Fallon Sherrock breezed past Darius Labanauskas to set up a quarter-final showdown against Michael Smith at the Viaplay Nordic Darts Masters, as the PDC World Series of Darts event began in Copenhagen on Friday.
The second staging of the Scandinavian showpiece saw all eight PDC stars overcome their Nordic & Baltic opponents, as last year’s runner-up Sherrock recovered from her New York disappointment in style.
The 27-year-old defied some early nerves to dispatch former World Championship quarter-finalist Labanauskas 6-1, as the Lithuanian endured an evening to forget in the Danish capital.
However, Sherrock took full advantage, following up a spectacular 142 finish in the penultimate leg with a 15-darter to seal her spot in Saturday’s quarter-finals.
Sherrock will now take on US Darts Masters winner Smith in the last eight, after the St Helens star began his bid for back-to-back World Series titles with a 6-2 success against Danish number one Vladimir Andersen.
Smith was not at his blistering best, but he eased through with a 94 average and four maximums, converting a 101 finish to seal the deal with a 12-darter.
Elsewhere, reigning champion Michael van Gerwen kicked off his title defence with a dominant 6-1 win over Finnish veteran Marko Kantele.
Van Gerwen stormed clear with 157 and 103 finishes in consecutive legs, and he will now play James Wade, ahead of the pair’s clash in the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs on Monday.
Wade began his campaign with a comfortable 6-3 win over Madars Razma, despite a spectacular 154 checkout from the Latvian midway through the contest.
World Champion Peter Wright produced the performance of the night in Copenhagen, averaging 103.66 in a whitewash win over big stage debutant Matthías Örn Fridriksson.
Fridriksson became the first Icelandic player to feature in a televised PDC event, but he was blown away by the world number one, who converted 55% of his attempts at double.
Wright now looks ahead to an all-Scottish affair against Gary Anderson, who survived a huge scare after rallying from 5-3 down to edge out experienced Swede Daniel Larsson.
Finishes of 116 and 100 inspired Anderson’s revival following a torrid start, and after firing in back-to-back 13-darters to force a decider, the Scot sealed his progression via double eight.
Gerwyn Price recovered from a sluggish start to dump out home favourite Brian Løkken, reeling off five consecutive legs from 2-1 down to book a last eight showdown against Dimitri Van den Bergh.
In the evening’s curtain-raiser, Van den Bergh cruised through with a comprehensive whitewash win over Danish youngster Benjamin Drue Reus, averaging 98 and landing four 180s.
Sherrock and Smith’s tussle headlines Saturday afternoon’s quarter-final action, before the semi-finals and final take place in a blockbuster evening session at Forum Copenhagen.
The tournament will be broadcast live on ITV4 for UK viewers, through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.
ITV coverage in the UK will be from 1030 BST on ITV4 on Saturday June 11, with live coverage on ITV3 from 1900 BST on Saturday for the final stages.
For results and match stats go to Sportradar.
Schedule of Play
Friday June 10, Forum Copenhagen
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-0 Benjamin Drue Reus
Gary Anderson 6-5 Daniel Larsson
James Wade 6-3 Madars Razma
Fallon Sherrock 6-1 Darius Labanauskas
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Brian Løkken
Michael Smith 6-2 Vladimir Andersen
Peter Wright 6-0 Matthías Örn Fridriksson
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Marko Kantele
Saturday June 11
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Gerwyn Price v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael Smith v Fallon Sherrock
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
Smith/Sherrock v Price/Van den Bergh
Van Gerwen/Wade v Wright/Anderson
Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 21 legs
Final – Best of 21 legs
Images: Mikal Schlosser/PDC