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Sensational De Sousa claims European Grand Prix glory

Jamie Shaw in European Tour 18 Oct 2020
De Sousa claims his first Euro Tour title (Photo by Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe)

Jose De Sousa secured his first European Tour title in magnificent fashion with an 8-4 victory over Michael van Gerwen in the final in Sindelfingen on Sunday.

Portugal’s number one lived up to his “Special One” nickname by going the distance in only his third European Tour campaign since joining the circuit in 2019.

The £25,000 title sees him climb six places to 37th on the PDC Order of Merit as well as clinching a debut spot in next month’s Grand Slam.

“It can’t describe my feelings because it’s unbelievable,” said De Sousa. “I’m really emotional.

“Every title I win, it’s a dream because it’s so difficult, but this is my biggest title and I’m very, very happy.

“I thank the crowd, they were wonderful and this title is for me and all of them. I want to share it with them and all the people who support me; my management and my family.

“I can do anything right now, that’s what I think. It doesn’t matter who I play against, I just play my game. I know that I can do it and I have so much confidence in my game.”

Having whitewashed Germany’s Ricardo Pietreczko to begin his challenge on Saturday, De Sousa followed up with a 6-3 Third Round defeat of World Grand Prix winner Gerwyn Price.

He then averaged 98 in a 6-4 Quarter-Final defeat of Darius Labanauskas, before surviving one match dart from Ian White in a thrilling Semi-Final decider.

De Sousa averaged almost 106 in the final, finishing eight doubles from 13 attempts and hitting seven 180s in a stunning performance.

The pair traded 84 finishes in the opening two legs and were level at two apiece before De Sousa reeled off three in a row, including an 11-darter to break, and finishes of 87 and 86.

Van Gerwen replied with two 14-darters in the next three legs, but a huge 146 checkout from De Sousa moved him 7-4 up before he wrapped up the win by taking out 88 for a 12-darter.

Van Gerwen survived missed match darts from both Vincent van der Voort and Nathan Aspinall on Sunday, but hit top form with a 170 checkout and seven doubles from 11 attempts in his 7-1 Semi-Final rout of Mensur Suljovic.

However, the Dutchman was afforded only five darts at a double by De Sousa in the final – hitting four – as he missed out on a first European Tour title of 2020 and a 33rd in total.

Suljovic staged a remarkable comeback from 5-0 down to defeat Jamie Hughes 6-5 before whitewashing Rob Cross as he reached his third Semi-Final of the season.

Defending champion White defeated his close friend Michael Smith and Dutch ace Maik Kuivenhoven en route to the Semi-Finals.

Aspinall and Darius Labanauskas joined Cross and Kuivenhoven in losing out at the Quarter-Final stage, while newly-crowned Premier League champion Glen Durrant lost out 6-3 to Kuivenhoven in the Last 16.

The PDC European Tour season concludes next weekend with the International Darts Open in Riesa, Germany, from October 23-25.

Following the International Open, the top 32 players from the European Order of Merit will form the field for the European Championship the following weekend.


European Darts Grand Prix 2020 Results

Sunday October 18

Afternoon Session

Third Round
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-3 Glen Durrant
Ian White 6-2 Michael Smith
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Joe Cullen
Jose De Sousa 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Mensur Suljovic 6-5 Jamie Hughes
Rob Cross 6-1 Martijn Kleermaker
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Vincent van der Voort

Evening Session

Ian White 6-4 Maik Kuivenhoven
Jose De Sousa 6-4 Darius Labanauskas
Mensur Suljovic 6-0 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Nathan Aspinall

Jose De Sousa 7-6 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Mensur Suljovic

Jose De Sousa 8-4 Michael van Gerwen