Mensur Suljovic claimed his first PDC ranking title at the International Darts Open after capitalising on seven missed match darts from Kim Huybrechts in a thrilling final in Riesa on Sunday evening. Suljovic has subsequently become the first ever Austrian to win a PDC ranking event after a dramatic sudden-death triumph against ‘The Hurricane’.
Huybrechts claimed the opening leg of the final with an assertive 15-dart hold, but Suljovic levelled proceedings by eventually nailing D5, with the Belgian a distance behind. The Austrian then secured a precious break of throw in the third leg, clinically converting a two-dart 96 finish to break in 14-darts.
The ninth seed appeared poised to win his third successive leg after posting a sublime 167, but Huybrechts broke back instantly with a wonderful 132 checkout, culminating on the bullseye.
Despite this, Suljovic remained unperturbed. He left himself on 91 after just 9 darts, before clinching a third consecutive break of throw with a 13-darter via D16. However, the succession of breaks were ended in the sixth leg, as the Austrian pinned his favourite D14, for a 14-dart hold.
Huybrechts responded impressively however. For the second time in the contest, he converted a fantastic 132 finish (T20, T16, D12) to reduce the arrears to 4-3, before punishing an abject leg from Suljovic to restore parity at four apiece.
World number one Michael van Gerwen has withdrawn from this weekend’s HappyBet International Darts Open due to medical reasons.
The draw for the tournament was made earlier this week, therefore Van Gerwen’s scheduled second-round opponent, either Ryan Meikle or Michael Rasztovits, will receive a bye through to the last 16.
MvG joins May’s HappyBet European Matchplay winner, James Wade, in withdrawing from the tournament in Riesa, therefore Peter Wright will now be the number 1 seed in Van Gerwen’s absence.
Kim Huybrechts and Dave Chisnall also make up the top four seeds, alongside last year’s winner Michael Smith. As a consequence of Van Gerwen’s withdrawal, the game involving Jelle Klaasen and either Krzstof Ratajaski or Chris Dobey has been moved to the evening session on Saturday.