Michael Smith wins his first title of 2021 at Players Championship 10 in Niedernhausen
Michael Smith claimed his first title of 2021 with victory over Ross Smith in Sunday’s Players Championship 10 at PDC Super Series 3 in Niedernhausen.
The world No 8 followed up two titles last November with another Players Championship triumph, as he produced consistently high-standard darts throughout Sunday’s event.
He followed up a trio of 6-3 wins – against Geert Nentjes, Luke Woodhouse and William O’Connor – by averaging a sensational 114.5 in defeating Premier League joint-leader Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 in the last 16.
Smith then saw off Martin Schindler 6-3 in the quarter-finals before overcoming Aaron Beeney 7-4 in the semis, and eventually took victory in the final by the same three-leg margin.
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The opening 10 legs of the final were shared as both Smiths held throw on five occasions, with Ross taking out a 104 finish as well as a 13-darter and a 14-dart finish.
He was then denied a chance to break when waiting on 40 in leg 11 as Michael took out 130, before the former World Youth champion followed a 180 with a 90 checkout for a 12-darter in the next to claim the first break and a 7-5 cushion.
Michael Smith then posted his fifth 180 of the game to be first to a finish in leg 13, and held his nerve on double 10 to close out the win.
“It’s great to get the win,” said the St Helens star. “Ross played well in the final, but the 130 finish was important and then I left 90 in the next leg and took it out for a 12-darter. I knew then that it was game over”
Having not been selected for the Premier League, Smith admitted he had additional motivation going into his tie with Van den Bergh.
“I felt like I should be in the Premier League,” he said. “No disrespect to the 10 players who are in, but I felt like I should be in ahead of them and that was a point to myself that I’m still good enough.”
Former world champion Raymond van Barneveld made the quarter-finals, meaning the Dutch legend took another step towards qualification for July’s World Matchplay, having also won a Players Championship earlier this year.
2021 Players Championship Ten – PDC Super Series 3 Day Two
Jose de Sousa 6-0 Jermaine Wattimena
Ross Smith 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Berry van Peer 6-0 Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
Steve Lennon 6-3 Maik Kuivenhoven
Aaron Beeney 6-5 William Borland
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Michael Smith 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Martin Schindler 6-4 Jose Justicia
Ross Smith 6-3 Jose de Sousa
Berry van Peer 6-3 Steve Lennon
Aaron Beeney 6-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael Smith 6-3 Martin Schindler
Ross Smith 7-2 Berry van Peer
Michael Smith 7-4 Aaron Beeney
Michael Smith 8-5 Ross Smith
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