Martin Schindler grabbed the back of his head with both hands and puffed out his cheeks when the greatest success of his career was complete. The 26-year-old Strausberger had just made darts history and was the first German in the history of the UK Open to reach the quarter-finals.
Schindler defeated Jonny Clayton, number seven in the world rankings, 10:8. He had already missed two match darts at the score of 9:8, but Clayton also missed his chance on double eight, so that Schindler was allowed to step up to the oche again and completed his first dart on double eight to a historic victory.
It was confirmed early on that an above-average performance was needed again to make it perfect for the final day. A high finish of 115 points was needed to win at least one of the first four legs.
Martin Schindler is not only one of the best German darts professionals. He is also an excellent impersonator. Here he recreates six world-class players. Do you recognize these players?
A 102 gave him the 3:3 equalizer, Clayton countered with a 121 to make it 4:3 for the Welshman before an intermediate sprint by Schindler to make it 6:4 at the break laid the foundation.
After the restart, neither of the two gave up their throw, so that after beating Simon Whitlock on Friday evening and Adrian Lewis on Saturday afternoon, Schindler also prevailed against the statistically best player of the young season.
Schindler threw an average of 94.42 points and hit more than half of his attempts on the doubles – ultimately decisive for the win. The success rate was 52.63 percent. world class!
After two rounds of 16 appearances by Gabriel Clemens in 2020 and 2021, Schindler, who will be in 26th place in the world rankings from Monday, is now the first in the round of eight. The other six Germans who started, including Clemens, were all eliminated on Friday.
And given Schindler's stability, there's a good chance of another round. With the Czech Adam Gawlas, the Englishman Andrew Gilding and Richie Burnett from Wales, three players outside the top 40 are in the quarter-finals on Sunday (from 1.45 p.m. live on Sport1 and DAZN). The pairings will be drawn at the only non-seeded major tournament after the conclusion of the round of 16.
Despite the numerous upsets, Burnett is already history of this tournament. The "Prince of Wales" experienced his third spring at the tournament. After being on the verge of losing against Florian Hempel in the fourth round, the 56-year-old continues to win through the tournament. In the round of 16, Peter Wright also fell by the wayside. Burnett, a procrastinator and squabbler on the board, had an average of 86.96 to win against "Snakebite." The last time the two met on the big stage was in the first round of the 1995 BDO World Championship.
Back then, Burnett ended up winning the title. It's been 22 years since his last final. In 2001 he was in the final of the World Matchplay. He had reached his last quarter-final eight years ago. What a story. "My back hurts but I love this game," Burnett said.
Nathan Aspinall (ENG) – Joe Cullen (ENG) 10:2
Brendan Dolan (NIR) – Andrew Gilding (ENG) 8:10
Peter Wright (SCO) – Richie Burnett (WAL) 8:10
William O‘Connor (IRL) – Adam Gawlas (CZE) 3:10
Dimitri van den Bergh (BEL) – Gary Anderson (SCO) 10:8
Jonny Clayton (WAL) – Martin Schindler (D) 8:10
Michael van Gerwen (ENG) – Luke Humphries (ENG)
Rob Cross (ENG) – Jeffrey De Zwaan (NL) 10:7