Kim Huybrechts

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Kim Huybrechts
Personal information
Nickname The Hurricane
Born (1985-11-16) 16 November 1985 (age 31)
Belgium
Home town Antwerp
Belgium
Darts information
Playing darts since 1995
Darts 24g unicorn Huybrechts
Laterality Right-handed
Walk-on music Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck preceded by intro to Layla by Derek and the Dominos
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO 2006–2011
PDC 2011–
Current world ranking 12
BDO majors - best performances
World Masters Last 16: 2009
PDC premier events - best performances
World Ch'ship Quarter-finals: 2012
World Matchplay Last 32: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
World Grand Prix Quarter-finals: 2016
Grand Slam Semi-finals: 2014
Premier League 10th: 2015, 2017
Ch'ship League 6th Winners group: 2013
European Ch'ship Semi-finals: 2012
UK Open Quarter-finals: 2017
Players Ch'ship Finals Runner-up: 2012
The Masters Quarter-finals: 2016
Other tournament wins
Belgium Gold Cup 2007
Belgium National Championships 2007
Belgium Open Pairs 2013, 2014
Flanders Open 2008
Killarney Pro Tour 2013
Oost Vlaanderen 2011
Open Venlo 2011
UK Open Qualifier 2013

European Tour Events

Dutch Darts Masters 2013
European Darts Grand Prix 2015
Other achievements
2014 First televised nine-dart finish

Kim Huybrechts (born 16 November 1985)[1] is a Belgian professional darts player currently playing in Professional Darts Corporation events.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Huybrechts' first tournament wins came in 2007 at the Belgium Gold Cup and the Belgium National Championships. His only victory in a British Darts Organisation sanctioned event came at the 2008 Flanders Open where he defeated Geert de Vos 5–2 in the final.[2] Huybrechts reached the last 16 of the 2009 Winmau World Masters, losing 3–1 to Steve West on his televised debut.[3]

In September 2010, he was a quarter-finalist at a PDC Pro Tour Players Championship in Nuland.[4] Later that year, he narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2011 BDO World Darts Championship, losing to Arno Merk in the final qualifying round.[5]

In May 2011, he reached the semi-finals of a Players Championship in Vienna. He lost 6–5 to Denis Ovens, having missed three match darts.[6] This result helped him to qualify for the 2011 European Championship via the European Order of Merit.[7] In the first round, Huybrechts defeated Spain's Antonio Alcinas 6–2. He then beat Wes Newton 10–8 in the second round to book his place in the quarter-finals, where he narrowly lost 10–8 to world champion Adrian Lewis.[8]

Breakthrough[edit]

His performance during the European Championship and other Pro Tour Events secured him a place in the top 16 of the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit and thus a place in the World Championships for the first time. Huybrechts had a fantastic debut in the tournament as he managed to reach the quarter-finals. He enjoyed a dream first round match by defeating Brendan Dolan 3–0, with the Irishman only picking up two legs during the match[9] and continued his fine form to beat James Richardson 4–1 in the second round.[10] He dropped the first set in the last 16 against Paul Nicholson, but then went on an incredible run by winning 12 of the next 14 legs to triumph 4–1.[11] His tournament was ended in the last 8 by Andy Hamilton as he lost 2–5 with a 91.7 average, over 10 points lower than his opponents. Huybrechts revealed after the match that his performances had earned him new sponsors, which will help him play all the tournaments on the PDC circuit for two years and admitted that it was his "biggest achievement of his career to date".[12]

He then represented Belgium with Kurt van de Rijck in the 2012 PDC World Cup of Darts and reached the quarter-finals, where they were defeated by Australia 1–3, having beaten Sweden in the second round.[13] Huybrechts made the final of the first UK Open qualifier, losing out to Wes Newton 3–6 after earlier beating Scott Rand, Simon Whitlock, Vincent van der Voort, Mark Stephenson, Mark Hylton, Michael van Gerwen and Stuart White.[14] Huybrechts earned a place in the European Tour 1 event in Vienna by defeating Tonči Restović and Jerry Hendricks in the European qualifier.[15] He enjoyed 6–3 and 6–0 wins over Andy Smith and Vincent van der Voort respectively, before losing in the third round to James Wade 1–6.[16] Huybrechts threw a nine-darter in a third round match in the seventh UK Open qualifier of the season against Terry Jenkins, but went on to lose 4–6.[17] He also qualified for the second European Tour event courtesy of wins over Carlos Rodríguez and Tonči Restović in the European Qualifier.[18] Huybrechts reached the quarter-finals where he was beaten by Simon Whitlock 4–6.[19]

