Michael van Gerwen qualified for the second round of the Players Championship Finals on Friday. The defending champion dealt with the Lithuanian Darius Labanauskas: 6-3. Niels Zonneveld caused a stunt by eliminating James Wade.
Van Gerwen started his match against Labanauskas excellently and came 3-0 thanks to finishes of 114 and 110, among others.
The number one in the world kept his break lead and came 5-2 through an impressive finish of 156. In the eighth leg he missed a match dart, but a little later he finished the job with a double nine.
Van Gerwen recorded an average of 103.34 per three arrows and hit 85.71 percent of his doubles. Labanauskas gave an average of 90.38.
In the second round, Van Gerwen appears at the oche against Jonny Clayton. De Brabander won the Players Championship Finals five times. Except last year, he was also the strongest in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
For the users of the app: tap the tweet to view the decisive arrows of Zonneveld against Wade.
Zonneveld stunts against Wade
Earlier in the evening, Zonneveld was surprisingly 6-3 too strong for Wade, who lost the final of the Grand Slam of Darts last Sunday. The 22-year-old North Hollander missed a match dart at 5-2, but struck a leg later with bull’s eye.
Zonneveld awaits a Dutch get-together with Dirk van Duijvenbode in the second round. ‘Titan’ defeated Irishman William O’Connor 6-4. Vincent van der Voort, Jermaine Wattimena, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Danny Noppert also reached the second round.
Van der Voort put his countryman Derk Telnekes aside with 6-2 and Wattimena left Irishman Steve Lennon without a chance: 6-1. De Zwaan got rid of Darren Webster 6-3 and Noppert gave Steve Beaton only one leg: 6-1.
The curtain fell for Martijn Kleermaker and Maik Kuivenhoven in the opening round. Tailor lost 5-6 to the German Gabriel Clemens and Kuivenhoven had no chance against the Australian Damon Heta: 1-6.
The Players Championship Finals is the last biggest tournament for the World Cup darts, which starts on December 15. Coventry is hosting the corona pandemic. Normally the television tournament, which lasts until Sunday, takes place in Minehead.