2018 Austrian Darts Open: James Wade through to face Peter Wright

James Wade (Picture by Tim Murdoch/PDC)
James Wade (Picture by Tim Murdoch/PDC)

James Wade will face Peter Wright in the second round of the 2018 Austrian Darts Open after fending off home nation qualifier Hannes Schnier on Friday, as new European Tour winner Max Hopp survived a scare at the Steiermarkhalle in Graz.

Wade was made to work hard to overcome 2009 World Championship participant Schnier, who produced finishes of 120 and 99 as he took a 3-2 lead.

Two-time European Tour winner Wade responded with a sublime 133 checkout, which sparked a run of four consecutive legs to seal a mouthwatering tie with number one seed Wright on Saturday.

Hopp, fresh from his incredible German Darts Open glory last Sunday, had to rely on three missed match darts from Stephen Burton in the 11th and deciding leg of his opener before pinning tops to prevail.

The German star will take on Welshman Jonny Clayton in round two. 

Dimitri Van den Bergh missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish in his fabulous 6-4 win against Plymouth's Simon Stevenson. 

The reigning PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion averaged 106.42 to fight off his tenacious opponent and set up a last 32 fixture with Benito Van de Pas. 

2017 Development Tour winner Luke Humphries hit checkouts of 101, 141, 103 and a match-winning 100 in a 6-2 victory against Germany's Kevin Munch, who contributed a brilliant 160 finish to a high-quality affair.

The 23-year-old will take on veteran star Steve Beaton on Saturday. 

Steve West will play world champion Rob Cross in the second round after West produced a sensational performance to defeat Belgium's Ronny Huybrechts 6-3, with the Essex ace firing in three 11-dart legs and posting an average of 101.88.

Richie Burnett marked his return to European Tour action with a whitewash win over Austria's Alex Steinbauer, who was making his debut on the PDC ProTour.

In his first appearance since 2014, Burnett began and ended his 6-0 win with 78 finishes as he set up a round two tie against Darren Webster.

Roommates in Graz, Adam Hunt and Cameron Menzies, played out a thrilling match, which Hunt edged 6-5 to set up a meeting with Simon Whitlock.

Darius Labanauskus and Jason Cullen both enjoyed victories on their PDC European Tour debuts.

Lithuania's Labanasuskus won four of the last five legs in his 6-3 defeat of Ritchie Edhouse, while Ireland's Cullen enjoyed a 6-1 win against Hungary's Tamas Alexits, who was also making his first European Tour appearance.

Cullen will face Mervyn King in the opening match of Saturday's second round, while Labanauskus will wait until the evening's final game to face home favourite Mensur Suljovic. 

Another Irishman, Steve Lennon eased through with a whitewash win over Austrian qualifier Roxy-James Rodriguez and will play Joe Cullen in round two. 

Ron Meulenkamp landed two thirds of doubles attempted in a 6-3 triumph over Gabriel Clemens, which included key 71 and 160 finishes for early breaks of throw.

The Dutchman's last 32 opponent is Daryl Gurney, who he defeated at the same stage in last month's European Darts Open.

Brendan Dolan won the opening match of the day, kicking off with a 180 in a 6-4 success against Alan Tabern, to set up a second round meeting with Ian White. 

Michael Barnard enjoyed his first European Tour appearance since 2016 as he claimed a 6-1 victory against Scotland's John Henderson, landing a 116 checkout in the process. 

Barnard's reward is a second round match against last weekend's German Darts Open runner-up Michael Smith, the number three seed.

A 120 checkout helped Wayne Jones race into a 5-0 lead against Austrian qualifier Dietmar Burger, who managed to get a leg on the board and land the game's only 180 before being condemned to a heavy defeat.

Jones will now receive a second round bye, with his scheduled opponent Dave Chisnall having withdrawn from the tournament for medical reasons.

Scott Taylor eased past European Tour debutant Simeon Heinz, firing in three 180s and a 171 in a 6-1 demolition of the German qualifier, and will face Gerwyn Price in round two.

Cristo Reyes will go up against Jelle Klaasen after the Spanish number one eased to a 6-1 success Austria's Bastian Pietschnig, who struggled on his European Tour debut.

2018 Austrian Darts Open

Afternoon session

  • Brendan Dolan 6-4 Alan Tabern
  • Michael Barnard 6-1 John Henderson
  • Ron Meulenkamp 6-3 Gabriel Clemens
  • Wayne Jones 6-1 Dietmar Burger
  • Scott Taylor 6-1 Simeon Heinz
  • Jason Cullen 6-1 Tamas Alexits
  • Darius Labanauskas 6-3 Ritchie Edhouse
  • Steve Lennon 6-0 Roxy-James Rodriguez

Evening session

  • Luke Humphries 6-2 Kevin Munch
  • Steve West 6-3 Ronny Huybrechts
  • Richie Burnett 6-0 Alex Steinbauer
  • Adam Hunt 6-5 Cameron Menzies
  • James Wade 6-3 Hannes Schnier
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Simon Stevenson
  • Max Hopp 6-5 Stephen Burton
  • Cristo Reyes 6-1 Bastian Pietschnig

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