When yesterday’s first two matches were played, it meant that the first round was finished. Thus, today there will only be matches from the second round, as it also will tomorrow, before the third round starts on Saturday.
More and more of the seeded players leaves the tournament, and it will be interesting to see if names like Stephen Bunting, Steve Beaton, Adrian Lewis and Mensur Suljovic accompany them.
Jermaine Wattimena v Michael Barnard
Jermaine Wattimena has played a pretty good season. He was among the last 16 at this year’s UK Open and the World Grand Prix. In addition, the season has also offered two semi-finals and a quarter-final on the Players Championship Tour. He will meet Michael Barnard today, who got through to the second round by beating Jose de Sousa 3-2 in the first round, in an extremely even match. Jermaine Wattimena is not the worst to run into, in the second round, but the level from the first round may just have to be slightly raised.
Alan Norris v Steve Lennon
It has not been a season with great results for Alan Norris. Not when you look at what he has previously accomplished in his career. However, it may appear that he meets Steve Lennon at a good time. Lennon won well with secure 3-0 in the first round, but it was without being impressive. If Lennon does not find a different level today, it looks very easy for Allan Norris.
Stephen Bunting v Luke Humphries
Stephen Bunting’s transition to PDC has not yet resulted in silverware, and this season has not been an exception. However, there have been a lot of quarter-finals and a few semi-finals when looking at his performances at the Players Championships and the European Tour. It is thus a man who applies in the sub-top. He meets Luke Humphries today, who, surprisingly, got so easily through the first round, winning 3-0 against Adam Hunt. Adam Hunt did not hit the level on the day when Humphries impressed with a average just above 97.
Steve Beaton v Chris Dobey
It’s been a long time since Steve Beaton really has impressed on the big stage. This season, too, did not bid for the big results, other than some semi-finals and quarter-finals at Players Championshi-events. He meets Chris Dobey, who got through from the first round with a 3-0 victory against Boris Koltsov, who averaged under 80.
Cristo Reyes v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Rowby-John Rodriguez surprised most when he won by 3-1 against Ricky Evans in the first round. Now he faces Spanish Cristo Reyes, who has not had a good season. He has thus not come any further than the last 16, at all the tournaments he has attended in this year. If the Austrian can surprise again is not to say, but he certainly could have gotten a worse opponent here in the second round.
Mervyn King v Jan Dekker
Many might have hoped that it was Lisa Ashton who would stand here. But that did not happen. Although she impressed in the first set, Jan Dekker got his focus back, and from there, there was no doubt about the outcome, where the Dutchman won the match by 3-1. He has to face Mervyn King today, which has shown quite nice play this season, especially when he won the Players Championship 15 in Barnsley earlier this year. The two have met each other twice, where it has been a victory for each in 2012 and 2017 respectively.
Adrian Lewis v Ted Evetts
Last season was a horrible season for Adrian Lewis, crowned with a defeat against Kevin Munch in the first round at last year’s World Championships. This year, the Englishman has shown that he is on his way back to the level he is known for. It has thus become a handful of finals at the Players Championships and on the Europeam Tour. He will face young Ted Evetts, whom he has never lost against. The two have thus met three times and the last two victories have was in this season.
Mensur Suljovic v Ryan Searle
Mensur Suljovic plays today’s final match. He thus faces Ryan Searle. Mensur Suljovic has played a good season, where he has won twice at the German Darts Master World Series and Danish Darts Open. In addition, he also played in the final at World Matchplay. As mentioned, he will play against Ryan Searle, who got through the first round 3-0 win against Stephen Burton. However, the level was not flashy, so he has to find another gear today if he wants to make hopes against the big Austrian.