September 11, 2023 - Ratajski Wins On The Euro Tour

A Week In Darts – September 11, 2023 – Ratajski Reigns On The Euro Tour

The PDC World Championship may still be three months away, but the race to Alexandra Palace is already heating up with several players securing their spots in the tournament this past weekend. The PDC European Tour also made its return after a summer break with a familiar name back in the winners’ circle. Here’s our look back at the last seven days in the world of darts.

RATAJSKI REIGNS AGAIN ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR

Krzysztof Ratajski ended his four-year wait for another big stage crown in the PDC as he won the German Darts Open on Sunday.

Poland’s number one claimed his first European Tour title back in 2019, winning the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, and doubled his tally with a victory at the Sparkassen-Arena, in Jena, at the weekend.

Ratajski’s run to the title began with wins over Ricky Evans (6-3), top seed Dave Chisnall (6-2) and Danny Noppert (6-3) to reach the semi-finals.

In the last four against Josh Rock, the ‘Polish Eagle’ produced his best stuff in the closing stages, following up a 126 finish on the bull with legs of 13, 14 and 14 darts to come through a 7-4 winner.

Ratajski punished early missed doubles from Stephen Bunting in the final and went on to complete an 8-3 victory to scoop the £30,000 top prize.

“I have waited for this moment for four years,” Ratajski said. “I am delighted. I didn’t expect it, because in the last two or three months I haven’t played well, but this weekend I played better.

“Stephen missed a few very important doubles early on. I took those legs and that gave me the confidence to play well.

“This win puts me into the top 16 on the ProTour Order of Merit. That was my target this year, so now I must find another target!”

Meanwhile, reigning World Masters champion Wesley Plaisier equalled the best performance by an associate member qualifier on the European Tour – beating Ross Smith and Luke Humphries on his way to the semi-finals.

ALLY PALLY SPOTS SNAPPED UP ON THE CDC TOUR

The 2023 CDC (Championship Darts Corporation) Pro Tour season reached its conclusion with the final three events in Brownsburg at the weekend.

With three places in the PDC World Championship being awarded to the highest ranked player from the United States and Canada, and the next highest ranked player on the rankings, there was a strong line-up for the season finale.

Alex Spellman strengthened his lead at the top of the rankings by winning the first event of the weekend, whilst the other two titles went to Canada’s David Cameron and recent World Seniors Matchplay winner Leonard Gates.

Spellman finished top of the rankings to seal a debut at Alexandra Palace in December, with fellow American Stowe Buntz also clinching a first World Championship appearance in second spot. Cameron, in fourth, has also qualified as the highest ranked Canadian on the rankings.

AROUND THE BOARD

After a three-year break due to the pandemic, the PDC Asian Tour made its return in 2023 and an expanded season of 24 events concluded with a triple header in Qingdao, China at the weekend.

Hong Kong’s Lok Yin Lee won the opening event on the Saturday, before Reynaldo Rivera, of the Philippines, doubled up for the season by winning the second tournament of the day.

Japan’s Tomoya Goto posted a 100-plus average to win the final of Event 24 on Sunday, which helped him secure one of four spots in the PDC World Championship.

Lourence Ilagan, of the Philippines, topped the final Asian Tour Order of Merit to seal a return to London, and he will be joined by fellow countrymen Paolo Nebrida and Rivera.

Elsewhere, Johan Engstrom won his first WDF ranking title in 11 years after beating Jonas Masalin 5-2 in the final of the Finnish Open on Saturday.

The two men’s titles were shared around at the weekend with Viktor Tingstrom claiming the Finnish Masters, his maiden WDF title, after seeing off Dane Brian 5-1 in the decider.

Home favourite Kirsi Viinikainen completed a perfect weekend by completing the double in the women’s events.

After beating Anne Kreivi 4-0 in the Finnish Open final, the fourth seed then whitewashed Kaisu Rekinen 4-0 to win the Finnish Masters title.

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