Which players have a lot of prize money to defend in 2024?

The new dart season is upon us again, which means that once more, many ranking tournaments will be played in the coming months.

For some big names, this period is crucial to defend their prize money, which they earned for their ranking two years ago.

Dimitri van den Bergh

In early 2023, Dimitri van den Bergh reached the semifinals at the World Darts Championship and UK Open. Since then, however, Van den Bergh has shown shaky form at both TV tournaments and on the Pro Tour. At the World Darts Championship, the Belgian was immediately eliminated by Florian Hempel 3-2 in sets.

Because of this dip in form, the 2020 World Matchplay champion fell out of the top 10 and dropped to spot 14 in the world rankings. Van den Bergh has to perform this year at tournaments such as the World Matchplay, where he reached the semifinals two years ago, to maintain his position in the world rankings and avoid slipping even further.

Danny Noppert

Danny Noppert won the UK Open in 2022 and achieved other good results, including a semi-final place at the World Matchplay. However, 2023 was a quieter year for Noppert at major tournaments, but he did win two Players Championships and reached the semifinals of the European Championship.

At the 2024 World Darts Championship, however, Noppert was again eliminated early. Noppert is currently still in 7th place in the world rankings, but will drop out of the top 16 towards the end of the season if he does not successfully defend his 2022 results.

Jose de Sousa

Jose de Sousa won the Grand Slam of Darts in 2020 and then turned in a good season in 2021. However, De Sousa has failed to reach a quarterfinal at a major tournament since the 2022 World Matchplay. The Portuguese, meanwhile, has already dropped to spot 25 in the world rankings, but looks set to drop even further, as he is not yet certain to participate in the World Matchplay or the World Grand Prix.

Dirk van Duijvenbode

Dirk van Duijvenbode started 2023 excellently with three Players Championship titles and two finals on the Euro Tour. Since the fall, however, Van Duijvenbode has been struggling with a severe shoulder injury, which caused him several first-round exits at major tournaments, including the World Darts Championship.

Two years ago, the current world number 13 was still in the quarterfinals of the World Matchplay and the semifinals of the European Championship. If Van Duijvenbode cannot defend these results, 'Aubergenius' risks falling out of the world's top-16.

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