European Darts Matchplay: Robert Marijanovic stars

Celebration time for Max Hopp (photo courtesy of PDC Europe)
Celebration time for Max Hopp (photo courtesy of PDC Europe)

Robert Marijanovic produced the performance of the day with a 6-3 win over Jermaine Wattimena at the European Darts Matchplay

Robert Marijanovic produced the performance of the day with a 6-3 win over Jermaine Wattimena at the European Darts Matchplay, as the European Tour event began in Hamburg on Friday.

The German ace, playing in his second European Tour event of the year, threw an impressive 101.28 average to progress to the second round of the weekend's £135,000 event.

Marijanovic was one of four German qualifiers to claim first round victories as he started the game in blistering fashion, racing into a 4-0 lead over in-form Wattimena, who made back-to-back Players Championship semi-finals earlier this month.

The Dutchman fought back to reduce the deficit to 4-3, but it was to be Marijanovic's day as he reeled off the last two legs to the delight of the German crowd, and set up a round two tie with fourth seed Daryl Gurney.

"It is an amazing feeling to win in front of this crowd," said Marijanovic, who won his Tour Card at the start of the year.

"I am so pleased that I performed on such a big stage and now I want to keep up this level.

"I can't wait to play in front of this great crowd again tomorrow and if I keep playing well I could go far this weekend."

Fellow-German Max Hopp also delighted the Hamburg crowd, defeating Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 to set up a meeting with Players Championship 16 winner Ian White in tomorrow's second round.

Hopp's World Cup of Darts teammate Martin Schindler secured his passage to the last 32 with an emphatic 6-1 triumph over Dutchman Mario Robbe and he will now face Joe Cullen.

Maik Langendorf was the fourth German qualifier to progress to the second day of action, seeing off PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Order of Merit leader Michael Barnard 6-1 to set up a clash with Gerwyn Price.

Michael van Gerwen will face in-form Ryan Joyce, who also recorded a 6-1 win over Mark Wilson, while second seed Michael Smith will take on Jelle Klaasen after the Dutch star's much-needed 6-3 win over Dragutin Horvat.

Rene Eidams was the only other German player who failed to make it through to the second round, as he went down to Robert Thornton, who will now meet James Wilson.

The final game of the night saw Luke Humphries hold his nerve to claim a vital 6-5 win over Ronny Huybrechts and he will now play Darren Webster.

Andy Boulton beat Cristo Reyes 6-4 to set up a tie with in-form Steve Beaton, while Lithuania's Darius Labanauskas will meet Stephen Bunting after his 6-2 win against Belgian youngster Mike De Decker.

Chris Dobey powered through to round two with a 6-1 victory over Jamie Bain and he will now take on Kim Huybrechts.

World Champion Rob Cross will face Wiliam O'Connor after his 6-1 triumph over Martin Atkins, while Justin Pipe kept his hopes of making the World Matchplay alive with a 6-3 victory over Vincent van der Voort and he will now play Simon Whitlock.

Paul Rowley won through to the second round of a European Tour event for the first time thanks to his 6-3 defeat of Darren Johnson and he will now take on Players Championship 15 winner Mervyn King.

Jason Lowe edged a high-quality contest on his Euro Tour debut as he beat Keegan Brown 6-5 to set up a meeting with Jonny Clayton.

Russia's Boris Koltsov also enjoyed a winning debut on the European Tour with a 6-2 win over Robert Owen in the opening game of the tournament and he will now play Danish Darts Open winner Mensur Suljovic.

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