EXCLUSIVE: Krzysztof Ratajski determined to enjoy "honour" of PDC World Matchplay debut

The long road to PDC World Matchplay glory, for Krzysztof Ratajski, starts with a single step.

The Polish number one has had a whirlwind year. Winning three PDC Pro Tour events without even holding a Tour Card propelled Ratajski into the limelight. He has since won another event, and sealed a World Matchplay debut. Even as a 66/1 outside shot in some places, the Polish Eagle is being backed as a genuine dark horse for the title.

Ratajski is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, however. Speaking exclusively to dartsnews.com, the former World Master revealed his delight at making it to the famous Winter Gardens.

"Each major tournament is a great event, so I'm very happy that I'll be able to participate in it," said Ratajski.

"This is a great honour, for which I've had to work hard in the last 12 months.

"I'll do what I can to get the best out of myself."

EXCLUSIVE: Krzysztof Ratajski determined to enjoy
Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Full focus

If he can crack that particular code, Ratajski has the tools to see off his first round opponent. Darren Webster has been blighted by injury, and his form has suffered badly in recent times. Marked as one of the most vulnerable seeds before the draw was made, Webster could be seen as the ideal first opponent for the debutant. Ratajski was keen to show respect to his counterpart.

"The tournament is played by 32 players who have earned enough money to be there. Darren is among them, which means he deserves his place," the 42-year-old pointed out.

"Everyone is able to play a sensational match; therefore every opponent must be approached with the same concentration.

"It doesn't matter in the tournament if a player is seeded one or 16, or isn't seeded at all."

Challenges ahead

His route to the title is littered with challenges. Rob Cross is a potential second round opponent, with Gerwyn Price and Ian White among the possible quarter-final foes. Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney are also in his half of the draw. Ratajski wants to outdo them all, but refuses to look beyond Webster.

"Starting a tournament, I always think about winning the entire tournament. But I concentrate on the current match.

"There's no point in wondering who I'll play if I win," he said.

It wasn't all that long ago that Ratajski was in the winners' circle. An 8-3 win over Nathan Aspinall was enough to seal the Players Championship 17 title.

"For sure, the win adds confidence," Ratajski observed. "But even if that win wasn't there, I know I'm in good shape.

"Even in losing matches, my form is good, or even very good at times."

Sweeping up the majors

Looking beyond the World Matchplay, Ratajski is keen to keep building on his impressive early Pro Tour successes. World Matchplay and World Grand Prix spots are wrapped up; the Pole wants to be at them all, if possible.

"The important thing for me is to keep my place in the Pro Tour top 16.

"That gives me the opportunity to play European Tours without qualification events, which can be very tough," Ratajski explained.

"The end of the season is where all the major tournaments accumulate.

"It would be nice to do well at them!

"I would love to play in them all, but I still have to qualify for the European Championship and Grand Slam of Darts.

"For sure, I will also try to get to the World Series final. But it is not so important to me because it's not a ranking tournament."

Ratajski's bid to make the season-ending majors would be dealt a huge boost if he can have the same impact at the World Matchplay that he has had on the floor since switching to the PDC. It'll be a surprise if he goes the distance - but not too big a surprise.

EXCLUSIVE: Krzysztof Ratajski determined to enjoy
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

0 Comments

Most read

Full ITV 4 TV Guide for the 2020 World Series of Darts Finals

The live darting action continues this weekend with the World Series of Darts Finals taking place at the Salzburgarena in Aus...

Ashton claims massive scalp with opening round win over Smith in early results on Day One of PDC Autumn Series

Already there has been a big result in the PDC Autumn Series with Lisa Ashton sending Michael Smith home early on Day One wit...

PDC Autumn Series Order of Merit after Day Five

The PDC Autumn Series will be played from September 12-16. The results will count towards the PDC Autumn Series Order of Meri...

Timeline: How the BDO slowly bled to death after 47 years

What had been in the air for quite some time after a financial problems, messing around with tournament draws and a bad comme...

Van Gerwen dumped out in second round of PDC Autumn Series Day Two by Heta

Michael van Gerwen is out in the second round of the PDC Autumn Series after Damon Heta claimed a big scalp on Day Two.Van Ge...

Van der Voort complains about dartboard at World Series of Darts Finals: 'I bet to any money in the world something is different'

Vincent van der Voort booked a 6-0 whitewash victory over Joe Cullen to secure a place in the second round at the World Serie...

Results Day One - PDC Autumn Series: Wright sees off Razma in rout to win title (Live Blog)

The 14th Players Championship event of the season will be played during the first day of the PDC Autumn Series. All results c...

Draw released for World Series of Darts Finals Qualifier: Clayton set to face Ashton, Beaton against Van Duijvenbode

The draw has been released for the World Series of Darts Finals Qualifier which begins six days of action in Niedernhausen wi...

Lewis decides to "step away" from darts temporarily after PDC Autumn Series withdrawals

Jamie Lewis has decided to step away from darts temporarily after he withdrew from the last few days of the PDC Autumn Series...

Van Gerwen makes a return to old darts for PDC Autumn Series

Michael van Gerwen has decided to go back to his old darts, which he used before switching to darts manufacturer Winmau.The w...

Read more

Just in

Kenny remains unbeaten to claim PDC Home Tour II Group Nine, joined by Dobey and Bates in next phase

Nick Kenny is through the penultimate group of PDC Home Tour II after remaining unbeaten throughout Wednesday with six wins i...

Five-time world champion Van Barneveld makes comeback on PDC circuit in 2021

One year into his darts retirement, Raymond van Barneveld has revealed plans to make his PDC comeback next season.The five-ti...

De Zwaan admits lack of confidence: "I have come to an age when I start to ask myself whether I am good enough"

Jeffrey de Zwaan has been lauded as one of the top talents in darts but 2020 has brought a year which has seen bad form and i...

Adams on rejecting Grand Slam invitations before 2015 debut: "I'm sure if I meet Barry in the future, we'll have a laugh about it"

Martin Adams despite being one of the leading figures in the history of the BDO did not make his Grand Slam of Darts debut un...

Kenny leads PDC Home Tour II Group Nine after unbeaten start

The ninth PDC Home Tour II group is towards the halfway mark with Nick Kenny leading the way after an unbeaten start to proce...

Read more