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Ricardo Pietreczko's bizarre comeback against Peter Wright

The fans in the Leverkusen arena, which was sold out with 3,500 spectators, apparently had something planned.

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Ricardo Pietreczko's bizarre comeback against Peter Wright

The fans in the Leverkusen arena, which was sold out with 3,500 spectators, apparently had something planned. With the first dart they sang "Martin Schindler, Olé" - and didn't stop. The crowd was willing to pull it off, and the German made it surprisingly easy for them too. Because after only six legs the match of the second round at the European Darts Open was over again - and Schindler was eliminated 0:6 against the Irishman Willie O'Connor.

An unexpected whitewash for the 26-year-old, who averaged just 86.03 points and later explained himself on Facebook. "Definitely pissed about how the game passed me by, not even being able to get my foot in the door. I wanted more, maybe too much, but this is darts," Schindler wrote, thanking for the support.

The German had recently been shown by a compatriot that the match was not completely lost even when the score was 0:5. Ricardo Pietreczko had brought about the early highlight of the tournament in an almost unbelievable fightback against Peter Wright and ensured that the German spectators still got their money's worth.

"Pikachu" was already hopelessly behind 1:5 against the world champion of 2022 when he managed another highlight with a 152 finish to make it 2:5. “It was more out of necessity. I just wanted to have fun," said number 74 in the world rankings later. And it was spectacular. After securing the 3-5, he just missed the 164 to make it 4-5, but thanks to three missed match darts from Wright, checked on double four to win the third leg in a row.

The hall was now like a madhouse: "Pikachu, Pikachu!" Never before in the career of the 28-year-old had so many people called his name. Pietreczko, actually an introvert, enjoyed it and grinned. The unusual attention did not detract from his game. On the contrary. He just missed the 170 in the tenth leg and thus the really big show, but Wright didn't manage 81 points and missed another match dart on the bullseye. The German checked to 5:5 to thunderous cheers.

In the decider, Wright again missed 81 points on the bullseye, Pikachu hit triple-20 and single-9 with 101 points remaining, but threw wide of double-16. It was now a drama starring Wright. The Scot failed on 25 points himself, missing the single 9 and then the double 4 to win. Pietreczko took another sip of water and then managed the last arrow: 6:5 after 1:5.

The fact that he was able to play his won legs in 15, 15, 18, 18 and 16 darts once again documented the weak form of his prominent opponent. "I was a bit influenced by the fact that he didn't find his game," said Pietreczko, who finished with an average of 87.71 points, 0.5 more than his opponent. Manageable level with maximum drama. In darts, you don't always need very high averages for great entertainment.

Pietreczko couldn't care less anyway. With the 4,000 pounds in prize money, the German improved by two more places in the Order of Merit and took a big step in the fight for participation in the World Cup and receiving his tour card. After reaching the semi-finals of the Players Championship last weekend in Hildesheim, the Franconian qualified for a tournament on the European Tour for the first time after three years of abstinence. "It's my first win against a seeded player on the European Tour," reveals Pietreczko, who meets Englishman Stephen Bunting on Sunday (3 p.m., Sport1 and DAZN live).

Four of the seven Germans who started were already eliminated at the start on Friday, including Gabriel Clemens and Florian Hempel, who was therefore unable to bring in any further prize money in the fight for the tour ticket. In addition to the seeded Schindler and Pietreczko, Rene Eidams also reached the second round. "The Cube" was defeated by world champion Michael Smith 3:6. The sporting highlights were set by two other superstars. Michael van Gerwen averaged 108.22 in his win against Raymond van Barneveld. Gerwyn Price even had 109.03 after eleven legs against Krzysztof Rataski.

Damon Heta (AUS) - Andy Boulton (ENG) 6: 4

Rob Cross (ENG) – Ryan Joyce (ENG) 6:1

Dave Chisnall (ENG) – Jim Williams (WAL) 6:2

Dirk van Duijvenbode (ENG) – Ted Evetts (ENG) 6:3

Joe Cullen (ENG) – Ross Smith (ENG) 4:6

Jonny Clayton (WAL) – Ryan Meikle (ENG) 3:6

Danny Noppert (NED) – Chris Dobey (ENG) 6:2

Ryan Searle (ENG) – Stephen Bunting (ENG) 5:6

Gerwyn Price (WAL) – Krzysztof Ratajski (POL) 6:5

Luke Humphries (ENG) – Brendan Dolan (NIR) without a fight for Dolan

Michael Smith (ENG) – Rene Eidams (D) 6:3

Peter Wright (SCO) – Ricardo Pietreczko (D) 5:6

Michael van Gerwen (NED) – Raymond van Barneveld (NED) 6:4

Dimitri van den Bergh (BEL) – James Wade (ENG) 6:2

Martin Schindler (D) – William O‘Connor (IRL) 0:6

Josh Rock (NIR) – Ian White (ENG) 6:2

Dave Chisnall (ENG) – Danny Noppert (NED)

Damon Heta (AUS) – Ryan Meikle (ENG)

Michael Smith (ENG) – Gerwyn Price (WAL)

Michael van Gerwen (NED) – Dimitri van den Bergh (BEL)

Ricardo Pietreczko (D) – Stephen Bunting (ENG)

Rob Cross (ENG) – William O‘Connor (IRL)

Dirk van Duijvenbode (NL) – Ross Smith (ENG)

Brendan Dolan (NIR) – Josh Rock (NIR)

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