Suljovic stuns Van Gerwen on opening day in Minehead

Mensur Suljovic (Kieran Cleeves/PDC)

Mensur Suljovic caused a huge upset with victory over Michael van Gerwen on the opening night of the 2024 Ladbrokes UK Open, as three former champions crashed out on a dramatic evening in Minehead.

Day One of the £600,000 event at Butlin’s Minehead Resort saw 126 matches played across eight stages on an action-packed day at the annual festival of darts.

The opening four rounds were held across two sessions, as the 158-player field was whittled down to 32 by the conclusion of Friday's action.

The biggest story of the day saw world number 56 Suljovic roll back the years to stun Van Gerwen, winning eight of the last ten legs to inflict a 10-7 defeat on the Dutch superstar, who appeared to be struggling with a shoulder injury.

“Michael van Gerwen is the best player in the world at the moment,” insisted the Austrian veteran.

“This is a brilliant feeling for me. I had some family problems last year, but this year I am practising every day, and I hope I can have a good tournament.”

Gerwyn Price – a runner-up in 2017 and 2020 - was another high-profile casualty on Friday evening, squandering six match darts in a dramatic decider against Martin Schindler.

Teenage sensation Luke Littler avoided the same fate however, averaging 101 and producing finishes of 101, 109, 120 and 170 to secure a 10-7 win against three-time champion James Wade.

“I’m just glad to get over the line in the end,” reflected Littler, who was a Rileys Amateur Qualifier at this event 12 months ago.

“This tournament is where it all began for myself. I’m loving this experience. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of, and I’m just taking it in my stride.”

World Champion Luke Humphries opened his bid for a fourth consecutive TV ranking title with an eye-catching win over Dirk van Duijvenbode, defying ten maximums from the Dutch star to prevail with a 101 average.

Reigning champion Andrew Gilding also enjoyed his Minehead return, kicking off his defence of the title with a battling 10-7 victory against Josh Payne, crashing in six 180s in the process.

Gilding was one of five UK Open winners to progress to round five, with Nathan Aspinall, Danny Noppert, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson all celebrating victory in round four.

Aspinall sank former Lakeside champion Scott Mitchell in his opener, while Noppert won six of the last seven legs to complete a comeback win over German number one Gabriel Clemens.

Wright brushed aside Joshua Richardson 10-3 to open his title challenge, before 2018 champion Anderson reeled off six straight legs to win through an all-Scottish showdown against Cameron Menzies.

Premier League duo Michael Smith and Rob Cross also tasted victory on Friday evening, with Masters champion Stephen Bunting joining the pair in the winner’s circle.

Ross Smith recorded a 10-8 victory against Daryl Gurney in a high-quality encounter, before Damon Heta defeated his World Cup partner Simon Whitlock by the same scoreline.

Former Masters winner Chris Dobey averaged 99 in his 10-3 demolition of Mickey Mansell, while last year’s semi-finalist Dimitri Van den Bergh denied Brendan Dolan in a marathon contest.

Jonny Clayton survived a major scare to outlast German debutant Tim Wolters in his fourth round tie, as Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and Northern Ireland’s Josh Rock breezed through in routine fashion.

Earlier in the night, two-time winner Raymond van Barneveld and Ryan Searle suffered deciding-leg heartbreak, losing out to Luke Woodhouse and Graham Usher in their respective fourth round ties.

Denmark’s World Cup star Benjamin Reus is the only player who entered in round one left standing ahead of Saturday’s play, while former semi-finalists Dave Chisnall, Mervyn King and Keane Barry also progressed.

World Youth Championship runner-up Gian van Veen booked his place in the last 32 with a brace of wins across the day, to move through alongside his compatriots Vincent van der Voort and Kevin Doets.

Mike De Decker, Ricky Evans, Martin Lukeman and Ryan Meikle also registered back-to-back wins on Friday, as the quartet continued their bids for a maiden televised title in Minehead.

The draw for the fifth round was made live on the Main Stage at the conclusion of Friday night's action, with reigning champion Gilding pitted against 2017 winner Wright for a place in the last 16.

