The saturday on the Dutch Open is probably my favourite day of the event.
Why? Well, not only does the men singles event start but also is the ladies event being played until the semi-finals, and with a lot of notable names in there, that is where most of my attention went to today!
As did it to my friends and fellow journalists. Of course to Henry Cheal who celebrated his 21st birthday today and it certainly was a great one! It was also great to meet some people I know from twitter and other social Darts media circles today.
Fellow journalist Merel, who was there for the Asian players I’ve finally met in real life (and thanks for the Berry van Peer flights!), while I also met Daniela Dambeck, a German dartsplayer who I know from twitter for a while now! We went to watch her first game in the L256 of the ladies event.
Unfortunately she was 0-2 down, but she’s a fighter and got it back to 2-2, but unfortunately lost 2-3 eventually. The Austrian girl she lost to did went on to make the last 32 where she lost to Deta Hedman.
In our own games me and Henry both did not manage to win a leg, my opponent started with a 14-darter, then collapsed as I got the chance on 119 in leg two but after a treble 19 I had a bounce out, and that was it as I eventually lost 0-3.
Another darts journalist Jetze Jan Idsardi had more luck as he won his first game which gave him a streamed game against James Hurrell in the last 1024. It was a 0-3 defeat but an experience he’ll never forget!
So, back to the ladies event: there already was a surpeise there in the last 256 as last year’s semi-finalist Kirsty Hutchinson lost 1-3 to Dutch talent Roos van der Velde! It was the same Van der Velde who had the performance of the last 128 as she averaged 92 in a 3-0 win over Melanie Boersma! In the last 64 however, Van der Velde suffered a surprising defeat herself 0-3 to Kyana Frauenfelder!
In the last 32, warm-up event winner Lerena Rietbergen lost 3-4 to Adriana van Wijgerden-Vermaat while the biggest names went theough as well. Deta Hedman did struggle to get her wins, but she did have a legitimate explanation for that: her board was just below the music box which was way too loud, something I noticed as well and it obviously affected the players, as the organization turned the volume doen after Deta’s understandable complaints.
In the last 16 however, Hedman lost an absolute thriller to Noa-Lynn vsn Leuven 3-4 after missing a matchdart, while Scotland’s Lorraine Hyde smashed Suzanne Smith 4-0! In the quarterfinals Dutch number one Aileen de Graaf had an easy win over Belgian’s Shana van Nieuwenhoven 4-1, while Beau Greaves averaged over 98 and smashed Aletta Wajer 4-0!
Rhian O’Sullivan beat Astrid Trouwborst 4-2 to reach the final 4, while Noa-Lynn van Leuven got herself in another thrilling game against Lorraine Hyde! Van Leuven was 3-0 up when Hyde took out a ridiculous 130 on the bullseye for 3-1! In leg 5 Noa-Lynn was on 56 when she bust her shot by hitting S8, T16. Hyde then made it 3-2 and got back to 3-3 before she missed a matchdart as well and eventually it was Van Leuven who got over the line to reach the semi’s!
She then played an all Dutch semi-final against Aileen de Graaf and averaged over 80 but still lost 0-4 to an inspired De Graaf. In a repeat of last year’s final Greaves edged our O’Sullivan 4-3 with a 93,7 average while the Welsh lady averaged over 97 herself!
That means we get a Ladies Dutch Open final on sunday between defending champion Beau Greaves and crowd favourite Aileen de Graaf!
In the men event there were over 3000 participants as it all stopped after the last 256 only to be continued on sunday. Not many upsets with the bigfest names going out were former World Champion Christian Kist and top 16 seeds Moreno Blom, Alexander Merkx and Mike Gillet but edpecially World Champion Neil Duff who had a poor year, and doesn’t seem to particularly like the Dutch Open following an early exit for the second consecutive year!
The big favourites stormed through though, including defending champion Jelle Klaasen, World Master Wesley Plaisier and third seed James Hurrell!
Some outsiders like Hongkong’s Kai Fan Leung, Belgian’s Andy Baetens and England’s Aaron Turner are still in it too, watch out for them on sunday!
A great day ahead of us, with the youth events, men, women and pair events all coming to an end, let’s see who’ll win it!
Words & Images: Wim Blokpoel