Offbeat news from the world of sport
We have more newsletters
Home advantage played its part as Peter Wright fell victim to a giant-slaying from four legs up at the 2023 European Darts Open on Saturday.
'Snakebite' was bitten from behind as the trailing Ricardo Pietreczko launched a mighty comeback in Leverkusen, surging from 5-1 down to advance to the tournament's third round. Defeat looked assured for the Nuremberg native after darts star Wright railed to the verge of victory, only to capitulate in calamitous fashion.
The two-time world champion hardly missed a beat during the first half of the match, collecting checkouts of 111, 100 and 86 as he sailed into the ascendancy. A two-time winner (2014 and 2017) and four-time finalist in the European Darts Open, Wright appeared at ease as he sought to add to his list of accolades on German soil.
READ MORE: Phil Taylor dumped out of Seniors event by star with one PDC world champs appearance
But Pietreczko produced several moments of magic—including a brilliant 152 checkout—to advance beyond the second round in his European Darts Open debut. World No. 2 Wright missed no fewer than six match darts as Pietreczko pulled his way back into contention and finished the job where his opponent could not.
"Thank you to everyone who supported me yesterday in Leverkusen against Peter Wright," wrote the German in an Instagram post on Sunday. "I enjoyed it so much – you can't even imagine.
What's the biggest upset you've ever seen in darts? Let us know in the comments section.
"So glad I could come back and play to this fantastic audience once again! Credits also to Peter, who, despite losing and is currently in a difficult phase, was a super loser and showed class! Now it's time to leave the game behind and put full focus on the next game!"
With the scores tied at five legs apiece, Wright had three darts to take out 25 but was unable to apply the finishing touches. Shaking his head in disbelief, 'Pikachu' gathered his thoughts to a raucous home crowd before nailing double eight at the first time of asking, much to the enjoyment of the Leverkusen loyal.
Pietreczko could hardly contain his emotions—and understandably so—after sealing the biggest win of his career to date, jumping on-stage with hands to his mouth. The 28-year-old will face Stephen Bunting in the next stage of the competition and is now just three wins from the final.
It wasn't the only underdog victory witnessed in darts on Saturday as legend Phil Taylor was knocked out of the World Seniors Champion of Champions by American Leonard Gates. Both he and Wright may be lacking in confidence given their current poor streaks of form, though both will be backed to rediscover their strides in time.
Raymond van Barneveld jokes about his 'Playmobil hair' as darts fans crack up
Phil Taylor reckons darts schedule is taking toll on players – including Peter Wright
Fallon Sherrock makes history as first female to hit nine-dart finish in PDC competition
Phil Taylor promises “different me” ahead of hip surgery as he commits to World Seniors
Helen Chamberlain slams 'absolute farce' BDO auction as iconic trophies are sold
- Peter Wright
Source: Read Full Article