Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years to dump out his compatriot Michael van Gerwen on Day Two at the Interwetten European Darts Matchplay, as Gian van Veen produced an astonishing display to continue his rise in Trier.
Van Barneveld recovered from a sluggish start to register his first European Tour victory over Van Gerwen at the sixth attempt on Saturday, winning six of the last seven legs to secure a landmark win in a battle of the Dutch giants.
Van Gerwen was making his first appearance since his pre-planned dental surgery last month, and he was sent packing by a clinical Van Barneveld, who took out finishes of 80, 118, 138 and 84 to close out an impressive 6-3 success.
“Michael is an amazing player. To me he is still the best in the world,” reflected the five-time World Champion, who will take on Ryan Searle for a place in the quarter-finals tomorrow afternoon.
“Tonight Michael didn’t play his A-game, but I never gave up and my doubles went in, so I’m really happy.
“To beat him on the [European Tour] stage is a great feeling, and it shows even as a 56-year-old, you can still do well.
“I’m working really hard and the hard work pays off. I have qualified for the World Matchplay, but we have to move further, and I proved tonight that I can still do this.”
The third round will take place on Sunday afternoon, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.
The tournament is being broadcast live on Viaplay, DAZN and PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
2023 Interwetten European Darts Matchplay
Saturday July 1
Ryan Joyce 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Josh Rock 6-0 Brendan Dolan
Rob Cross 6-4 Mickey Mansell
Gian van Veen 6-0 Damon Heta
Nathan Aspinall 6-5 Martin Lukeman
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 Andrew Gilding
Joe Cullen 6-3 Vitezslav Sedlak
Stephen Bunting 6-5 Ross Smith
James Wade 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Ryan Searle 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith 6-2 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-1 Marko Kantele
Martin Schindler 6-3 Callan Rydz
Danny Noppert 6-5 James Wilson
Sunday July 2
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Raymond van Barneveld v Ryan Searle
Ryan Joyce v Joe Cullen
Michael Smith v Josh Rock
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rob Cross v James Wade
Gian van Veen v Martin Schindler
Nathan Aspinall v Danny Noppert
Luke Humphries v Stephen Bunting
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Sunday’s matches played in draw bracket order
Images: Jonas Hunold / PDC Europe
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