At the UK Open he defeated Peter Hudson and Vincent van der Voort to face Wes Newton in the last 16.[20] Huybrechts led 7–4 having hit seven doubles from as many attempts, but his finishing power soon deserted him and he went on to miss five darts to win the game in the final leg and lost 8–9.[21] By July, Huybrechts had reached the quarter-final stage or better on ten occasions in PDC events in 2012,[22] meaning he qualified for the World Matchplay for the first time due to being the highest player on the ProTour Order of Merit who was not in the world's top 16.[23] He played Terry Jenkins in the first round and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory as he led 9–5. However, Huybrechts failed to convert multiple chances to take the match as he dropped six legs in a row to lose 9–11.[24]

Huybrechts went one better at the 2012 European Championship than his 2011 performance as he reached his maiden semi-final of a PDC major event.[25] He beat Vincent van der Voort and Ian White in the opening rounds,[26] before extending his record over Raymond van Barneveld to played five, won five, courtesy of a 10–8 victory.[27] In his semi-final he was beaten 9–11 by Simon Whitlock, but his run in the tournament saw him move into world's top 32 for the first time.[28] Huybrechts had a disastrous debut at the World Grand Prix in October, as he lost 0–2 in sets to Kevin Painter without winning a leg,[29] but returned to form at the Dutch Darts Masters, by reaching his fifth semi-final of the year. There, he was beaten 1–6 by Whitlock.[30]

After all 33 ProTour events of 2012 had been played, Huybrechts finished ninth on the Order of Merit to qualify for the Players Championship Finals for the first time.[31] It was there that Huybrechts reached his debut major final with comfortable victories over Vincent van der Voort, Michael Smith, Peter Wright and Justin Pipe, with his average of 104.34 against Wright in the quarter-finals being at the time his highest on television.[32][33] He faced Phil Taylor in the final and kept pace in the early stages with Taylor's heavy scoring by clinically finishing legs on his own throw to level the match at 5–5. However, the pressure exerted on Huybrechts eventually told as he only won one out of the next nine legs to lose 6–13.[34]

2013[edit]

Huybrechts' father Ludo Huybrechts (1947–2012) died on 11 December nine days before his son's first round match in the 2013 World Championship. Huybrechts still decided to compete in the event and although he led 2–1 in sets against Scott Rand, he went on to lose 2–3.[35] However, after the tournament he broke into the world's top 20 for the first time.[36] Huybrechts partnered his brother Ronny in the World Cup of Darts, becoming the first brothers to do so and had a spectacular run to reach the final of the event. Highlights included a 5–1 doubles win over the Australian pair of Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson,[37] averaging 101.08 in beating Croatia 4–0 in the quarter-finals,[38] and averaging 105.47 in their semi-finals victory over Finland, at the time the highest ever in a doubles match in the history of the event.[39] They faced the English partnership of Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis in the final, with Kim beating Lewis 4–0, but Ronny lost both of his singles matches. Kim had to defeat Taylor to force a doubles match to decide the title, however, he lost 1–4.[40] Huybrechts lost 5–6 to Michael van Gerwen in the sixth 2013 UK Open Qualifier of the year in April.[41] He went one better in the seventh event, sealing his first title on the PDC tour with a 6–2 win over John Part in the final having earlier exacted his revenge over van Gerwen in the fifth round by beating him 6–4.[42] His performances after all eight events had been played saw him finish third on the UK Open Order of Merit,[43] but he lost 6–9 to Terry Jenkins in the fourth round.[44] Huybrechts was the victim of clinical finishing in the first round of the World Grand Prix as Andy Hamilton hit six out of six doubles to beat him 2–0 in sets.[45] However, less than two weeks later he claimed his second Pro Tour title of 2013 at the 12th Players Championship by whitewashing Kevin Painter 6–0 in the final which included a 170 checkout in the second leg.[46] He then took the final spot for the Winners Group of the Championship League by winning Group 8 with a 6–4 success over Peter Wright in the final.[47] There, Huybrechts won three of his seven games to finish sixth in the eight man table.[48] The biggest title of Huybrechts' career to date followed as he claimed the Dutch Darts Masters in Veldhoven. He defeated Van Gerwen 6–3 in the semi-finals but saved his best performance for the final as he averaged 105.90 in defeating Brendan Dolan also by a 6–3 scoreline. Huybrechts said afterwards that he read text messages sent by his late father for inspiration before the final and dedicated the victory to him. His tournament average over the six games was 101.[49] Huybrechts was now into the top 16 on the Order of Merit and therefore earned a place in the inaugural Masters. He faced Adrian Lewis in the first round and missed two darts at tops in the deciding leg to lose 6–5 despite an average of 106.43.[50] Despite only winning one of his three group games at the Grand Slam of Darts, Huybrechts finished second to qualify for the last 16 on leg difference. He played Ronny which saw them become the first brothers to play in a televised darts match, with Kim winning 10–5.[51][52] Huybrechts played Lewis on his 28th birthday in the quarter-finals and was beaten 16–11.[53]

