Jelle Klaasen is staying positive despite a slide down the PDC rankings.

The 2016 World Championship and UK Open semi-finalist has had a difficult couple of years. Injuries and a sharp downturn in form mean that the Dutchman, formerly entrenched in the top 16, now sits 28th in the PDC Order of Merit. Klaasen knows that he is playing well enough to turn things around, however.

“I’m playing some good darts, but missing too many crucial doubles,” he told Live Darts.

“I’m staying positive. You need to finish games as well, and that’s not what I’ve been doing, but I will get there.

“I feel more confident, but now I have to win the games – that’s the next step.”

“I felt good”

The UK Open presented the most recent chance to pick up some crucial ranking money. Klaasen failed to seize that opportunity, bowing out to Madars Razma. Despite a bitter end to his Minehead bid, the Cobra remained positive.

“I felt good. In the beginning of the game, I missed too many doubles. In the end I had chances, I didn’t take them, and Madars played better than me so he deserved to win.

“In the beginning of the game, I lost the game,” he said.

European bid

Klaasen struck a very upbeat figure in the Live Darts discussion. Despite admitting that he will fall further in the rankings, the former BDO world champion has a plan to get back into the big time. The European Tour is a big part of those plans.

“I probably will drop out (of the top 32) for a moment, but that’s only more motivation to do better and get back into the top 32. I really don’t think about it.

“I think if you qualify for a few Europeans, it’s easier to qualify for the Matchplay, the Grand Prix. You can do it [on the Pro Tour] but you have to get quarter finals, semi-finals, all the time.

“If you do well just once on the Europeans you can have four, five, six thousand on your ranking. So I think the Europeans are becoming more important.”

Stefan Straßenburg/PDC Europe

Photo: Stefan Straßenburg/PDC Europe

A humbling experience on debut in the Premier League and his subsequent dip has left plenty wondering if Klaasen can ever get back to his best. The man himself believes that he is as much as one good weekend away from being back where he wants to be.

“I never give up. Just one good result, and you can be in the top 16 of the Order of Merit.

“I don’t look at the rankings, I just want to play well. If I play my own game, I can still qualify for every tournament,” he asserted.

DRA backing

The Goor native also took some time to discuss recent fines levied by the DRA. Darts’ disciplinary body has come in for criticism from all corners, particularly for a fine given to Mickey Mansell for allegedly failing to play to the best of his ability. Klaasen’s opinion is very much against the grain.

“I think it’s good. I think they should fine some more players!” he said.

“There’s so much gamesmanship, but there are no rules for it. Where’s the limit for when you fine someone and when you don’t?

“I think they should make better rules, and then they can make fines easier.

“If you did that, you get a fine. Now it’s like, OK, you’re allowed to do it, it’s just how far you can go.

“Sometimes you think ‘Oh, I’m going to tell the official he’s doing this’.

“But he rules that there’s no rule against it. Sometimes it’s a thin line, the officials should have some more power, and make the decisions. If you do that one more time, you get a fine, or something like that.”

Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe

Photo: Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe

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Author: Ed McCosh