The sticking point for Gabriel Clemens came in the second leg of the game. His opponent Danny Noppert had great problems scoring at all. The Dutchman threw 12 darts in succession at the beginning of the urgently needed double (“double in/double out” mode). When Noppert then hit the redemptive double 20 with the 13th arrow, Clemens was already at 167 points. It is a lead that can no longer be gambled away in darts.
But Clemens missed one chance after the other when checking out. Noppert came back with high scores and punished the German’s negligence with a 101 finish. He had to grin himself that he had still won the leg. Clemens didn’t recover from it in the first set. He gave it up with 0:3, at that time he had a weak average of 67.39 points.
A comeback was no longer possible – despite an increase in performance and a 2-0 lead in the second round. With his first match dart Noppert sealed the first round from the German number one. And because Martin Schindler didn’t stand a chance a little later in the 2-0 defeat with world number one Gerwyn Price, it was a sobering evening at the World Grand Prix from a German perspective. An evening that, two months before the start of the World Cup, gives little hope of a great success.
The construction sites were clear: if Clemens lacked the necessary consistency, it was the doubles at Schindler. The two Germans, who were in better form, trailed behind Price in scoring for long stretches of the game, but still had chances again and again because the Welshman, for his part, “presented himself really badly on the doubles towards the end of the game”, as he later admitted at the press conference. But Schindler rarely found the right height, especially on the double 20. In the end, a disastrous rate of 7.69 percent remains in the check-out.
The World Grand Prix, with its unique format on the tour, remains a hated tournament for the Germans anyway. German starters have won only one of seven games in the history of the major (Gabriel Clemens in 2020 in a 2-0 win against Nathan Aspinall). The Germans lost the other six games without winning a single set. The fact that debutant Schindler was the first two Germans to start in Leicester did not change anything.
For Gerwyn Price, the duel with “The Wall” was just a warm-up. He has higher goals and has to defend the prize money he won two years ago. In the virtual live ranking he already fell behind Peter Wright. Price still had a tip ready for the Scot. “Peter was absolute crap this year. He knows that he is currently number three. Michael (van Gerwen, ed.) is number two and I’m number one,” he said. In their round of 16, Wright will face Krzystof Ratajski on Wednesday night and Price will face Joe Cullen on Thursday night.
Callan Rydz (ENG) – Krzystof Ratajski (POL) – 0: 2 (2: 3; 1: 3)
Brendan Dolan (NIL) – Stephen Bunting (ENG) 0:2 (2:3; 1:3)
Chris Dobey (ENG) – Luke Humphries (ENG) 2:0 (3:2; 3:0)
Dimitri van den Bergh (BEL) – Dave Chisnall (ENG) 2:1 (3:1; 2:3; 3:2)
Jonny Clayton (WAL/7) – Dirk van Duijvenbode (NED) 2:1 (1:3; 3:1; 3:1)
Peter Wright (SCO/2) – Kim Huybrechts (BEL) 2:0 (3:1; 3:2)
Michael van Gerwen (NED/3) – Gary Anderson (SCO) 2:0 (3:0; 3:2)
José de Sousa (ENG/6) – Adrian Lewis (ENG) 0:2 (2:3; 2:3)
Madars Razma (LAT) – Ryan Searle (ENG) 2:1 (3:1; 2:3; 3:0)
Ross Smith (ENG) – Andrew Gilding (ENG) 2:1 (0:3; 3:2; 3:1)
Danny Noppert (NED) – Gabriel Clemens (D) 2:0 (3:0; 3:2)
Joe Cullen (ENG) – Damon Heta (AUS) 2:1 (3:2; 0:3; 3:1)
Rob Cross (ENG/8) – Daryl Gurney (NIL) 1:2 (2:3; 3:1; 0:3)
James Wade (ENG/5) – Martin Lukeman (ENG) 1:2 (0:3; 3:1; 2:3)
Gerwyn Price (WAL/1) – Martin Schindler (D) 2:0 (3:1; 3:0)
Michael Smith (ENG/4) – Nathan Aspinall (ENG) 1:2 (1:3; 3:2; 0:3)
Wednesday, 8 p.m.:
Peter Wright (SCO / 2) – Krzystof Ratajski (POL)
Jonny Clayton (WAL/7) – Dimitri van den Bergh (BEL)
Stephen Bunting (ENG) – Michael van Gerwen (ENG/3)
Adrian Lewis (ENG) – Chris Dobey (ENG)
Thursday, 8 p.m.:
Martin Lukeman (ENG) – Ross Smith (ENG)
Daryl Gurney (NIL) – Madars Razma (LAT)
Gerwyn Price (WAL/1) – Joe Cullen (ENG)
Nathan Aspinall (ENG) – Danny Noppert (NED)