Danny Noppert started the World Matchplay with a victory on Sunday. De Fries won the first round in Blackpool 10-8 in legs against the German Martin Schindler.
After the opening phase of the match – played in the single-leg format – went without breaks, Noppert took the initiative by breaking in the sixth leg. Schindler immediately reacted with a break, but Noppert broke back immediately afterwards and quickly ran to 7-3.
After the break, Schindler’s resistance seemed quickly broken, but the German managed to fight back to 8-7. In the sixteenth leg, Schindler then missed two doubles to level the score, after which Noppert threw out a very clever 112 and made the score 9-7. De Fries then gave away one more leg, to win the eighteenth leg and to determine the final score at 10-8
Noppert, who threw an average of 94.73, reached the semi-finals at the prestigious tournament in Blackpool last year. De Fries will play against Nathan Aspinall (England) or against the Pool Krzysztof Ratajski in the next round.
Later in the afternoon, the Netherlands Dirk van Duijvenbode also comes into action. He throws against Belgian Kim Huybrechts. Defending champion Michael van Gerwen only starts his match at 10.20 pm. Last year, the Brabander won the final against Gerwyn Price. The tournament will run until July 23.