Seeds tumble in Prague as Price and Lewis clash again
As the Gambrinus Czech Darts Open continued in Prague on Saturday, Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton were among the top seeds who fell at the first hurdle.
With a deciding leg victory, Jose Justicia claimed his biggest win on the European Tour, defeating Premier League champion Clayton.
Before the £140,000 event began on Friday at Hala Kralovka, the 33-year-old was rated 102nd.
In the early stages of the match, the pair were locked at three legs apiece, but the Spaniard came within a leg of winning the match with back-to-back legs.
Clayton, the current Premier League leader, made a valiant comeback to force a deciding leg, but Justicia held his nerve to secure one of his most significant victories.
Justicia will now face Jose de Sousa in the third round of the European Tour for the first time, with the Portuguese ace recording a straightforward 6-2 victory over Martijn Kleermaker.
Adrian Lewis prevailed in a tense match against number one seed Gerwyn Price, winning 6-3.
In the seventh leg, the two-time World Champion hit eight perfect darts, narrowly missing double 12 for a nine-darter.
After hitting the game-winning double, Lewis approached Price and hugged him, but the Welshman did not appreciate the embrace.
After a heated confrontation, referee Russ Bray intervened to diffuse the situation before an enraged Price exited the stage.
In the third round, Lewis will face Vincent van der Voort, who defeated Martin Schindler of Germany in a deciding leg.
Joe Cullen became the latest seeded player to lose in the quarterfinals, falling 6-4 to Ross Smith.
After overcoming Czech qualifier Vitezslav Sedlak 6-2, Michael van Gerwen maintained his dreams of a stunning 36th European Tour title alive.
The most recent European Tour winner surged to a 5-0 lead before needing 12 match darts to finally cross the finish line.
On the last day, Czech hopes will be riding on Adam Gawlas, who stunned Damon Heta 6-4 in front of his home fan
Gawlas will now face Ryan Searle, who didn’t allow Ritchie Edhouse a dart at double in their match, finishing with a 107 average to complete a remarkable whitewash victory.
Rowby-John Rodriguez, meanwhile, has advanced to the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time in three years, triumphing 6-4 over Premier League star Michael Smith.
The World Cup finalist will now face Dirk van Duijvenbode, who defeated Karel Sedlacek by a score of 6-3.
Dave Chisnall overcame Daryl Gurney 6-5 in a thrilling second round clash that saw the St. Helens star avoid a match dart.
Luke Humphries will face former World Matchplay winner Dimitri Van den Bergh in another exciting third-round match.
Humphries handily defeated a rising Martin Lukeman in a rematch of the German Darts Grand Prix final from April.
Van den Bergh beat Nathan Aspinall for the seventh time in a row, winning 6-4 in a hard-fought match to set up a showdown with the 2022 UK Open runner-up.
With a stunning whitewash over Krzysztof Ratajski, Ricky Evans was the first player to secure a third round spot, average 103.66.
Evans will now face European Champion Rob Cross, who defeated Jules van Dongen 6-2 by throwing three ton-plus checkouts.
The competition concludes on Sunday with the third round in the afternoon session, followed by the crucial quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final in the evening session.
Saturday May 14
Ricky Evans 6-0 Krzysztof Ratajski
Mickey Mansell 6-5 Brendan Dolan
Luke Humphries 6-1 Martin Lukeman
Rob Cross 6-2 Jules van Dongen
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Jose de Sousa 6-2 Martijn Kleermaker
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Daryl Gurney
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Michael Smith
Adam Gawlas 6-4 Damon Heta
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Martin Schindler
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
Jose Justicia 6-5 Jonny Clayton
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Vitezslav Sedlak
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Ross Smith 6-4 Joe Cullen
Ryan Searle 6-0 Ritchie Edhouse
Sunday May 15
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Jose de Sousa v Jose Justicia
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Luke Humphries
Michael van Gerwen v Mickey Mansell
Rob Cross v Ricky Evans
Ross Smith v Dave Chisnall
Adam Gawlas v Ryan Searle
Adrian Lewis v Vincent van der Voort
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)