FLORIAN Hempel, Daniel Klose and Niko Springer enjoyed the perfect start to the 2022 Interwetten PDC Europe Super League by winning their five respective group games on Monday. However, Dragutin Horvat stole the headlines after landing a sensational nine-darter against Christopher Toonders.
The PDC Europe Super League kicked off in style in Niedernhausen, as Germany’s top stars battle it out for a place in the 2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship.
The 24-player field are competing in four groups of six across the first two days of action, with the top four players from each group progressing to the last 16 following the conclusion of Tuesday’s play.
Hempel – who starred on his World Championship debut 12 months ago – began his bid to return to Alexandra Palace in flawless fashion, winning his opening five Group A ties at the H+ Hotel in Niedernhausen.
Hempel relinquished just 12 legs across the afternoon, and his best performance saw him post a ton-plus average in his emphatic 6-2 victory over Franz Rötzsch, who occupies the second spot in Group A.
Meanwhile, Klose leads the way in Group C, battling past former European Tour event winner Max Hopp and 2020 champion Nico Kurz to claim maximum points from Monday’s opening day.
Kurz won his other four clashes to cement the second spot, with former World Cup semi-finalist Hopp joined on four points alongside Christian Bunse and Michael Hurtz.
Emerging star Springer also impressed in Group D, whitewashing Lukas Wenig with a 96 average, before also edging out former World Championship qualifier Rene Eidams in a decider en route to maintaining his 100% record.
Wenig recovered from his whitewash defeat to finish the day on eight points from a possible ten, registering ton-topping averages in wins over Manfred Bilderl and Eidams.
Fresh from securing qualification for the Cazoo Players Championship Finals last weekend, Ricardo Pietreczko continued his fine form in Group B, claiming eight points from his five matches.
The 28-year-old suffered his solitary defeat against Marco Obst, who won three of his five fixtures alongside Kai Gotthardt – a Challenge Tour participant in 2022.
However, Dragutin Horvat stole the headlines in Group B, after landing a sensational nine-darter in the third leg of his 6-2 victory against Christopher Toonders. The perfect leg was all the more impressive after Horvat dropped his 8th dart before collecting it and completing the 141 finish!
However, Horvat – a semi-finalist in 2021 – only won two of his five matches, despite recording the highest tournament average in his group.
The tournament is being played on up to four boards simultaneously with selected matches broadcast live on Sport1 in Germany (online live stream) and on PDCTV.
The group stage action continues on Tuesday, and when all players within the preliminary round groups have played each other twice, the bottom two players in each group will be eliminated.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the 16 remaining players will be drawn into two groups of eight in the same round-robin format, with all players playing each other twice before the top four players in each group qualify for the quarter-finals.
The quarter-finals, semi-finals and will then be played on Friday November 11, as the race to Ally Pally reaches its climax.
Click here to see all results from Monday’s play in the PDC Europe Super League.
2022 Interwetten PDC Europe Super League
Schedule of play
Tuesday November 8 (1200 local time)
15x First Round per group (four groups of six players)
Best of 11 Legs
The first two days of action will see players compete in four groups of six over the best of 11 legs. Players will be awarded one point per win, with any ties being split by the following criteria:
2. Legs won
4. DartConnect average
5. Tie-break match (best of 11 legs)
Image: PDC Europe
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