MENSUR SULJOVIC secured his first European Tour title of the year as he defeated Simon Whitlock 8-3 in the final of the inaugural Danish Darts Open in Copenhagen.
The reigning Unibet Champions League of Darts champion picked up a second European Tour crown of his career, and a fifth PDC win in total, to cement his place as one of the sport’s elite stars.
The first ever staging of the tournament at the Brondbyhallen saw Whitlock reach his first European Tour final in four years, but Suljovic was the top performer of the weekend, averaging close to 100 in his three Sunday games to pick up the £25,000 prize.
Suljovic eased past Ryan Joyce 6-1 in Saturday evening’s second round, before scraping past Darren Webster 6-5 to reach the final session of the weekend.
There, the Austrian ace fought his way to a 6-4 win over Peter Wright, and then edged a 7-6 thriller against Adrian Lewis to secure his place in his first ranking final of 2018.
“I am so happy to win this title in front of such an amazing crowd,” said Suljovic, whose last European Tour triumph came at the 2016 International Darts Open.
“I am so focussed on my game, I work so hard every day to be at my best and it paid off today.
“It is always difficult to win tournaments because everyone plays so brilliantly but now I want to win more titles.”
Whitlock was in fine form throughout the weekend as he came close to his first European Tour title since 2012.
The former European Championship winner beat in-form Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena 6-3, before edging past Ricky Evans 6-5 to make the final eight.
The Australian number one then defeated Mervyn King 6-4 and Steve West 7-4 to seal his path to a first ranking final of the year.
“It’s a shame I came up just short but I’m over the moon to have made the final,” said Whitlock.
“Congratulations to Mensur, he was the best player of the weekend – I’m proud of him and I’m proud to have played in such a great tournament in Copenhagen.”
The Danish event also proved to be a success for Lewis, who recorded wins over Ted Evetts, Michael Smith, Stephen Bunting and Joe Cullen to back-up his Gibraltar Darts Trophy final berth with a place in the final four.
Brendan Dolan dumped out world number one Michael van Gerwen at the last 16 stage before going out at the hands of Steve West, who made it back-to-back semi-final appearances on the European Tour.
The PDC European Tour continues from June 29 – July 1 with the European Darts Matchplay in Hamburg, Germany with coverage to be broadcast at PDCTV-HD and through a series of bookmakers' websites worldwide.
Friday June 22
Rusty-Jake Rodriguez 6-5 William O’Connor
Ryan Joyce 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Martin Schindler
Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Wayne Jones
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Richard North
Steve Beaton 6-2 Adam Huckvale
Barry Lynn 6-5 Chris Dobey
Madars Razma 6-0 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Mickey Mansell
Scott Taylor 6-5 Robert Thornton
Steve West 6-4 Per Laursen
Peter Jacques 6-4 Paul Nicholson
Ricky Evans 6-4 Dennis Nilsson
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Ted Evetts
Cristo Reyes 6-2 Brian Lokken
Max Hopp 6-4 Dragutin Horvat
Saturday June 23
Brendan Dolan 6-4 John Henderson
Joe Cullen 6-3 Madars Razma
Gerwyn Price 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
Darius Labanauskas 6-5 Jonny Clayton
James Wade 6-4 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Darren Webster 6-5 Cristo Reyes
Simon Whitlock 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Peter Jacques
Mervyn King 6-5 Max Hopp
Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Ryan Joyce
Peter Wright 6-1 Barry Lynn
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Michael Smith
Rob Cross 6-5 Steve Beaton
Ricky Evans 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Scott Taylor
Steve West 6-4 Ian White
Sunday June 24
Peter Wright 6-1 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Darren Webster
Joe Cullen 6-4 James Wade
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Stephen Bunting
Mervyn King 6-5 Rob Cross
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Ricky Evans
Steve West 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Michael van Gerwen
Mensur Suljovic 6-4 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Joe Cullen
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Mervyn King
Steve West 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Mensur Suljovic 7-6 Adrian Lewis
Simon Whitlock 7-4 Steve West
Mensur Suljovic 8-3 Simon Whitlock