Mensur Suljovic already has his July holiday plans sorted.

The German Darts Masters and Danish Darts Open champion told Dartsnews.com about his love of Blackpool’s attractions. In between trips to the Pleasure Beach, there’s the little matter of the PDC World Matchplay for Suljovic to get stuck into. That also holds plenty of excitement for the loveable Austrian.
“I love Blackpool, it’s one of my favorite tournaments of the year,” he enthused.
”The Winter Gardens is a fabulous venue plus Blackpool is a lovely town, there’s plenty to do in between games which I like. I love to take a few hours out everyday and just walk the sea front.”
Suljovic comes into the World Matchplay in a good vein of form. The aforementioned wins in Gelsenkirchen and Copenhagen came after a spell in the Premier League. Despite suffering relegation, the Champions League of Darts champion had one of the highest tournament averages. All in all, it has been a decent start to the year for Suljovic. That said, he has his regrets.
“It’s been quite successful. I’d hoped to have shown more during Premier League, I played well enough, but you need luck in games sometimes and that didn’t happen.
“However, I’m pleased at how it went and I’m really looking forward to hopefully being in the Premier League next year.”

Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe

Photo: Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe

Grand plans

To qualify for the Premier League automatically, Suljovic would need to be in the world’s top four. Currently sixth in the Order of Merit, the Austrian could bridge the gap with a strong performance at the upcoming majors, starting with the World Matchplay. In his naturally nonchalant way, the Gentle remained coy about his ambitions.
“I don’t really set a target as far as the Order of Merit’s concerned, it’s great being number six but I think I can go further, how far?
“That depends on how I do. I’m always looking to improve, but I like to train hard and take each game as it comes,” he said.
Suljovic explained his training in greater detail, adding that some friends and fellow professionals have been giving him a hand. With the World Matchplay around the corner, preparations have been very focused.
“Preparation has gone well. I took a quick holiday with the family but still found time each day for a couple of hours of practice,” Suljovic said.
“My board goes everywhere with me. And the last week I’ve been practicing in my Club with my friend Michael Rasztovits, and the Rodriguez brothers. I spend most time on my finishing.”

The bogeyman

His first round opponent is a familiar foe, Steve Beaton. Suljovic holds his own against most players, but has a bizarrely poor record against the Bronzed Adonis. In eight previous meetings, the Gentle hasn’t won a single one. When asked whether coincidence or a struggle to deal with the world’s most consistent throw was at fault, Suljovic sat on the fence.
“I think it’s a bit of both with Steve. People have to understand that Steve’s a top top player who I have a huge amount of respect for, it’ll be close and I’ll have to be at the very top of my game to beat him,” he said.
Suljovic and Beaton meet on Sunday evening at the Winter Gardens. The winner will meet Ian White or Max Hopp. For Suljovic, who it has been argued is in a very open half of the draw, his walks on the beach could be filled with thoughts of something special brewing in Blackpool.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh