphries continued his scintillating form.

The world number one averaged 108.68 to defeat an impressive Luke Woodhouse 6-3, converting 140, 170 and 161 checkouts to cap off a mesmerising performance.

“Luke is a fantastic player. I knew I had a tough task tonight,” revealed Humphries, who won his maiden European Tour title at this event in April 2022.

“My scoring was really good but my finishing was obviously unbelievable, and that’s what won me the game in the end.

“If I bring that game tomorrow, it’s going to take a big performance to beat me, but I need to carry on playing like that.

“It has been a long time since I’ve won a European Tour [title], so I’ve got my eyes set on winning another one tomorrow!”

2023 World Champion Smith was another impressive performer on a thrilling day of second round action, averaging 102 to see off a spirited Cameron Menzies and begin his bid for back-to-back titles in Munich.

Michael van Gerwen – the other former champion in this year’s field – also made a winning start at the Zenith Kulturhalle, fending off a late fightback from his fellow Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan to book his last 16 berth.

German Darts Grand Prix 2024

Van Gerwen will continue his bid for a fourth German Darts Grand Prix crown against Joe Cullen, who conjured up a majestic 154 checkout on his way to a convincing 6-3 success against Jonny Clayton.

In the game of the day, Danny Noppert won through an extraordinary encounter against Gian van Veen, defying a 108 average and two ton-plus checkouts from his compatriot to keep his title hopes alive.

Van Veen recorded four consecutive 12-dart holds to establish a 4-3 cushion, although Noppert – aided by a 147 checkout in leg nine – survived a match dart in the decider to celebrate a memorable victory.

Martin Schindler preserved home hopes with a 6-1 demolition of Australian number one Damon Heta, averaging 99 and converting 66% of his attempts at double in the process.

Despite missing 14 darts at double, Gerwyn Price registered a ton-topping average to prevail in his all-Premier League clash against Peter Wright, wrapping up a 6-4 victory with a 13-dart hold.

Last year’s runner-up Nathan Aspinall progressed by the same scoreline, reeling off five consecutive legs from 4-1 adrift to dump out fifth seed Dirk van Duijvenbode with a 98 average.

Top seed Dave Chisnall recovered from a sluggish start to overcome UK Open champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, with a sensational 170 checkout in leg eight sparking the turnaround.

Elsewhere, two-time European Champion Rob Cross breezed through to round three with a clinical 6-2 victory against Daryl Gurney, as Chris Dobey closed out a hard-fought win against Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski.

Ryan Joyce raced through to the last 16 with a dominant 6-1 success against Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko, averaging 102 and pinning six of his 11 attempts at a double.

Former European Champion Ross Smith also advanced by the same scoreline, dispatching Brendan Dolan in the afternoon’s opener to set up a showdown against Aspinall.

Jermaine Wattimena maintained his strong start to the 2024 European Tour campaign, punishing a profligate display from Stephen Bunting to move through to a meeting against Chisnall.

Ryan Searle defied a shoulder problem to run out a comfortable 6-2 winner against Steve Lennon, while Josh Rock returned to winning ways on the big stage with a deciding-leg win against Richard Veenstra.

The third round will take place on Monday afternoon in Munich, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

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

2024 NEO.bet German Darts Grand Prix

Sunday March 31
Second Round
Afternoon Session
Ross Smith 6-1 Brendan Dolan
Josh Rock 6-5 Richard Veenstra
Chris Dobey 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Ryan Joyce 6-1 Ricardo Pietreczko
Jermaine Wattimena 6-2 Stephen Bunting
Ryan Searle 6-2 Steve Lennon
Rob Cross 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode

Evening Session
Michael Smith 6-4 Cameron Menzies
Danny Noppert 6-5 Gian van Veen
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Peter Wright
Luke Humphries 6-3 Luke Woodhouse
Martin Schindler 6-1 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Dave Chisnall 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Joe Cullen 6-3 Jonny Clayton

Monday April 1
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Third Round
Josh Rock v Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price v Ryan Searle
Rob Cross v Danny Noppert
Luke Humphries v Ryan Joyce
Nathan Aspinall v Ross Smith
Martin Schindler v Chris Dobey
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen
Dave Chisnall v Jermaine Wattimena

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

—–ENDS—–

Images: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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