Mensur Suljovic was dragged into a battle by Michael Smith. After being 5-0 and 7-2 up, Suljovic was forced to break Smith’s throw to avoid a deciding leg.
The 10-8 victory was hard-earned, and Suljovic felt a mixture of relief and annoyance afterwards.
The sixth seed said: “It was a very hard game and I’m happy I won. I won so that’s good but I was five legs ahead and I should have got it finished.”
The Gentle notched up five 180s and two 116 checkouts. Smith replied with a 110 and a 130 during his comeback, but Suljovic prevailed with a 99.89 average.
“Michael is a very hard player so to be 5-0 up I was happy. I played well and my finishes were brilliant at the start,” he said.
“At eight-eight I thought I would lose but the 116 was super. I showed some good form and I know that the next game will be very hard too because it’s the 16 best players in the world.”
Next up for the 2017 Champions League winner is a tricky quarter-final tie against world champion Rob Cross.
A tough start for Mensur Suljovic but the Austrian progresses against Michael Smith.
Hear his thoughts from that clash… ? pic.twitter.com/TM7DFLL9vm
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 27, 2018
Tags: Mensur Suljovic | PDC | The Masters 2018
10-8 win against Michael Smith at the Unibet Masters, I’m happy and can’t wait for Sunday to play Rob Cross in the Quarter finals #Unibet180
— Mensur Suljovic (@MensurSuljovic) January 26, 2018
Author: Ed McCosh