Krzysztof Ratajski and James Wade win Players Championship weekend titles
Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert among the names to secure World Matchplay spot with just one qualifying event remaining
Last Updated: 24/06/19 11:49am
Krzysztof Ratajski and James Wade claimed Players Championship titles on a weekend that also saw several players deal places at next month's World Matchplay.
Ratajski, already assured of a Blackpool debut, stormed through Saturdays field, averaging more than 100 in six of his seven victories to win his fourth PDC title.
The Polish ace had already accounted for Glen Durrant, Jamie Hughes and James Wilson to reach the final where he was too good for UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall.
Ratajski, who won three PDC titles in 2018 despite not being a Tour Card holder, dominated the final against a slightly below-par Aspinall who will also make his Matchplay debut next month.
"I feel really good about this win, I am very satisfied with how I played," Ratajski said, who beat Aspinall 8-3 in the final to maintan a 100 per cent record in ranking finals.
"Every match I played I averaged around 100 or more, but even with that sometimes it was very difficult and I won some close games.
"I think I have been a little unlucky this year even though I played really well. Even when I play super my opponents sometimes play better.
"Of course, I believe I am able to win the World Matchplay if I play on a high level like I did today."
2019 Players Championship winners
|Michael van Gerwen|
|Jeffrey de Zwaan|
On Sunday, it was the turn of the Machine to motor to victory as Wade claimed his fourth ranking title of the year, denying Ratajski a second career weekend double with victory over the Pole in the semi-final.
The Premier League semi-finalist has enjoyed a brilliant last seven months that started with titles at the World Series finals and European Championship in November.
This year he already won three Players titles in April and he added another by beating fast-emerging Portuguese thrower Jose de Sousa in the final to equal his best ever tally of ranking titles in a calendar year, having also won four in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
"Yesterday [Sunday] after I lost I looked at a picture of my son on my phone and that inspired me to win today," Wade said.
"The final wasn't a great game, in fact I wouldn't say I played very well today which is ironic but maybe today will boost me into a bit of form and I can do some damage at the World Matchplay."
De Sousa, who won his PDC Tour Card for the first time in January, backed up his run to the quarter-finals of the Danish Darts Open on his European Tour debut in Copenhagen last weekend with a run to his first ranking final.
The Portuguese No 1 defeated Nathan Aspinall and Jeffrey de Zwaan on his way to the semi-finals, where he ran out a 7-5 winner over Dimitri Van den Bergh to end the Belgian's hopes of a title that would have secured a Matchplay debut for The Dreammaker.
A number of players were vying for the 16 ProTour Order of Merit places in the Blackpool event ahead of the cut-off on June 30, with 14 players in contention for three places at the conclusion of Sunday's event.
Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert have secured a first Matchplay appearance while Stephen Bunting, John Henderson, Max Hopp, Mervyn King and Darren Webster will be back in Blackpool.
Vincent van der Voort, James Wilson and Kyle Anderson currently occupy the final three spots, but Anderson's hopes were dealt a blow as he suffered an opening round loss to Ryan Searle.
Keegan Brown and William O'Connor lead the chasing pack of 11 players who will play in the Czech Darts Open across the weekend of June 28-30.
You don't have to wait long until darts is back on Sky Sports with nine days of coverage from Blackpool and the World Matchplay. It starts on Saturday July 20 and the final is on Sunday July 28.