Peter Wright ended a five-year wait for a European Tour title at the 2022 German Darts Open in Jena with…
Peter Wright ended a five-year wait for a European Tour title at the 2022 German Darts Open in Jena with an 8-6 victory over Dimitri Van den Bergh in the final.
Wright, competing in just his second tournament since returning from gallstones surgery last month, produced a series of superb displays to scoop the £25,000 top prize at the Sparkassen-Arena on Sunday.
The reigning World Champion defied a spirited display from Van den Bergh to pick up his seventh European Tour title and a first since 2017.
Wright made a blistering start to the final, following up finishes of 120 and 160 with an audacious ten-darter on the bull to establish a 3-2 lead.
Van den Bergh responded with a 12-darter to level at three apiece – sparking a run of three straight legs for the Belgian – although misses at tops and then the bull for a 161 checkout in consecutive legs enabled Wright to restore parity at five-all.
The colourful Scot rattled in a 13-darter to regain the lead, and although Van den Bergh again delivered a 12-dart riposte, Wright followed up a 68 combination with a 13-dart hold to clinch victory
“Dimitri is a fantastic player. He’s the future of darts, but the old guy is still doing it!” claimed Wright, celebrating his first PDC ranking title since February.
“Last week I really fancied going to Hungary and winning the tournament, but I went out first round. I wasn’t good enough.
“Jena is a fantastic place to play though. The crowd get behind me and inspire me to play fantastic darts, and we wouldn’t be anywhere without these amazing fans.”
Following his early exit in Hungary last weekend, Wright returned to winning ways with a 6-3 victory over Raymond van Barneveld on Saturday night, and saw off Jonny Clayton by the same score-line to continue his challenge on Sunday afternoon.
The world number two produced a dominant display to sweep aside Ross Smith 6-2 in the Quarter-Finals, before ending Joe Cullen’s quest for back-to-back European Tour titles with a 7-4 victory in the Semi-Finals, posting ton-plus averages in both matches.
Van den Bergh, featuring in his second European Tour final of the year, endured an eventful evening in Jena – undergoing a medical assessment after he felt unwell following his Quarter-Final win.
The former World Matchplay champion, who eased past David Evans on Saturday afternoon, fought back from 4-1 down to dump out Luke Woodhouse in the Last 16, producing an 11-darter in the decider after Woodhouse had missed the bull for victory.
The 28-year-old then converted three ton-plus checkouts to defeat a wasteful Krzysztof Ratajski in the last eight, before easing past Jose De Sousa 7-3 in the Semi-Finals.
De Sousa posted a 101 average in seeing off Steve Beaton on Sunday afternoon, before pinning a 126 checkout on the bull to stun world number one Gerwyn Price in a thrilling Quarter-Final.
Meanwhile, Cullen won through to the Semi-Finals with a trio of deciding-leg wins, landing a sensational 136 checkout to edge out Joe Murnan, while surviving match darts in wins over Daryl Gurney and top seed Luke Humphries.
Humphries – a four-time winner on the European Tour in 2022 – kicked off Sunday’s action by dispatching Dave Chisnall with a 105 average, only to squander five match darts in his quarter-final clash against Cullen.
Price and Smith also suffered last eight exits despite landing 106 averages in wins over Martin Schindler and Damon Heta earlier in the day, while Ratajski’s European Championship qualification hopes remain in the balance following his defeat to Van den Bergh.
German Darts Open 2022 Day Three Results
Sunday September 11
Luke Humphries 6-3 Dave Chisnall
Daryl Gurney 5-6 Joe Cullen
Peter Wright 6-3 Jonny Clayton
Damon Heta 3-6 Ross Smith
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Martin Schindler
Steve Beaton 3-6 Jose de Sousa
Rob Cross 5-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
Luke Woodhouse 5-6 Dimitri van den Bergh
Luke Humphries 5-6 Joe Cullen
Peter Wright 6-2 Ross Smith
Gerwyn Price 5-6 Jose de Sousa
Krzysztof Ratajski 3-6 Dimitri van den Bergh
Peter Wright 7-4 Joe Cullen
Dimitri van den Bergh 7-3 Jose de Sousa
Peter Wright 8-6 Dimitri van den Bergh