Gerwyn Price began his bid to retain the International Darts Open title in Riesa with a brilliant second round victory on Saturday as former champions Mensur Suljovic and Peter Wright also progressed to the last 16.
Welshman Price took victory in last year's PDC European Tour event at the Sachsenarena, and opened his challenge in the 2019 event with a superb 6-4 comeback win over birthday boy Kyle Anderson.
The Australian led 3-2 after landing checkouts of 133 and 120 either side of an 11-darter, but Price took four of the next five as he progressed - finishing all six winning legs between 12 and 14 darts as he averaged over 106.
Price now plays Joe Murnan in the third round on Sunday afternoon, after the qualifier overcame Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-3, landing a 161 finish as he moved into the last 16 of a European Tour event for the first time in three years.
The other two former International Darts Open winners in the field, Suljovic and Wright, will clash in Sunday afternoon's third round after they progressed in contrasting fashion.
Recent Austrian Darts Championship winner Suljovic was in clinical mood as he whitewashed Harry Ward 6-0, averaging 101 as he moved into the last 16 in under 13 minutes.
Wright, meanwhile, had to battle back from 3-0 down before he defeated Ritchie Edhouse 6-4, taking out finishes of 100 and 107 during the comeback.
Last weekend's European Darts Matchplay champion, Joe Cullen, survived a scare against Belgian qualifier Davy Van Baelen before edging through with a 6-5 success.
Van Baelen had starred with a whitewash of Ole Luckow in the first round, and came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 and 5-4 before Cullen took out a show-stopping 132 checkout in leg ten and then won the decider with a 78 finish.
"Davy was unbelievable yesterday so I knew I had my hands full," said Cullen. "He kept sticking in there and I was chasing him all through the game, even though I thought I was the better player."
Cullen's third round opponent will be Rob Cross, who averaged almost 102 in a dominant 6-1 victory over John Henderson on Saturday.
German Darts Championship winner Daryl Gurney also remains in the hunt for a second £25,000 European Tour title of the year after coming from 5-3 down to edge out Danny Noppert, who missed three match darts in the penultimate leg.
Steve Beaton landed six doubles from 11 attempts as he came from 3-0 down against Luke Woodhouse to progress to face Gurney in the last 16 with a 6-4 win.
Top seed Ian White, though, crashed out as he paid the price for four missed match darts against Richard North, who hit back from 5-3 down to claim victory.
North's third round opponent is Steve West, who made a brilliant comeback from 2-0 down against Jamie Hughes to claim a 6-3 win, finishing six doubles from ten attempts and wrapping up victory with an 11-darter.
Jonny Clayton had to come from 3-0 down against Germany's Steffen Siepmann before claiming a 6-4 victory, and he now plays Adrian Lewis after the two-time World Champion saw off Irish ace William O'Connor by the same scoreline after coming from 3-1 down.
UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall averaged almost 100 and finished 6/10 doubles as he defeated Justin Pipe 6-3 to set up a third round tie with Ricky Evans.
Evans' finishing proved even more clinical as he landed six doubles from nine attempts to defeat World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4.
German hopes in the event will rest on the shoulders of Michael Rosenauer going into Sunday's final stages, after the Host Nation Qualifier landed six doubles from nine attempts in a 6-3 win over Krzysztof Ratajski.
Rosenauer's third round opponent will be Glen Durrant, after the Lakeside Champion proved too strong for James Richardson in a 6-3 victory.
The International Darts Open concludes on Sunday, with the third round in the afternoon session and the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session in Riesa.
The International Darts Open can be watched online through PDCTV-HD at video.pdc,tv for all subscribers worldwide, as well as through the bookmakers' websites listed below.
2019 International Darts Open
Saturday September 14
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Justin Pipe
Michael Rosenauer 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
Glen Durrant 6-3 James Richardson
Rob Cross 6-1 John Henderson
Adrian Lewis 6-4 William O'Connor
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Danny Noppert
Steve Beaton 6-4 Luke Woodhouse
Gerwyn Price 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Ricky Evans 6-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Steve West 6-3 Jamie Hughes
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Steffan Siepmann
Joe Murnan 6-3 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Joe Cullen 6-5 Davy Van Baelen
Richard North 6-5 Ian White
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Harry Ward
Peter Wright 6-4 Ritchie Edhouse
Sunday September 15
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Daryl Gurney v Steve Beaton
Michael Rosenauer v Glen Durrant
Nathan Aspinall v Ricky Evans
Gerwyn Price v Joe Murnan
Peter Wright v Mensur Suljovic
Adrian Lewis v Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen v Rob Cross
Richard North v Steve West
Evening Session (1915 local time, 1815 BST)
Gurney/Beaton v Rosenauer/Durrant
Aspinall/Evans v Price/Murnan
Wright/Suljovic v Lewis/Clayton
Cullen/Cross v North/West
Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order
All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.
Last 16: £3,000
Last 32: £2,000
Last 48: £1,000
PDC European Tour events can be watched online through PDCTV-HD for all subscribers worldwide.
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