Dimitri Van den Bergh saw his World Championship hopes fall at the first hurdle as Germany’s Florian Hempel produced a sensational display to knock the Belgian out.
Hempel, a former Handball player from Germany, took up playing darts less than four years ago and only won his PDC Tour Card at the start of this year.
The debutant crushed the hopes of dancing Dimitri with a blistering performance on the Alexandra Palace stage.
Hempel averaged 106.43 as he took the first set against the throw, winning it with a brilliant 11-dart leg against the fifth seed.
But former Matchplay champion Van den Bergh responded to Hempel’s opener with an unbelievable 115.62 average and finishes of 90 and 142. He rattled through the set in just 39 darts.
Hempel stopped the rot of four legs in succession for the Belgian with a neat 104-outshot before breaking with an 89 finish. He sealed the set by pinning double 18 to move within one set of victory.
The German wasn’t missing many doubles and after taking out a ton-out, he nailed 86 before completing a fabulous win thanks to a cool 64 two-dart finish.
Incredible combination-finishing! Florian Hempel won 6 of his 9 legs with perfect two- or three-dart finishes.
104 ▪️ (S18 – T18 – D16)
100 ▪️ (T20 – D20)
96 ▪️ (T20 – D18)
89 ▪️ (T19 – D16)
86 ▪️ (T18 – D16)
64 ▪️ (T16 – D8)#WHdarts I #DARTZN I #DartsWM
— TheRedBit ? (@TheRedBit180) December 21, 2021
Last year Dimitri lost in the World Championship with an average of 102, this year he’s lost averaging 101. Winning is difficult! #Sheesh
— Wayne Mardle (@Wayne501Mardle) December 21, 2021
World Darts Championship – Tuesday Evening Results
|R2||Vincent van der Voort||3-0||Adam Hunt|
|R2||Michael Smith||3-0||Ron Meulenkamp|
|R2||Dimitri Van den Bergh||1-3||Florian Hempel|
|R2||Devon Petersen||0-3||Raymond Smith|
St Helens’ Michael Smith made an impressive winning start, producing some exceptional darts to cruise past Ron Meulenkamp with a whitewash victory.
The 2019 finalist landed a 110 finish and averaged over 107 in a first-set demolition and a flashy 95 (19, D19, D19) handed him a break at the start of the second, which allowed ‘Bully Boy’ to double his advantage.
Smith nailed a classy 96 two-dart combination to complete a scintillating victory in which he averaged 106.32 and finished with an impressive 75 per cent on the doubles.
Vincent van der Voort, making his 15th consecutive World Championship appearance, came through in straight-sets against ‘The Hunter’ Adam Hunt.
It wasn’t quite a vintage display from the giant Dutchman, but Van der Voort took out a 106 checkout in the third set to make it five wins in a row against his opponent, who will blame 15 treble-less visits for his lack of consistency.
Van der Voort will take on world No 4 James Wade in the third round next Monday.
In the final match of the night, Raymond Smith swept through the opening set and then landed a beautiful 121 on the bullseye on his way to claiming the next against Devon Petersen.
‘The African Warrior’ showed a glimpse of his best form with a 114 checkout, but the Australian dampened Devon’s mood by breaking back before setting up a clash against Van den Bergh’s conqueror Hempel in the third round.
Live World Darts Championship
December 22, 2021, 12:30pm
World Darts Championship – Wednesday at the Darts
|R2||Ryan Searle||vs||William Borland|
|R2||Glen Durrant||vs||Williams O’Connor|
|R2||Luke Humphries||vs||Rowby-John Rodriguez|
|R2||Joe Cullen||vs||Jim Williams|
|R2||Nathan Aspinall||vs||Joe Murnan|
|R2||Dirk van Duijvenbode||vs||Boris Koltsov|
|R2||Kim Huybrechts||vs||Steve Beaton|
|R2||Simon Whitlock||vs||Martijn Kleermaker|
Live World Darts Championship
December 23, 2021, 7:00pm
World Darts Championship – Tuesday Afternoon Results
|R1||Lewy Williams||3-0||Toyokazu Shibata|
|R1||Jason Lowe||3-0||Daniel Larsson|
|R2||Mervyn King||3-2||Ryan Joyce|
|R2||Dave Chisnall||3-0||Mike De Decker|
Earlier in the day, Mervyn King produced a remarkable comeback to stun Ryan Joyce in a dramatic five-set affair.
‘Relentless’ lived up to his nickname in the opening exchanges, storming into a two-set lead with a 104 average. However, King came roaring back; reeling off nine consecutive legs to triumph with six 180s and 50 per cent on the outer ring.
Elsewhere, Dave Chisnall dispatched Mike De Decker in straight sets, despite the pair posting identical 96.43 averages. Chisnall – a semi-finalist last year – converted fabulous 146 and 130 finishes to kick off his title bid in style.
Lewy Williams capped off a dream Alexandra Palace debut with an emphatic 3-0 success over Japanese qualifier Toyokazu Shibata. The 19-year-old Welshman averaged 93 and landed three 180s, and his reward is a meeting with Gabriel Clemens for a place in round three.
In the final first-round game at this year’s tournament, Jason Lowe overcame some early double trouble to cruise past Daniel Larsson, producing a stirring third set display to set up a meeting with seventh seed Jose De Sousa in the last 64.
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