2014[edit]

Huybrechts qualified for the 2014 PDC World Darts Championship as the 12th seed and remarkably was drawn to once again face off with his brother Ronny in the first round. Kim survived a scare as he lost the first set and saw Ronny miss a total of five darts to win the second and recovered to triumph 3–1.[54] Kim described facing his brother as the hardest and most nerve-wracking game of his life and that he was also feeling sorry for Ronny when he was missing doubles.[55] Huybrechts hit back from 3–0 behind in the next round against Ian White to level the game, but missed too many chances in the deciding set to exit the tournament 4–3.[56] Huybrechts eliminated Ross Smith 9–5 at the UK Open, before losing by a reverse of this scoreline against James Wade in the fourth round.[57] Kim and Ronny comfortably progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup of Darts where they faced the Dutch number two seeds Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld. Kim produced a superb display to defeat Van Gerwen 4–2 with an average of 106.76, which included a crucial 160 finish in the fifth leg to break the Ducthman's throw when he was waiting on 36. However, Ronny then lost 4–2 to Van Barneveld meaning the tie went into a deciding doubles match which the brothers lost 4–0.[58] Huybrechts' first final in almost a year came at the 17th Players Championship by seeing off Van Gerwen 6–3 and, although he led Wade 5–3, he was beaten 6–5.[59]

After early exits at the World Grand Prix, European Championship and the Masters, Huybrechts qualified from his group in the Grand Slam with a 5–1 win over Darren Webster.[60] He then beat BDO player Alan Norris 10–5 and was involved in the game of his career to date against Van Gerwen in the quarter-finals. Huybrechts started exceptionally to lead 12–3 with an average over 110, before Van Gerwen cut the gap to 13–7. Huybrechts responded with his first televised nine-dart finish and defeated the reigning world champion 16–10.[61][62] His semi-final match against Dave Chisnall swung in the favour of both players as Huybrechts was 4–1 behind, before edging 14–12 ahead but ultimately lost four of the last five legs to succumb to a 16–15 defeat.[63]

2015[edit]

At the 2015 World Championship, Huybrechts gained revenge for his 4–3 loss against Ian White 12 months earlier by beating him by a reversal of this scoreline, winning six of the last seven legs.[64] His third round opponent Phil Taylor criticised Huybrechts' tendency to overly celebrate and jump when he wins legs before their match.[65] Huybrechts appeared undeterred by the comments as he celebrated almost every important visit to the board and leg winning doubles which saw him lead Taylor on three different occasions. However, he lost the deciding set without taking a leg to be edged out 4–3.[66] Following the World Championship final, Huybrechts was named as a PDC Wildcard to compete in the 2015 Premier League Darts.[67] He was beaten 7–3 by Van Gerwen on the opening night.[68] On the fourth night Huybrechts and Dave Chisnall both averaged 107.01, but Huybrechts was beaten 7–4.[69] A week later he picked up his first win in the event by defeating Raymond van Barneveld 7–5 with an average of 105.59.[70] It proved to be his only win in the event and he was relegated in week nine as he was bottom of the table.[71] In the fifth round of the UK Open, Van Gerwen highest hit his highest televised average until then of 114.91 as he overcame Huybrechts 9–2.[72]

