Gabriel Clemens is ready to make a big splash at the Grand Slam of Darts.

The German Giant is one of the most exciting new talents on the PDC Pro Tour. Clemens impressed in 2018 and has built on that in 2019, reaching the German Darts Masters final and performing well across the board.

Victories over Harry Ward, Adam Hunt, Jonny Clayton and Ricky Evans saw the Saarland star through to his first Grand Slam of Darts.

In an exclusive chat with dartsnews.com, Clemens reflected on the joy of claiming a Wolverhampton berth.

“It was an awesome feeling because I get the opportunity to play another major this year. After not reaching the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix, it was great to get this chance and it’s a big success for myself,” said the 36-year-old.

Kais Bodensieck/PDC

Photo: Kais Bodensieck/PDC

Challenges ahead

Clemens, despite being a relatively junior member of the tour, has never bowed out in the first round of a ranked PDC major. Having made the last 64 of the World Championship, last 32 of the UK Open and last 16 of the Players Championship, the Grand Slam group stage will not faze him.

He has been landed a tough group alongside Daryl Gurney, Brendan Dolan and BDO high-flyer Richard Veenstra. Despite that, the totemic Teutonic talent has been backed by many to succeed. The man himself rates his chances more modestly.

Clemens said: “They all are great players. Daryl, as number six in the world, will definitely be the favourite of that group. Also Brendan has had a great year by winning two players championships and Richard has a lot of experience.

“Nonetheless I’ll try to play my best and then we’ll see what happens.”

Mixed bag

It hasn’t been entirely rosy for Clemens, however. He failed to kick on in European Tour events, and a number of promising runs at events stopped short of the final stages, while the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix were out of his reach.

However, the now-world number 48 (a ranking set to rise after the Grand Slam) has made huge strides throughout the season. Spots at the Players Championship Finals and World Championship are secured, and he will retain his Tour Card comfortably.

“I think I should be satisfied with it. It could be better, could’ve been worse. I feel good making my own game more consistent, but also I had a few disappointments by losing matches with really good averages,” Clemens surmised.

“All things considered, it has been a satisfactory year for me and it’s not finished yet!”

Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe

Photo: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe

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Author: Ed McCosh