One of the worst possible starts to a match at the Darts World Cup? Maybe this one: first arrow in the field of 5, the second also, the third in the field of 19. 29 dots out of 180 that would have been possible with three arrows. Especially stupid when the opponent starts with a 134 and then follows with a 135. So Gabriel Clemens turned away, an hour later it was clear: It wasn’t going to get much better that evening.
His opponent, the Welshman Jonny Clayton, rolled over the best German darts player on Monday evening; It couldn’t be more friendly after this 4-0 win in the third round. Clayton brought seven 180s, 25 times 140 points or more, to the board, Clemens was only able to keep up for a short time in the third set, leading 2-1 after legs, before Clayton turned up and took this round too.
Clayton is now in the round of 16 and should be considered one of the favorites for the title at Alexandra Palace after this performance. The German was left with only sarcasm. “I was there,” said Clemens, “he was very good.”
Florian Hempel is out and frustrated
Overall, however, it is easier to accept such a clear result than a defeat in a close match, said Clemens. He “didn’t get a lot of chances, you just have to put up with that,” said Clemens at Dazn. Clemens could not repeat his round of 16 participation from the previous year, he is now flying home and has to be in quarantine for two weeks.
For the German participants who started so hopefully, the World Cup is over. Because Florian Hempel, who had surprisingly thrown the world-class man Dimitri van den Bergh out of the tournament, is also out. What still worked against the Belgian, Hempel could not even begin to repeat in his third round match against the Australian Raymond Smith. Hempel played erratically and unfocused, only rarely hit the important triple fields, lost 1: 4. “I failed because of myself. The chances were there. I know what I can play,” he said at Sport1: “What I showed is not even remotely what I want to show.”
There were even higher class darts fights on Monday evening. The duel between world champion Gerwyn Price and Belgian Kim Huybrechts, for example, in which the defending champion was on the verge of failure several times. Price was accompanied by loud boos from the audience during every action, but saved himself in the decisive set – and won here 6: 5 after legs. “That was tough, Kim was tough, the spectators were tough,” said Price, who will now face Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode: “That was one of those games that you just have to survive.”
The three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen was about to end, but without throwing an arrow. After the positive Corona test by Dutchman Vincent van der Voort (he had to leave the tournament), it became known that Gerwen had spent Christmas in a house with his farmer. According to the British Corona rules, van Gerwen now has to test himself daily; a positive result can end his hunt for the fourth title at any time.