Florian Hempel (50/1 to win tournament) produced a shock on the opening night of the 2021 European Championships in Salzburg as he defeated defending champion and world number two Peter Wright 6-3 in the first round.

German Hempel was making his debut in a televised PDC event, but he showed no signs of nerves against an out of sorts Wright, who also fell at the first hurdle during last week’s World Grand Prix.

Hempel raced into a 3-0 lead early in the match and his clinical 50% checkout ratio meant there was never any way back into the contest for Wright, who beat James Wade in last year’s final.

Speaking after the victory, Hempel told reporters: “I’m really happy. He is the number two in the world and to beat him is an amazing feeling.

“To start on TV with a win in my first game is a great start. It’s the biggest achievement for me and it will give me so much confidence.

“I want to play my best darts and I will keep trying my best.”

The 31-year-old’s reward for reaching the second round at the Salzburgarena will be a clash with home favourite Mensur Suljovic (14/1 to win tournament) on Saturday after the Austrian comfortably eased his way past Adam Hunt 6-2.

A total of eight first round matches took place on the opening night in Salzburg, with Jose de Souza, Luke Humphries, Rob Cross, Brendan Dolan and Joe Cullen among the other players to advance.

Tournament debutant William Borland (66/1 to win tournament) also booked his place in round two, as he got the better of 2012 champion Simon Whitlock 6-3 – although the 24-year-old Scot was not resting on his laurels after the victory.

“I enjoyed it and to beat a player like Simon is special. I’ve got to take it in my stride because I’m just at the start of my career,” Borland said.

“I’m happy to be here and I want to do my family proud. I’m really enjoying playing against the best in the world and I need to keep going.”

The eight remaining first round ties will take place on Friday, with some of the highlights including world number one Gerwyn Price’s clash with Ritchie Edhouse (Price 1/5, Edhouse 18/5 – Match Betting), while four-time champion Michael van Gerwen will take on Croatia’s Boris Krcmar (Van Gerwen 1/4, Krcmar 3/1 – Match Betting).

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