Mensur Suljovic defied all odds as he was crowned the Unibet Champions League of Darts winner on Sunday evening in Cardiff. The Austrian was priced at 40/1 by betting partners Unibet & 14/1 to just get out of the group. He defied all those odds as he sensationally went unbeaten on his route to clinching his first TV title as he defeated Gary Anderson 10-3 in his opening group match as he stunned the two time back-to-back world champion. Following that, he edged out the World number three Peter Wright 10-8 & Dave Chisnall 10-5 to book his place in the Semi-Finals. The Austrian had been playing down his chances as the weekend progressed in his post-match interviews, but his chances of claiming his first TV title were coming closer to becoming reality. He came up against Raymond van Barneveld in the Semi-Finals and what a match it was, It was nip n’ tuck all the way as there was no seperating the pair with Suljovic edging clear. The most dramatic part of the match came where Van Barneveld fired in nine near perfect darts as he left D16 after just three visits as he looked to force a deciding leg at 10-10 and sensationally he never even got a chance as the Austrian fired in an amazing 160 finish to claim a 11-9 victory and a place in his second TV final of his career following his run to the final of the European Championship in 2016.
In the final, Suljovic faced a rematch with Gary Anderson, and what a battle it was. Both players were very strong on their own throw from start to finish and despite Suljovic only averaging in the last 80’s it was on his own throw where he was deadly on the scoring stakes and his D14 hitting. With the match poised at 10-9 with Anderson looking to hold throw to force a deciding leg, the Scot missed three clear darts and Suljovic was left with three darts on his favourite double which is of course D14, he picked out the double vierzehn (14) to claim his first TV title and what a dream weekend it has been for the Austrian ace. He sunk to his knees after the tremendous victory as he had his post-match interview on the stage.
“I feel perfect,” said Suljovic. “I never thought I could win this tournament.
“Gary is a brilliant player, a gentleman and I’ve got so much respect for him but I played well and I never gave up. I played well and was focused on my game but I never thought I could beat Gary twice.
“I couldn’t dream of being in the semi-finals but I gave it my best and fought so hard. I was so happy to get to the final against the best players in the world.”
😍 When a 40-1 outsider beats everyone to win = amazing scenes!
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) September 17, 2017
Unibet Champions League of Darts
Sunday September 17
Final Group Matches
Dave Chisnall 5-10 Mensur Suljovic – Mensur Suljovic qualifies as Group B winner
Gary Anderson 10-9 Peter Wright – Gary Anderson qualifies as Group B runner-up
Adrian Lewis 2-10 Raymond van Barneveld – Raymond van Barneveld qualifies as Group A runner-up
Michael van Gerwen 9-10 Phil Taylor – Phil Taylor qualifies as Group A winner
Mensur Suljovic 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 11-6 Phil Taylor