Mensur Suljovic won his first PDC major television title on Sunday night, as Austrian was crowned the Unibet Champions League of Darts champion. Suljovic produced a career-best performance as he beat world number two Gary Anderson 11-9 in the final. The world number seven was untouchable all weekend, as Suljovic went unbeaten throughout the weekend something even Phil Taylor couldn’t manage last year. Suljovic won all three group games as he beat Anderson 10-3 in his first game of the weekend, then followed up with wins over Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall. In the semifinal, Suljovic would face the five times champion of the world Raymond van Barneveld. Suljovic would grab the early momentum, forcing RvB to try and chase Suljovic down. With Suljovic leading 10-9 Barneveld through the kitchen sink at Suljovic, as RvB hit a 180 followed by 150 to leave 32 after just nine darts. With the Motorpoint Arena on the feat singing Barney Army, Suljovic cooly stepped up and casually checked out 160 only to sent the arena into meltdown.
After Beating Phil Taylor in the semi-final, Gary Anderson would face Suljovic again, as both players were playing in their first Champions League of Darts final. The final was a closer affair than the group game the pair played on Saturday, Anderson gave it everything he has, but Suljovic wouldn’t be denied as he sealed an 11-9 win over the double world champion. The Serbian born Austrian ace sunk to his knees in front of the three thousand strong crowd, the emotion was etched all over Suljovic face for the world to see. The £100,000 title comes only weeks after the birth of Suljovic’s second child, his daughter Ema now his first PDC major televised title rounded off a fairytale summer for Suljovic.
“I feel perfect,” said Suljovic. “I never thought I could win this tournament.
“Gary is a brilliant player, a gentleman and I’ve got so much respect for him but I played well, and I never gave up. I played well and was focused on my game, but I never thought I could beat Gary twice.
“I couldn’t dream of being in the semi-finals, but I gave it my best and fought so hard. I was so happy to get to the final against the best players in the world.”
After the final Gary Anderson was full of praise for Suljovic, labelling him “Nuts.”
He’s been phenomenal for the last two years, and he’s been the best player this weekend. He deserves it – he’s been the player of the tournament and smashed the lot of us.
“It’s been a great event. It’s a couple of weeks since I won in Perth and I got better as the event went on. I struggled against Mensur, then played better on Saturday evening and played well today.
“I did alright in the final and I’d have loved to have made it ten-all and then see what happened in the last leg, but I had three clear darts at double ten and made a complete mess of it, so we’ll never know.”