World Champion Humphries will play Reus in an intriguing clash, while Schindler’s reward for beating Price is a fifth round showdown against Littler.

Anderson and Dobey will go head-to-head in a blockbuster tie, as Van Gerwen's conqueror Suljovic locks horns with Chisnall.

At the conclusion of the fifth round, the draw will be made for the sixth round, which will take place across two stages on Saturday evening.

Main Stage matches across the event will be broadcast live on ITV3 or ITV4 for UK viewers, through the PDC's international broadcast partners, including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

Stage Two action on Saturday will be streamed exclusively for all PDCTV Subscribers worldwide, with commentary from Dan Dawson and Paul Nicholson, while matches from Stages Three and Four will also be broadcast live on PDCTV on Saturday.

Click here for match stats & results.

2024 Ladbrokes UK Open
First Round

Haupai Puha 6-4 Jelle Klaasen
Jenson Walker 6-4 Sebastian Bialecki
Wesley Plaisier 6-5 Connor Scutt
Ron Meulenkamp 6-1 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Thibault Tricole 6-5 Jules van Dongen
Danny Lauby 6-3 Nathan Rafferty
Patrick Geeraets 6-3 Christian Kist
Scott Mitchell 6-4 Leighton Bennett
Matthew Dennant 6-4 Jeffrey de Graaf
Leonard Gates 6-4 Conan Whitehead
Dom Taylor 6-5 Brandon Western
Tom Lonsdale 6-4 Lukas Wenig
John Henderson 6-4 Kevin Burness 
Owen Bates 6-5 Andy Boulton
Jack Male 6-5 Martijn Dragt
Tim Wolters 6-3 Ashley Coleman
Brett Claydon 6-4 Thomas Lovely
Benjamin Reus 6-4 Bradly Roes
Johnny Haines 6-3 Jitse van der Wal
Bradley Brooks 6-3 Cam Crabtree
Michael Taylor 6-5 Paul Krohne
Chris Landman 6-3 Christopher Toonders
George Killington 6-4 Radek Szaganski
Joshua Richardson 6-5 Darryl Pilgrim
Joe Croft 6-5 William Borland
Darren Beveridge 6-4 Jason Hogg
Harry Lane 6-3 Dominik Gruellich
Rhys Griffin 6-5 Harry Gregory 
Robert Grundy 6-3 Michele Turreta
Wessel Nijman 6-3 David Sumner

Second Round
Christian Perez 6-2 Jeffrey Sparidaans
Jacques Labre 6-4 Steve Lennon
Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-4 Jurjen van der Velde
Thibault Tricole 6-5 Bradley Brooks
Geert Nentjes 6-3 Pascal Rupprecht
Robert Owen 6-3 Karel Sedlacek
Brett Claydon 6-4 Andy Baetens
Leonard Gates 6-3 Rhys Griffin
Owen Roelofs 6-1 Stephen Burton
Mario Vandenbogaerde 6-3 Johnny Haines
Josh Payne 6-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Benjamin Reus 6-3 Tom Lonsdale
Ronny Huybrechts 6-2 Harry Lane
Wessel Nijman 6-4 Niels Zonneveld
Scott Mitchell 6-4 Darren Beveridge
Nick Kenny 6-2 Callum Goffin
Joe Croft 6-2 James Hurrell
Lee Evans 6-0 Chris Landman
John Henderson 6-5 Dom Taylor
Patrick Geeraets 6-4 Adam Smith-Neale
George Killington 6-5 Robbie Knops
Joshua Richardson 6-2 Keegan Brown
Danny Lauby 6-5 Jack Male
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-2 Berry van Peer
Matthew Dennant 6-1 Danny van Trijp
Jarred Cole 6-5 Robert Grundy
Wesley Plaisier 6-2 Haupai Puha
Dylan Slevin 6-4 Arron Monk
Michael Taylor 6-2 Graham Hall
Graham Usher 6-5 Owen Bates 
Tim Wolters 6-3 Jenson Walker

