The PDC World Series of Darts Finals takes place this weekend in Austria.
Twenty four players will compete over three days in the Salzburgarena all with their eyes set firmly on the prize.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the five separate Masters events spanning three continents were sadly cancelled so the entire tournament will be held instead over one weekend in Salzberg.
The field consists of the top eight players in the PDC order of merit who are each seeded. Joining them are the twelve invitees to the original Masters events and the four who recently qualified in Niedernhausen.
Oh….and they’ll be playing in front of fans!
Let’s take a look at the opening fixtures….
Glen Durrant v Dimitri Van den Bergh
WINNER PLAYS: Michael van Gerwen
Probably the tie of the round. Certainly not the one Mac Elkin was hoping for as manager of both players but definitely one the fans want to see. ‘Duzza’ has been in fantastic form of late topping the Premier League table and Dimitri is still on a high after his World Matchplay victory so this could be an absolute belter with the prize being a match against the world number one.
Jeff Smith v Fallon Sherrock
WINNER PLAYS: James Wade
The Canadian will be looking to silence the Queen of the palace and book a second round tie with James Wade. Sherrock earned her invitation for the World Series by virtue of her history making achievements in last years World Championships and will be looking to add the name of Jeff Smith to her list of scalps.
Krzysztof Ratajski v Mensur Suljovic
WINNER PLAYS: Michael Smith
With Gary Anderson withdrawing from the event for personal reasons it opened the door up for Ratajski. The ‘Polish Eagle’ reached yet another pro tour final in Germany last week and is showing the form that propelled him into the worlds top sixteen. Suljovic will feel confident playing in his home country and looking for a repeat result when he defeated the Pole in the quarter final of last years World Series of Darts finals.
Simon Whitlock v Steve Beaton
WINNER PLAYS: Rob Cross
Whitlock is a regular invitee when it comes to the World Series of Darts. The Aussie had a good run the last time he was on the big stage going all the way to the quarter finals of the recent World Matchplay. The ‘Bronzed Adonis’ qualified for the tournament last week in Germany but with only won four wins from his seventeen meetings with the ‘Wizard of Oz’ and defeat in the last three Beaton will be keen stop that mini rot.
Ian White v Damon Heta
WINNER PLAYS: Peter Wright
The World Champion eagerly awaits the winner of this match up between ‘Diamond’ and ‘The Heat’. The Aussie goes into the event on a high after securing his maiden players championship just days ago at the Autumn Series.
White reached the quarter finals of this tournament last year and tends to produce his best stage performances for the continent. Heta of course famously tasted success in last years World series of darts. Playing on home soil he defeated Rob Cross in a deciding leg shootout to win the Brisbane Masters title and after last weeks victory in Germany will have his tail well and truly up.
Cody Harris v Dave Chisnall
WINNER PLAYS: Daryl Gurney
‘Chizzy’ is the highest ranked player in the tournament not to be seeded. The World number 10 goes up against the only New Zealand representative in the event, Cody Harris and will be confident of setting up a tasty second round clash with Daryl Gurney.
Vincent van der Voort v Joe Cullen
WINNER PLAYS: Gerwyn Price
Both players booked their places in this tournament by virtue of qualification last week. The big Dutchman enjoyed a good run in this years World Matchplay losing out in an exciting quarter final tie breaker to Glen Durrant. Cullen last tasted success last summer by winning the European Matchplay title but was in outstanding form throughout the Autumn series. The ‘Rockstar’ was consistently impressive over the five days reaching two semi finals and a quarter final so will be looking to continue that good form going into this event.
Harry Ward v Darius Labanauskas
WINNER PLAYS: Nathan Aspinall
The pair have only met on three occasions with the Lithuanian number one, Labanauskas edging the head to head 2-1. Sadly this could be one of the last times we see ‘Big H’ on our screens with the recent revelation from the young Staffordshire man that he will be handing his PDC tour card in at the end of the year. However Ward has assured fans that he will give it his everything and will be looking to go out on a high.