KRZYSZTOF RATAJSKI will face Michael van Gerwen in the second round of the German Darts Grand Prix, after the Polish number one was one of 16 winners on Day One of the European Tour event in Munich on Sunday.
The opening day of the third European Tour event of the year saw Ratajski overcome home crowd favourite Martin Schindler 6-2 in a dominant display from the three-time PDC event winner.
After Ratajski took an early 3-1 lead, Schindler landed a 116 finish, the highest of the match, to get himself back in the contest, but that was as good as it got for the German youngster as Ratajski reeled off the final three legs to end the tie with a 97.9 average.
Ratajski’s reward for victory will see him face 29-time European Tour event winner Van Gerwen in Sunday’s second round as the 16 seeded players enter the £140,000 tournament.
Saturday saw 32 qualifiers competing in the first round, with Glen Durrant producing a 99.06 average, the second highest of the day, to secure a resounding 6-1 win over the in-form Jamie Hughes.
Durrant took out a 114 checkout on his way to an early 3-0 lead, before Hughes replied by finding double top to get his first leg on the board.
However, Durrant responded in the best way possible, reeling in a 170 checkout to regain his three-leg cushion, and wrapped up the victory with legs of 16 and 14 darts to set up a meeting with Joe Cullen.
“Jamie is a good friend of mine and I didn’t enjoy playing him but now I’ve won I feel settled into the competition and I’m happy with how it went today,” said Durrant.
“I needed to come to the PDC to see how good I am, and so far it’s going well.
“The crowds are amazing, I love playing in Germany and when I look out into the crowd it’s a brilliant feeling. I can’t wait to get back out there on Sunday.”
The performance of the day came from Stephen Bunting, who averaged 99.7 in an impressive 6-1 win over Alan Norris, and the former World Grand Prix semi-finalist will now take on Danny Noppert.
Tenth seed Max Hopp will be the only German to star in the second round, and he will face Keegan Brown, who came through a last-leg decider to beat Sweden’s Magnur Caris 6-5.
Kim Huybrechts also won a last-leg shoot-out against German Qualifier Dragutin Horvat, and the Belgian number one will now come up against Premier League high-flyer James Wade.
Kyle Anderson got the better of Kevin Munch 6-2 to set up a tie with German Darts Championship winner Daryl Gurney, while Ricky Evans will play Michael Smith after Evans battled his way to a hard-fought 6-5 victory over Gabriel Clemens.
A sublime performance from Nathan Derry saw the Northern Irishman fire in six 180s on his way to a shock 6-1 win over Steve Beaton, as Chris Dobey also succumbed to a surprise 6-3 loss at the hands of Austrian Michael Rasztovits.
Development Tour leader Ted Evetts continued his progress with a convincing 6-2 win over Mark Wilson, Ross Smith was clinical on the doubles in his 6-3 success over Mark Barilli, and Ritchie Edhouse came through a tight battle with Brendan Dolan 6-4.
Czech Republic thrower Karel Sedlacek fended off a spirited comeback from Diogo Portela to secure a 6-4 win over the popular Brazilian.
It was a tough day for German Qualifiers as Jyhan Artut, Michael Hurtz and Marko Puls went down to defeats to Josh Payne, Cristo Reyes and Arron Monk respectively.