Mensur Suljovic Won Austrian Darts Championship, Defeating van Gerwen

Mensur Suljovic delighted his home crowd by producing a stirring comeback from 6-3 down to defeat Michael van Gerwen 8-7 and claim glory in the Austrian Darts Championship on a thrilling night in Vienna.

Suljovic had never previously registered a big stage victory in his home city, but he rectified that particular statistic with a series of emphatic displays to scoop the £25,000 top prize at the Multiversum Schwechat.

Van Gerwen had won his past five encounters against Suljovic, but the Austrian fought back from 2-0 and 6-3 down in a pulsating finale to clinch his third European Tour crown - the sixth PDC title of his career.

tungsten dart image

'The Green Machine' raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of 13 and 11-dart legs before Suljovic levelled, although the Dutchman regained the initiative with a sparkling 10-darter in leg five.

The next two legs went with throw before MVG fired in back-to-back 14-darters to stretch his lead to 6-3, although 'The Gentle' reduced the arrears to 6-4 after the world No 1 squandered four darts for a 7-3 advantage.

Suljovic then converted clinical 121 and 86 checkouts to restore parity at six apiece to the delight of the Austrian crowd, but Van Gerwen moved to the cusp of victory via double 16, after Suljovic missed double 15 for a 150 outshot.

Suljovic closed out a 15-dart hold to force a decider, although Van Gerwen had the advantage of throw and stole a march by piling in a timely maximum to leave 84 after 12 darts.

However, the world champion spurned one dart at the bull and Suljovic pounced; pegging double 14 to complete a two-dart 70 combination which sealed a momentous victory.

"This is the best win of my career," said Suljovic. "It's the first time I've ever won a game on stage in Vienna and I won the event - it's absolutely brilliant.

For Van Gerwen, he was left to rue missed opportunities as he suffered defeat in a second successive European Tour final. The top seed eased past Kyle Anderson in his opener, before beating Jeffrey de Zwaan, Ricky Evans and Peter Wright on Sunday to reach the final.

tungsten dart image

Van Gerwen reeled off four consecutive legs from 3-2 down to defeat his compatriot De Zwaan, before recording a nine-minute whitewash of Evans in the quarter-finals.

In the last four, MVG defied an astonishing ten maximums from Wright to inflict Snakebite's third semi-final defeat on the European Tour in 2019, in a contest which saw all 13 legs go with throw.

However, Van Gerwen was on the wrong side of a deciding-leg defeat against Suljovic in the final and the 30-year-old was left frustrated after failing to close out the win.