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Danish Darts Open - Preview

2018-06-24 00:00:00 (This report was created at 2018-06-22 14:31:02)

Danish Darts Open

European Tour event 8 finds the PDC taking darts to Denmark for the first time. A brand new venue but will me have the same old result?

Michael Van Gerwen has won five of the seven European Tour events so far in 2018. He didn’t play in Austria (won by Jonny Clayton) and he was beaten in the quarter final of the German Open by Ian White and the eventual winner was Max Hopp. That’s 27 matches won and just 1 defeat for Mighty Mike. The rest are playing for 2nd place surely?

In all probability…yes. The one slim hope is that MVG will be a little rusty having taken a couple of weeks out for a family holiday in Spain. Of course he could just as likely be well rested, refreshed and ready to go.

During his little absence there was a Players Championship last weekend which allowed Peter Wright and Rob Cross both to win their first tiles of 2018. Indeed Rob ‘slimline’ Cross made the final of both events and we can safely say that he is now back to firing on all cylinders following his decision to adopt a new, healthier diet. It should be something that the other players pay heed to. Yes darts isn’t an athletic endeavour but it does require excellent motor skills and high levels of concentration, especially in these European Tour events which will involve playing four matches for Sunday’s finalists.

Cross decided to go on the diet as he realised that he was losing his concentration, lacking in energy as he had put on over a stone in weight since winning the World Championship. It’s a professional sport these days and the top players have to act professionally which will increasingly mean staying in good physical condition in order to maximise their mental performance. Eating on the road can lead to bad habits and the pounds can start to pile on if a player isn’t careful.

Cross and MVG are the form players coming into this and both are in the upper half of the draw so something has to give.

In the bottom half Michael Smith is the top ranked player and number 2 seed. He has been a little erratic since losing the Premier League final to MVG five weeks ago. He has reached three players championship quarter finals but only converted one into a semi which was on Sunday afternoon and he lost to Rob Cross 2-6. That’s six wins from ten matches and he doesn’t quite seem in top form. He did take some time out so maybe he just needs a few more games under his belt. His first match will be against the winner of an interesting first round clash between Adrian Lewis, runner up in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, and Development Tour OOM leader, Ted Evetts. Lewis is obviously in great form but Evetts has been playing some really good stuff recently. It certainly isn’t a great first match for Smith.

The bottom half should be ‘easier’ with no MVG or Rob Cross but there is quality at every turn. We have Stephen Bunting who is capable of beating anyone on his day and he is having more and more of them in recent months. Joe Cullen has been making European Tour quarter finals for fun recently (five) but only one semi-final. James Wade was runner up in ET 5 and semi-finals in the first two events. His most recent form however sees five wins from ten so he has hit a flat spot.

Mensur Suljovic won the German Darts Masters at the end of last month, the first of this year’s World Series events so he will have his supporters. Darren Webster is never an easy opponent although his recent form isn’t great.

Peter Wright will be happy that he finally got back to winning ways at the weekend and he does look like he is getting back to the kind of form that saw him win so many titles last year. I like his draw as well. He will face the winner of the Dobey/Lynn first round match. He has beaten Dobey in both their previous meetings while Lynn is very inexperienced at this level. Wright is then due to meet Gerwyn Price and or Mickey Mansell or Jelle Klassen. The latter two should hold no fear for Wright and Gerwyn Price is injured having snapped his Achilles tendon earlier this week. How he plans to play with that sort of injury is beyond me. There is a reasonable path to the quarter final, probably to face Suljovic or Webster. That’s not too bad and if he plays as well as he has been recently he can make the semi-final.

1 point e/w Peter Wright to win the Danish Darts Open @ 8.00 with Betvictor (½ the odds 1-2)

Hopefully I will have time to look at some of tomorrows 2nd round matches but we have a clash with the French Grand prix this weekend so there is a bit of juggling going on.