Sublime Suljovic takes another title

Mensur Suljovic enjoyed a fitting end to his stunning September as he claimed glory in Players Championship 20 with a thrilling final victory against Stephen Bunting at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel.

The Austrian ace, who had won his first televised title at the Champions League of Darts just a fortnight earlier, produced a string of fantastic performances and knocked out World Champion Michael Van Gerwen on the way clinching his third PDC title.

Suljovic fired in a nine-darter in Friday’s run to the semi-finals, when he lost out to eventual Players Championship 19 winner Rob Cross – but the world number seven refused to be denied 24 hours later, despite trailing Bunting 3-0 in Saturday’s decider.

Bunting, appearing in his first PDC final for 18 months, opened up that three leg cushion with the aid of a brilliant 160 checkout in the first leg.

But Suljovic hit back, using just 55 darts to win the next four legs, including a superb 121 checkout on the bullseye.

Former Lakeside Champion Bunting levelled up at four apiece but Suljovic won the next two legs as he secured the £10,000 first prize with a 112 finish.

“I feel brilliant,” said Suljovic, who takes on Ian White in the first of the Unibet World Grand Prix, which begins today.

“I felt like I played better darts yesterday but I am very happy with how everything is going at the moment. I’m playing well but tomorrow is a different day and a different tournament.”

Suljovic had started the day with a 6-0 win against Ted Evetts, which he followed up with a 6-2 defeat of Richie Corner.

He then edged out Justin Pipe 6-5 before seeing off Alan Norris with a 6-1 success to set up a quarter-final clash with Van Gerwen.

Suljovic proved too strong for the world number one as he enjoyed a 6-3 triumph to reach the semi-finals, where he defeated James Wilson 6-4.

Bunting’s charge to the final saw him continue a mini resurgence of late, following runs to the quarter-finals and semi-finals in Barnsley in August.

The former World Grand Prix semi-finalist enjoyed early victories against John Bowles, James Richardson and White, before a 6-4 win over Yordi Meeuwisse saw him reach the last eight.

There, he defeated Vincent van der Voort 6-1 to move into the semi-finals, where he claimed a 6-3 success over Latvia’s Madars Razma.

Razma was competing in his first ProTour semi-final after defeating Chris Dobey, Terry Temple, Keegan Brown, Ronny Huybrechts and Gerwyn Price as he enjoyed his best run in his debut season as a PDC Tour Card holder.

Huddersfield’s Wilson fell just short of reaching his second Players Championship final after seeing off Berry Van Peer, Jeffrey De Zwaan, Simon Stevenson, Robert Thornton and John Henderson.

Van der Voort reached the quarter-finals for the second consecutive day, while Scotland’s Henderson eliminated Friday’s tournament winner Cross during his run to the last eight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *