Jul 16, 2023 at 3:13 PMUpdate: 2 minutes ago
Dirk van Duijvenbode and Danny Noppert both started the World Matchplay in Blackpool with a victory on Sunday. ‘Aubergenius’ was 12-10 too strong for the Belgian Kim Huybregts. Noppert narrowly beat Germany’s Martin Schindler.
Van Duijvenbode and Huybregts made it an exciting match in the early stages. In the first five legs – played in the single leg format – a player was broken no less than three times. After an early 3-2 lead for the Dutchman, the Belgian broke back in the tenth leg to level the score at 5-5.
Subsequently, many legs went with the arrows, although Van Duijvenbode missed three break opportunities on tops in the thirteenth legs. With a score of 8-8, the Westlander – who seemed to be bothered by the air conditioning in the room – struck a blow by breaking through. Then ‘Aubergenius’ only had to keep his own leg to win the match, but he failed to do so. Huybregts survived one match dart and broke back: 9-9.
Because to win the match at least two legs difference had to be achieved by one of the two darters, extra time was played. Huybregts won the first leg, only to miss two match darts at double sixteen with a 10-9 score.
‘Aubergenius’ took advantage of this and made it 10-10 again, before winning the next two legs and winning the very spectacular game 12-10. Van Duijvenbode reached the semi-finals in Blackpool last year. In the next round he will meet Englishman Luke Humphries or Portuguese José de Sousa.
Noppert struggles after a strong start, but wins
Earlier in the day, Noppert defeated Schindler with difficulty: 10-8. After the opening phase of the match had gone without breaks, Noppert took the initiative by breaking in the sixth leg. Schindler immediately reacted with a break, but the Frisian 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 gave away one more leg, then won the eighteenth leg and set 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. 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.
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