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Luke Littler knocked out in second round of Players Championship in Wigan as Gary Anderson claims victory

Luke Littler was knocked out in the second round of the Players Championship event in Wigan; Littler won the tournament on his debut at the series on Monday;watch Littler play on Thursday as Glasgow hosts Night Three of the Premier League Darts from 7pm live on Sky Sports

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Luke Littler beats Ryan Searle on his Players Championship debut in Wigan to claim the title on Monday

Luke Littler was unable to repeat his debut Players Championship tournament victory as he was knocked out in the second round on day two of the event in Wigan.

The 17-year-old hit a nine-darter on his way to claiming victory on Monday, but was beaten 6-5 by Radek Szaganski on Tuesday in the last 64.

The legs went in line with the throw until Szaganski hit a run of form, taking three legs in a row and a 5-3 lead.

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Luke Littler was agonisingly close to hitting his second nine-darter of the night on his Players Championship debut in Wigan

Littler hit back to bring the score to 5-5, but Szaganski stayed calm to take the deciding leg and a 6-5 win.

Despite beating Littler, Szaganski lost 6-2 to Ryan Joyce in the last 32. Littler had started the day with a 6-4 victory over former UK Open Champion Danny Noppert.

Anderson finds incredible form to win at PC2

Gary Anderson took victory at Players Championship 2 after an incredible display all day, beating Ryan Searle 8-5 in the final.

Anderson found three breaks of throw to gain the advantage, back-to-back 180s in the final leg helping him onto the way to victory.

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The Scotsman performed well throughout the whole tournament in Wigan, beating Daniel Klose, Adam Gawlas, Daryl Gurney, Andy Baetens, Raymond van Barneveld, and Peter Wright along the way, missing three chances at D12 to complete nine-darters too.

He found solid averages through the day too, averaging a whopping 117 against Baetens, 108 against Wright, and 101 against Searle.

"It's always nice to win these events, especially the way I played today," said Anderson, who won three Players Championship titles in 2023.

"Yesterday I felt like a kid at a new school, I was nervous, but today I felt more settled and it showed in my performances.

"It's been a long day and I'm happy to come out on top against a great player in Ryan.

"We've practiced together a couple of times since the World Championship, we spur each other on.

"He's a great guy, he just gets on with it and plays darts, he puts the effort in so it's nice to see him do well.

"I'll just carry on doing what I do, I'm in a good place in my life and I'm enjoy playing darts.

"I'm looking forward to playing the European Tour events as well this year and I want to keep my form going."

Littler eyes qualification for World Matchplay and Grand Prix

Despite the loss on Tuesday, after his win in Wigan on his Players Championship debut on Monday, Littler spoke of his eagerness to qualify for this year's World Matchplay and World Grand Prix events.

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Michael van Gerwen edged Luke Littler 6-5 in a dramatic last-leg decider on night two of Premier League Darts

The two tournaments see the top 16 players on the PDC Order of Merit qualify as seeds, with the top 16 players on the ProTour Order of Merit, not to have already qualified, making up the 32 unseeded.

"Me and my manager know what I have to do to qualify for the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix so, after [winning] the first event, I'm not far off," Littler said.

"I know I've got about 13 or 14 ProTour [events] before the Matchplay, but it's always good to get off to a good start. I want to try and qualify for everything."

He added: "I know my game is there and I can beat anyone. I know I can win one of these, which I have done at my first event.

"It takes huge pressure off because I don't want to be going into the last few [events] before the Matchplay having to win one or two of them. This has helped me even more now."

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Luke Littler insists he will enjoy mooted celebrations after the 17-year-old won on his Players Championship debut

Littler was beaten in the final of the Dutch Darts Masters by Michael van Gerwen the following week and has also impressed in the Premier League, reaching the semi-finals of night one in Cardiff before losing the final to Van Gerwen in Berlin.

The World Series and Premier League events do not count towards the world rankings, meaning the Players Championship events are the first chance for Littler to earn points since his sensational run to the World Championship final.

What is next for Littler?

Littler is back in action on Thursday when the Premier League Darts heads to the OVO Hydro in Glasgow for Night Three.

Littler faces Price and Nathan Aspinall takes on Humphries, while Rob Cross plays Michael Smith and Van Gerwen takes Wright.

Watch the Premier League live on Thursday from 7pm on Sky Sports Action. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW.

There's plenty more for Littler to look forward to - see his potential 2024 schedule.

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