In the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Kim needed to defeat Paul Nicholson to keep Belgium in the tie. He fell 3–0 down, but Nicholson missed a total of six match darts allowing Kim to win 4–3. In the deciding doubles match Ronny took out an 86 finish on the bull to see them reach the semi-finals.[73][74] There, Ronny lost 4–3 to Taylor and Kim lost 4–2 to Adrian Lewis to oust Belgium from the tournament.[75] Huybrechts' first final of the year came in July at the 13th Players Championship and he lost 6–5 to James Wade after leading 3–1 and 5–3.[76] A week later he reached the final of the European Darts Open, but was defeated 6–2 by Robert Thornton.[77] A third final of the year without success came at the 18th Players Championship when Alan Norris ousted him 6–1.[78] Huybrechts won his first title of 2015 at the European Darts Grand Prix by coming back from 5–2 down against Peter Wright to triumph 6–5, hitting checkouts of 157 and 140 in the process.[79] A 10–9 win over three-time BDO world champion Martin Adams set up a rematch with Van Gerwenin the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam, but Huybrechts was unable to repeat his heroics from 12 months earlier as he was thrashed 16–4.[80]

2016[edit]

After taking a 2–1 set advantage over David Pallett in the opening round of the 2016 World Championship, Huybrechts lost six consecutive legs to be beaten 3–2.[81] He was thrashed 9–2 by Michael van Gerwen in the fifth round of the UK Open.[82] Kim and Ronny knocked out Scotland's Gary Anderson and Robert Thornton in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, before losing to the Dutch pairing of Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-finals.[83] Huybrechts was beaten 10–8 by Gerwyn Price in the first round of the World Matchplay, but reached the final of the International Darts Open where he missed seven championship darts to allow Mensur Suljović to triumph 6–5.[84] A 2–1 win over Ian White and 3–0 whitewash of Stephen Bunting saw Huybrechts reach the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix for the first time. He took the first set against Anderson without reply, but lost nine of the next twelve legs to be defeated 3–1.[85] Another quarter-final followed at the Players Championship Finals and he was 9–7 up on Peter Wright. He missed double 10 to complete a 128 finish for the match and would be beaten 10–9.[86]

2017[edit]

Huybrechts didn't drop a set in reaching the third round of the 2017 World Championship, but fell 3–0 down to Phil Taylor. He punished missed match darts from Taylor to take two sets, but would be defeated 4–2.[87] Huybrechts averaged 110 during a 10–1 thrashing of Ted Evetts in the fourth round of the UK Open and progressed to his first quarter-final in the event with a 10–9 win after Joe Cullen missed one match dart.[88] Huybrechts himself then missed two match darts as Alan Norris knocked him out 10–9.[89] He lost 6–3 in the final of the seventh Players Championship to Daryl Gurney.[90]

Personal life[edit]

Huybrechts' brother, Ronny, also competes on the PDC circuit and has won the Belgium Masters in 2010 and the Belgium National Championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011.[91][92] They are both competing together for Belgium since 2013 in the World Cup of Darts, reaching the semi-finals twice (2015,2016) and the final once (2013).

Kim and his wife Dana had their first child in 2014 Ashley-Mae Huybrechts (2).

Career finals[edit]

PDC major finals: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Runner-up 1. 2012 Players Championship Finals England Taylor, PhilPhil Taylor 6–13 (l)

PDC team finals: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Country Teammate Opponents in the final Score[N 1]
Runner-up 1. 2013 World Cup of Darts  Belgium Ronny Huybrechts England (Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis) 1–3 (s)
  1. ^ a b (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

World Championship results[edit]

PDC[edit]

Nine-dart finishes[edit]

Kim Huybrechts televised nine-dart finishes
Date Opponent Tournament Method Prize
14 November 2014 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen Grand Slam of Darts 3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12

References[edit]

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External links[edit]