Martin Schindler had to wait a moment before he and his opponent Vincent van der Voort could go on stage. The podium had been taken, and apart from the somewhat nervous security, everyone seemed to appreciate the extra time Adam Gawlas had given his performance.
The 20-year-old caused a real surprise at the Czech Darts Open in Prague and, with Damon Heta, took the Australian, who was seeded number eight, out of the tournament. “Anything is possible with this crowd,” Gawlas yelled into the mic after regaining some control of his emotions.
After the decisive dart to make it 6:4, tears welled up in his eyes as the fans cheered frantically. Overwhelmed with his emotions, Gawla’s caller Russ Bray fell on his arm and held his shoulder for a moment.
But then the big celebration began. The Vice Youth World Champion of 2019 started singing, first without and then with a microphone. He began to dance, pirouetted happily and kept urging the fans to sing in antiphon.
The Prague audience had already been spoiled by their favorites this weekend. In addition to Gawlas, three Czechs, Karel Sedlacek and Vitezslav Sedlak, reached the second round. Sedlacek defeated German number one Gabriel Clemens 6:3 on Friday.
Since Florian Hempel also lost his opening match against Ross Smith 4:6, Martin Schindler, seeded for the first time on the European Tour, was the last remaining German among the 32 players on Saturday.
Against van der Voort, however, it took until the sixth leg before the Brandenburger was able to get his throw through for the first time. However, since his opponent also gave up two of his three serves, the leg win meant the equalizer to 3:3.
Then “The Wall” had the chance to make it 4:3 with 45 points left, but he accidentally hit the 13 in the triple field and then missed the double 3. An annoying mistake. The double rate fell to 25 percent (3/12) and then the chance of progressing. Van der Voort checked in 14 darts to make it 5:3.
The Dutchman was ready to win a leg later after twelve darts with 40 points to go. Schindler, however, showed his comeback qualities as he did last weekend in Leverkusen and shocked the “Dutch Destroyer” with a 121 finish.
Even at 4:5 he kept his nerve, saved himself in the decider and had to accept a high finish from his opponent in the decisive leg. VdV checked the 121 themselves via the bullseye and advanced to the round of 16 (Sunday, live on DAZN from 1 p.m.).
“Martin is in great shape and he’s a great player,” praised van der Voort, who had overcome his motivational problems of the past few months, at least on Saturday: “But somehow I managed to get everything together today,” he marveled, although he had already given an explanation for this after his first round victory the day before: “I have no problem against Germans. I’m always motivated.”
Krzysztof Ratajski (POL) – Ricky Evans (ENG) 0:6
Brendan Dolan (NIR) – Mickey Mansell (NIR) 5:6
Luke Humphries (ENG) – Martin Lukeman (ENG) 6: 1
Rob Cross (ENG) – Jules van Dongen (USA) 6:2
Dimitri Van den Bergh (BEL) – Nathan Aspinall (ENG) 6: 4
Jose de Sousa (POR) – Martijn Kleermaker (NED) 6:2
Daryl Gurney (NIR) – Dave Chisnall (ENG) 5:6
Michael Smith (ENG) – Rowby-John Rodriguez (AUT) 4:6
Damon Heta (AUS) – Adam Gawlas (CZE) 4:6
Martin Schindler (GER) – Vincent van der Voort (NED) 5:6
Dirk van Duijvenbode (NED) – Karel Sedlacek (CZE) 6:3
Jonny Cayton (WAL) – Jose Justicia (ESP) 5:6
Michael van Gerwen (NED) – Vitezslav Sedlak (CZE) 6:2
Gerwyn Price (WAL) – Adrian Lewis (ENG) 3: 6
Joe Cullen (ENG) – Ross Smith (ENG) 4: 6
Ryan Searle (ENG) – Ritchie Edhouse (ENG) 6:0
Round of 16:
Dirk van Duijvenbode (NED) – Rowby-John Rodriguez (AUT)
Jose de Sousa (POR) – Jose Justicia (ESP)
Dimitri Van den Bergh (BEL) – Luke Humphries (ENG)
Michael van Gerwen (NED) – Mickey Mansell
Rob Cross (ENG) – Ricky Evans (ENG)
Dave Chisnall (ENG) – Ross Smith (ENG)
Adam Gawlas (CZE) – Ryan Searle (ENG)
Adrian Lewis (ENG) – Vincent van der Voort (NED)