Luke Littler’s UK Open hopes dashed by Damon Heta in the quarter-finals

Luke Littler will have to wait to win his first major title as he lost in the quarter-final of the UK Open.

The 17-year-old, who burst on to the scene with his run to the final at the World Championship over Christmas, was looking a good bet to claim the silverware in Minehead, but came up against an inspired Damon Heta.

The Australian played the match of his life, averaging 106.04, to claim a surprise 10-8 victory.

Littler has made waves in the first few months on the PDC Tour, having won the Bahrain Masters in his debut tournament in January and competing well in the Premier League, but he leaves his first major empty-handed.

He will have regrets about his defeat as despite Heta’s incredible level, Littler rallied from 8-4 down and missed two darts at his favoured double 10 to send it to a decider.

Heta said: “Credit to myself. I was up for it, sometimes I feel like that in practice so I know what it feels like.

“To come out on top against Luke Littler, who has taken the media and darts by storm, I love him to bits to be fair, it’s a massive boost for darts… but for myself I know what I am up against.


“These are the guys I need to beat.”

Littler’s exit clears the path for world champion and world number one Luke Humphries.

Humphries, aiming for a fourth successive major ranking title, demolished Masters champion Stephen Bunting 10-2 in the first quarter-final.

And the 29-year-old celebrated by going back to bed before his return to stage later on Sunday.

“I am going to go and have a sleep, I felt fatigued coming on to stage, it’s been a long five days on the road,” he said.

Ricky Evans beat Rob Cross  in Minehead
Ricky Evans beat Rob Cross in Minehead (Kieran Cleeves/PDC/PA)

“Usually I’d watch the draw but I am going to sleep.”

Ricky Evans said he was on “cloud 10” after reaching his first major semi-final by beating Rob Cross.

Cross missed a plethora of chances, including 28 darts at a double, to allow Evans to steal a 10-7 win.

“He gave me so many chances and I took them,” a tearful Evans said. “I won and I just looked at the stats and I don’t care.

“I’m on cloud 10, it’s better than nine. I am chuffed to bits and on my sister’s birthday, it’s a present for her.”