ROB CROSS and Dave Chisnall turned on the style with whitewash wins in the German Darts Open on Saturday, as Peter Wright crashed out to home favourite Max Hopp.
World Champion Cross denied World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh a dart at a double during his brutal 6-0 second round victory in Saarbrucken.
Cross broke throw immediately and took out 107 in leg three, before legs of 14, 13 and 13 darts completed victory with an average of 103.66.
The world number three now plays Darren Webster, who also impressed on Saturday, and said: "I feel really fresh, I feel ready. The darts are going well and I'm going to play well this weekend."
Darren Webster averaged an impressive 103.38 in his fine 6-2 win over Steve West.
Webster opened with an 11-darter and also took out 114 as he opened up a five-leg cushion, with West responding with a 106 finish and a 14-darter only to see the Norwich ace check out 91 for victory.
Chisnall, meanwhile, produced the performance of the tournament so far with a stunning 108 average to whitewash Jose Justicia 6-0, limiting the Spanish ace to just two darts at a double.
Chisnall announced his intentions with the first of four 180s in a 12-darter to open the game, hit an 11-darter in leg five and sealed a big win with a 13-dart finish.
"I'm playing a lot better now, practising more and I'm happy with the way I'm playing," said Chisnall. "Averages don't mean anything - I just want to win.
"I played well in the last European Tour event but got beaten 6-5 by Darren Webster so I just wanted to get the six legs and I got them."
Chisnall now plays Ian White, who began his bid to claim a second ranking title of the year with a 6-3 win over Cameron Menzies as the Scot paid for 13 missed doubles.
Reigning German Darts Open champion Peter Wright, though, saw his title defence ended by home favourite Max Hopp, who claimed a 6-4 win from their second round clash.
Wright had enjoyed one of his five European Tour successes in Saarbrucken last year, but saw the former World Youth Champion come from 4-2 down to seal the win with four straight legs.
Hopp's victory continues his run of form after reaching the quarter-finals of the German Darts Grand Prix recently, as he denied Wright an appearance in a third straight European Tour final.
Hopp will now meet Benito van de Pas, who produced a stirring comeback from 4-0 down as he survived seven missed match darts from Paul Nicholson before claiming a 6-5 victory from their clash.
Nicholson included legs of 12 and 14 darts as he pulled clear in the early stages, only for the Dutchman to claw his way back into the contest.
Nicholson missed three match darts in leg nine and a further two in leg ten, before another pair of agonising misses allowed the 2017 German Darts Open finalist back in on double eight to complete a remarkable recovery.
"I had a lot of luck - he missed the doubles and I didn't deserve to win," said Van de Pas. "My elbow was hurting and then I threw faster and it was okay.
"I've been playing badly for the last few months but maybe I've been trying too much. I keep practising and do my best, and I'm going to see what happens.
"I got to the final here last year and I think at that moment I was a much better player than now, but I will keep fighting."
Michael van Gerwen opened his bid to win a third successive 2018 European Tour event with a 6-1 defeat of fellow Dutchman Danny Noppert in Saarbrucken on Saturday.
Noppert shared the opening two legs, but a 164 checkout from Van Gerwen in leg three followed by a 13-darter to create a 3-1 scoreline proved crucial as the world number one pulled clear.
Van Gerwen finished six doubles from ten attempts but said: "My scoring wasn't there and it didn't feel right tonight for me, and I don't know why.
"I'm not really happy at all. My confidence and my feeling was good but I was too relaxed and Danny didn't put pressure on me.
"I've got to get back on the practice board. I want to perform and I know can do better tomorrow."
Van Gerwen's third round opponent on Sunday afternoon will be Alan Tabern, who reached the final day for a second successive European Tour event by defeating 16th seed Steve Beaton 6-2 with another strong performance, averaging 94 and hitting 6/13 doubles.
Daryl Gurney ended the hopes of Germany's Rene Eidams with a comprehensive 6-1 victory against the qualifier, with the World Grand Prix champion hitting 6/10 doubles and a 116 finish.
James Wade saw his bid to reach a third successive European Tour semi-final ended by Mervyn King, who took a 6-3 win from their second round tie.
King had lost to Wade in the European Darts Open last month, but took command early on in this contest by breaking in the opening leg and then holding in 14 darts.
Wade finished 73 and 96 as he remained in touch at 3-2 and 4-2, but King took back-to-back legs to seal his third round spot.
"James punished me two weekends ago and today he had his chances and didn't take them, and I got my own back," said King, who progresses to face Gurney.
Michael Smith's challenge to win his fifth European Tour title began with a 6-4 win over Steve Lennon, although the Irish youngster caused some nervy moments for the former World Youth Champion.
Smith opened up leads of 3-0 and 4-1 before Lennon hit back to level with legs of 15, 12 and 13 which included checkouts of 116 and 130, but the St Helens ace took the next two for victory.
Jelle Klaasen won his all-Dutch tie with European Tour debutant Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1, with the newcomer sharing the opening two legs before the former Lakeside Champion took five in a row for victory.
Mensur Suljovic overcame Jermaine Wattimena 6-2, with the Austrian always in control after taking a 3-0 lead before adding an 11-darter on his way to the win.
Gerwyn Price averaged almost 95 as his strong response to being eliminated from the Unibet Premier League continued, with the Welshman a 6-4 winner over Kirk Shepherd.
"I scored pretty well early on," said Price, who now meets fellow Premier League star Suljovic.
"I haven't won a game on the European Tour for a while so I'm glad to get one up. I'm happy to be back in form on the floor."
Joe Cullen survived a deciding leg against emerging youngster Luke Humphries as he progressed to the last 16, hitting one 11-darter and four 14-dart legs during the contest.
"It was a close match," said Cullen. "I think I made more hard work of it than I should have done but Luke played really well.
"Every time I thought I was in control he came back with something. I won and that's the main thing - it was a really good last leg."
Cullen's third round opponent will be Swedish qualifier Daniel Larsson, who received a bye in the second round after Simon Whitlock had to withdraw from the event due to illness.
The German Darts Open will conclude on Sunday, with the afternoon session's third round followed in the evening session by the decisive quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
The German Darts Open will be broadcast throughout the weekend for PDCTV-HD Subscribers, and through a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide.
2018 German Darts Open
Saturday April 14
Darren Webster 6-2 Steve West
Ian White 6-3 Cameron Menzies
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Kirk Shepherd
Jelle Klaasen 6-1 Maik Kuivenhoven
Alan Tabern 6-2 Steve Beaton
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Jose Justicia
Michael Smith 6-4 Steve Lennon
NB: Simon Whitlock's withdrawal through illness means that Daniel Larsson receives a Bye.
Mervyn King 6-3 James Wade
Daryl Gurney 6-1 Rene Eidams
Benito van de Pas 6-5 Paul Nicholson
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Danny Noppert
Max Hopp 6-4 Peter Wright
Joe Cullen 6-5 Luke Humphries
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Jermaine Wattimena
Rob Cross 6-0 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Sunday April 15
Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm GMT)
Michael van Gerwen v Alan Tabern
Dave Chisnall v Ian White
Daryl Gurney v Mervyn King
Michael Smith v Jelle Klaasen
Max Hopp v Benito van de Pas
Joe Cullen v Daniel Larsson
Mensur Suljovic v Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross v Darren Webster
Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm GMT)
Van Gerwen/Tabern v Chisnall/White
Gurney/King v Smith/Klaasen
Hopp/Van de Pas v Cullen/Larsson
Suljovic/Price v Cross/Webster
PDC European Tour events can be watched online by all PDCTV-HD Subscribers worldwide - click here to visit PDCTV-HD.
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