Peter Wright crashes out of European Darts Championship to German Florian Hempel | Darts News


Former handball player Florian Hempel dethrones Peter Wright to set up a meeting with home crowd favourite Mensur Suljovic at the European Championship in Salzburg

Last Updated: 15/10/21 8:45am

Peter Wright saw his hopes of retaining his European Championship title ended by Florian Hempel

Peter Wright saw his hopes of retaining his European Championship title ended by Florian Hempel

Reigning champion Peter Wright crashed out of the European Championship in Salzburg on Thursday’s opening night of action.

Making his debut in a televised PDC event, German Florian Hempel impressed in a 6-3 defeat of ‘Snakebite’ Wright, who also fell at the first hurdle at the World Grand Prix earlier this month.

Hempel took the game to the world No 2 as he opened up a 3-0 lead, and a clinical 50 per cent checkout from the 31-year-old meant Wright was never allowed a way back into the contest.

“I’m really happy,” said Hempel. “He is the number two in the world and to beat him is an amazing feeling.

“To start on TV with a win in my first game is a great start. It’s the biggest achievement for me and it will give me so much confidence.

“I want to play my best darts and I will keep trying my best.”

Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen were early casualties at the World Grand Prix in Leicester

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Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen were early casualties at the World Grand Prix in Leicester

Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen were early casualties at the World Grand Prix in Leicester

Hempel will return to the Salzburgarena on Saturday evening to face Mensur Suljovic, after the Austrian No 1 delighted his home crowd with a comfortable 6-2 win over Adam Hunt.

Suljovic, a World Cup runner-up in September, continued his return to form with a dominant display and two ton-plus checkouts to reach the last 16.

“I started good and Adam is a brilliant young player but he didn’t play as good as he can tonight, and I played better,” said Suljovic, the 2016 European Championship runner-up.

“The first round is very hard every time for me, but in the second round I have nothing to lose and I look forward to playing in front of my home fans again.”

Scotland's William Borland upset Simon Whitlock

Scotland’s William Borland upset Simon Whitlock

Eight first-round matches took place on the opening night of the £500,000 tournament, as 2012 champion Simon Whitlock bowed out to impressive debutant William Borland.

Scotland’s Borland, 24, revelled in his moment on the big stage, taking out two ton-plus finishes, including a match-winning 142.

Jose de Sousa ground out a 6-4 win over 19-year-old Welsh debutant Lewy Williams.

The teenager impressed with a 94.51 average, but after he missed six darts for a 3-1 lead, De Sousa took hold of the contest and used his experience to get over the line.

“He started very well but I think after that he started to become a little bit nervous,” De Sousa said.

“I had to control the game because in the first round it’s hard but I did a good job.

“He is a brilliant player but the game is what it is, and it was for me this time.

“Right now I feel much better without glasses. I’m okay, I see well and have no problem so I can play well.”

European Championship

Thursday October 14
Evening Session
First Round x8

William Borland 6-3 Simon Whitlock
Brendan Dolan 6-2 Kim Huybrechts
Rob Cross 6-3 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-5 Callan Rydz
Jose de Sousa 6-4 Lewy Williams
Florian Hempel 6-3 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Adam Hunt
Joe Cullen 6-0 Ted Evetts

Friday October 15
Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
First Round x8

Adam Gawlas v Joe Murnan
Krzysztof Ratajski v Danny Noppert
James Wade v Adam Smith-Neale
Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
Michael Smith v Ryan Searle
Michael van Gerwen v Boris Krcmar
Gerwyn Price v Ritchie Edhouse
Damon Heta v Gabriel Clemens

Saturday October 16
Afternoon Session (1345 local time, 1245 BST)
Second Round x4

Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
Second Round x4

Sunday October 17
Afternoon Session (1345 local time, 1245 BST)
Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 BST)
Semi-Finals & Final

Format
First Rounds – Best of 11 legs
Second Round – Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 21 legs
Final – Best of 21 legs

Join us for live coverage of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton next month. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts





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