Germany’s Martin Schindler has stormed to a 6-3 victory averaging 97.24 in the opening round of the International Darts Open in Riesa.

Schindler raced into a 3-0 lead against Ron Meulenkamp, who reached the semi-final of Players Championship 18 in Barnsley just nine days ago. Meulenkamp has reached the quarter-final twice on the Euro Tour in 2018 and was actually favourite going into this clash with Schindler.

Schindler, who represented Germany at the World Cup of Darts, has shortened to 50/1 with some bookmakers after beginning the tournament at 100/1.

Next up for Schindler is Kim Huybrechts, who he has won both meetings against in 2018 including a 6-0 victory earlier this month.

The 22-year-old nicknamed ‘The Wall’ was eliminated in the opening round of this event 12-months ago. Having reached the last 16 of the German Darts Championship before losing against Michael Van Gerwen at the start of the month, Schindler will be hoping to go deeper here.

Steve Lennon disposes of Patrik Kovacs

Elsewhere in Friday’s opening session, Dutch Darts Masters finalist Steve Lennon disposed of Patrik Kovacs 6-1 as he continues his good form whilst Mickey Mansell was able to bring his rejuvenated floor form to the stage when averaging 96.97 in a 6-0 demolition of Dirk van Duijvenbode.

The 45-year-old Norther Irishman won Players Championship 8 back in April and has since reached two Pro Tour quarter-finals.

James Richardson, who hasn’t enjoyed the greatest 2018 since reaching the last 16 of the World Championship at Ally Pally, beat Terry Temple 6-3.

Ryan Searle was unlucky to lose out 6-5 to Daryl Gurney when averaging over a ton last weekend but had few issues progressing past Host Nation qualifier, Ricardo Pietreczko.

17/10 shot Barry Lynn breezed past Dawson Murschell with a 6-3 win while Steve West found a break of throw to battle past Michael Plooy in a last leg decider.

Jelle Klaasen's much-needed victory

Former BDO World Champion, Jelle Klaasen, mustered a much-needed victory when disposing of Jose Justicia 6-0 however the Cobra will need to improve on the 89.29 average when facing Ian White, who won last week’s Dutch Darts Championship, tomorrow.

The International Darts Open continue this evening with another eight matches. The event began on Friday with 48 players including four Host Nation qualifiers, of which Schindler is one. The action culminates on Sunday evening with the final. The Darts season is reaching the business end, with the Grand Prix, Grand Slam and World Championship still to come. They're all live on Sky.