Dirk van Duijvenbode claims first PDC title in Players Championship event at Super Series 3

Dirk van Duijvenbode overcame David Evans, Jelle Klaasen, Jeff Smith, Krzysztof Ratajski, Scott Mitchell, Andy Boulton and Martijn Kleermaker en route to securing his first ranking title in the PDC in Niedernhausen on Monday

Last Updated: 26/04/21 9:45pm

Dirk van Duijvenbode’s stock continues to rise

Dirk van Duijvenbode won the first PDC ranking title of his career in Monday’s Players Championship 11 at PDC Super Series 3 in Niedernhausen.

The ‘Abergenius’ overcame Martijn Kleermaker 8-6 in the decider.

The Dutchman enjoyed a remarkable rise up the PDC rankings in 2020, including reaching his first televised final at the World Grand Prix, and has continued that form into 2021 as he scooped a maiden ProTour title.

Victory over Kleermaker means Van Duijvenbode becomes the 85th player in history to win a PDC ranking event.

But it was not plain sailing for Van Duijvenbode over his compatriot in the final. The 28-year-old started brightly as he clinched the opening two legs, but was pegged back immediately at 2-2 by Kleermaker, including a 109 checkout.

Van Duijvenbode immediately re-established a two-leg lead at 4-2, with the pair then trading the next four legs before Kleermaker found another break of throw and a show-stopping 140 checkout to level at 6-6.

Again Van Duijvenbode rallied, and broke back immediately before a nervy final leg saw him clinch the title on D16, with Kleermaker missing five darts to force a decider.

Martijn Kleermaker enjoyed an impressive run throughout the day

Martijn Kleermaker enjoyed an impressive run throughout the day

“We were both nervous,” said a delighted Van Duijvenbode. “When I thought I could finish it, I was more nervous than him, and then when he needed to stay in it he was more nervous.

“I was in great form the last two series and thought I would win a title but I didn’t. The last two days I have been poor, so I went into today just hoping I would win the first round.

“On the one side I know I need to play better, but on the other it is great to win when not playing your best.

“Sometimes you have to win on a bad day, but I always want to play well and that is what I think about – and then it all comes together.”

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The day started for Van Duijvenbode with a 6-3 victory over David Evans, before he posted his highest average of the day – 105.9 – in a brilliant performance to beat Jelle Klaasen 6-2.

Following this were three 6-4 victories over Canada’s Jeff Smith, Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and England’s Scott Mitchell as he booked his place in the semi-finals.

There he met 48-year-old Andy Boulton, where the Dutchman strung together an impressive spell of three-straight legs late on as he edged into the final a 7-5 winner.

Kleermaker, who was also playing in his first PDC ranking final after securing a tour card in 2020, kicked his day off with a 101.6 average in a 6-3 victory over John Henderson.

Following this, he posted an impressive 6-5 win over German No 1 Gabriel Clemens, before seeing off Luc Peters 6-4 and Sunday’s champion Michael Smith 6-3.

Meanwhile, Michael van Gerwen struggled to capture his top form, falling to Gino Vos 6-1 in the second round.

The action in Niederhausen concludes on Tuesday with the final day of PDC Super Series 3.

Barney withdraws after feeling unwell

Raymond van Barneveld, who took ill at a Players Championship event in March, was forced to withdraw on Monday afternoon. The five-time world champion pulled out after feeling unwell.

The Dutchman had started the day on a positive note, recording a 101 average in a first-round victory over Steve Brown.

2021 Players Championship 11 – PDC Super Series 3 Day Three

Last 16
Andy Boulton 6-1 Chas Barstow
Damon Heta 6-5 Chris Dobey
Scott Mitchell 6-2 Robert Thornton
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Rob Cross 6-5 Jason Lowe
Brendan Dolan 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Martijn Kleermaker 6-3 Michael Smith
Ritchie Edhouse 6-1 Lewis Williams

Andy Boulton 6-5 Damon Heta
Dirk Van Duijvenbode 6-4 Scott Mitchell
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Rob Cross
Martijn Kleermaker 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse

Dirk van Duijvenbode 7-5 Andy Boulton
Martijn Kleermaker 7-5 Brendan Dolan

Dirk van Duijvenbode 8-6 Martijn Kleermaker

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