Third Round
Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4 Madars Razma 
Josh Payne 6-5 Steve Beaton
Leonard Gates 6-2 Jim Williams
Martin Lukeman 6-5 Jermaine Wattimena
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Maik Kuivenhoven
Gian van Veen 6-3 John Henderson
Cameron Menzies 6-3 Thibault Tricole
Boris Krcmar 6-1 Ritchie Edhouse
Nick Kenny 6-5 Matt Campbell
Brett Claydon 6-4 Alan Soutar
Ricky Evans 6-3 Lee Evans
Graham Usher 6-3 Ronny Huybrechts
Mickey Mansell 6-4 Ian White
Ryan Meikle 6-3 Geert Nentjes
Florian Hempel 6-2 Mario Vandenbogaerde
Patrick Geeraets 6-1 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 William O'Connor
Kevin Doets 6-5 Robert Owen
Mike De Decker 6-3 Wessel Nijman
Daniel Klose 6-3 Wesley Plaisier
Luke Woodhouse 6-4 Dylan Slevin
Keane Barry 6-4 Joe Croft
Adam Gawlas 6-0 Jarred Cole
Tim Wolters 6-4 Ryan Joyce
Vincent van der Voort 6-4 Christian Perez
Mervyn King 6-4 George Killington
Benjamin Reus 6-5 Callan Rydz
Ricardo Pietreczko 6-3 Michael Taylor
Richard Veenstra 6-1 Owen Roelofs
Joshua Richardson 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Danny Lauby 6-2 Jacques Labre
Scott Mitchell 6-5 Matthew Dennant

Evening Session
Fourth Round

Andrew Gilding 10-7 Josh Payne
Mensur Suljovic 10-7 Michael van Gerwen
Luke Littler 10-7 James Wade
Luke Humphries 10-7 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Danny Noppert 10-8 Gabriel Clemens
Michael Smith 10-7 Joe Cullen
Damon Heta 10-8 Simon Whitlock
Martin Schindler 10-9 Gerwyn Price
Graham Usher 10-9 Ryan Searle
Kevin Doets 10-6 Daniel Klose
Ross Smith 10-8 Daryl Gurney
Nathan Aspinall 10-6 Scott Mitchell
Ryan Meikle 10-6 Brett Claydon
Benjamin Reus 10-7 Jose de Sousa
Chris Dobey 10-3 Mickey Mansell
Stephen Bunting 10-3 Danny Lauby
Ricky Evans 10-4 Scott Williams
Keane Barry 10-6 Kim Huybrechts
Rob Cross 10-3 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Gary Anderson 10-5 Cameron Menzies
Luke Woodhouse 10-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Jonny Clayton 10-9 Tim Wolters
Martin Lukeman 10-5 Leonard Gates
Dimitri Van den Bergh 10-8 Brendan Dolan
Gian van Veen 10-7 Florian Hempel
Mike De Decker 10-6 Richard Veenstra
Dave Chisnall 10-4 Nick Kenny
Krzysztof Ratajski 10-4 Adam Gawlas
Peter Wright 10-3 Joshua Richardson
Josh Rock 10-5 Patrick Geeraets
Mervyn King 10-3 Ricardo Pietreczko
Vincent van der Voort 10-5 Boris Krcmar

Fifth Round Schedule
Saturday March 2 (1245 GMT)
Main Stage

Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey
Luke Littler v Martin Schindler
Damon Heta v Nathan Aspinall
Benjamin Reus v Luke Humphries

Stage Two
Jonny Clayton v Ross Smith
Rob Cross v Josh Rock
Stephen Bunting v Kevin Doets
Peter Wright v Andrew Gilding

Stage Three
Ricky Evans v Mike De Decker
Michael Smith v Luke Woodhouse
Dave Chisnall v Mensur Suljovic
Vincent van der Voort v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Stage Four
Graham Usher v Gian van Veen
Martin Lukeman v Danny Noppert
Keane Barry v Ryan Meikle
Krzysztof Ratajski v Mervyn King