Klaasen impresses as Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix begins

Jelle Klaasen (Kais Bodenseick, PDC Europe)

Jelle Klaasen made a winning return to the PDC European Tour with victory in Friday's Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Former Premier League star Klaasen last competed on the European Tour in 2020, but came through the Associate Member Qualifier to seal a spot in the £140,000 event.

He impressed in a 6-4 win over World Championship quarter-finalist Callan Rydz, opening with an 11-darter and a 120 finish to establish a lead he would never surrender.

Klaasen now plays reigning European Champion Rob Cross in a tasty second round fixture on Saturday at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle.

Adam Gawlas, a quarter-finalist in the Czech Darts Open last weekend, also shone on Friday with a 100 average in his 6-3 defeat of Ryan Joyce, setting up a clash with Ryan Searle.

Danny Noppert and Michael Smith will meet in a repeat of March's UK Open final after Noppert enjoyed a comfortable 6-3 success over Karel Sedlacek.

April's German Darts Grand Prix finalist Martin Lukeman enjoyed another strong European Tour display as he finished 6/10 doubles in a 6-3 defeat of Switzerland's Stefan Bellmont.

Lukeman, who hit a 111 finish and sealed victory with a ten-dart leg, will now play Michael van Gerwen in a stand-out second round tie.

Joe Murnan whitewashed German qualifier Lukas Wenig to move through to a meeting with Dimitri Van den Bergh, while Mickey Mansell's 6-1 defeat of Radek Szaganski ensures he opens round two against Australia's Damon Heta.

Andrew Gilding's dominant 6-1 win over John Michael moves him into a clash with Jose de Sousa, while Ryan Meikle now plays double European Tour event winner Luke Humphries following a strong 6-2 defeat of Ron Meulenkamp.

Rowby-John Rodriguez produced a 12-darter in the deciding leg of his clash with Jim Williams to secure a second round meeting with Joe Cullen, Thursday's Cazoo Premier League winner in London.

There was disappointment for Germany's Gabriel Clemens, who came from 3-0 down to force a deciding leg against Johan Engstrom, only for the Swedish qualifier to prevail and move through to meet World Champion Peter Wright.

Stephen Bunting came from 5-2 down to force a decider against Kim Huybrechts, before missing a dart for victory as the Belgian progressed to play Krzysztof Ratajski.

Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis came from 4-1 and 5-2 down to defeat Luke Woodhouse with four straight legs, meaning he now plays Jonny Clayton.

Madars Razma meets Germany's Martin Schindler following a narrow 6-5 win over Niels Zonneveld, while Danny Jansen dropped just one leg in his all-Dutch tie with Martijn Kleermaker to create a second round meeting with Brendan Dolan.

Saturday's second round sees the 16 seeded players enter the action in Stuttgart, before the tournament concludes on Sunday with the third round in the afternoon session ahead of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening session.

The tournament is being broadcast live on PDCTV, exclusively on DAZN in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and through bookmakers' websites worldwide.

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2022 Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix
Friday May 20
First Round
Afternoon Session

Andrew Gilding 6-1 John Michael
Madars Razma 6-5 Niels Zonneveld
Adam Gawlas 6-3 Ryan Joyce
Mickey Mansell 6-1 Radek Szaganski
Martin Lukeman 6-3 Stefan Bellmont
Ryan Meikle 6-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Joe Murnan 6-0 Lukas Wenig

Evening Session
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Callan Rydz
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-5 Jim Williams
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Danny Jansen 6-1 Martijn Kleermaker
Nathan Rafferty 6-3 Dragutin Horvat
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Luke Woodhouse
Johan Engstrom 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Danny Noppert 6-3 Karel Sedlacek

Bye: Eddie Lovely

Saturday May 21
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Damon Heta v Mickey Mansell
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Joe Murnan
Ryan Searle v Adam Gawlas
Daryl Gurney v Eddie Lovely
Jose de Sousa v Andrew Gilding
Krzysztof Ratajski v Kim Huybrechts
Brendan Dolan v Danny Jansen
Rob Cross v Jelle Klaasen

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Joe Cullen v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Luke Humphries v Ryan Meikle
Jonny Clayton v Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen v Martin Lukeman
Martin Schindler v Madars Razma
Peter Wright v Johan Engstrom
Michael Smith v Danny Noppert
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Nathan Rafferty

Sunday May 22
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

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.

Prize Fund  
Winner: £25,000
Runner-up: £10,000
Semi-Finalists: £6,500
Quarter-Finalists: £5,000
Last 16 losers: £3,000
Last 32 losers: £2,000
Last 48 losers: £1,000
Total: £140,000 
NB: Seeded players who lose their last 32 match in the event will not be credited with prize money on to the Order of Merit, ProTour Order of Merit or European Tour Order of Merit, however they shall still receive full prize money payment.