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The 2023 Superbet Poland Darts Masters begins in Warsaw on Friday, as the sport’s biggest names compete in the inaugural World Series of Darts event in the Polish capital.

The first staging of the Poland Darts Masters will take place in front of a sell-out crowd at COS Torwar in Warsaw from July 7-8, with 16 players competing for £60,000 in prize money and the fourth World Series title of 2023.

Friday’s first round will see the eight PDC stars take on eight East Europe representatives, as Poland’s number one Krzysztof Ratajski prepares to take centre stage against fourth seed Rob Cross.

Ratajski has enjoyed a welcome return to form in 2023, winning his ninth PDC ranking title in April, before combining with Krzysztof Kciuk to register a world-record Pairs average of 118.10 at last month’s World Cup of Darts.

The former World Matchplay semi-finalist is now relishing the chance to pit his wits against 2018 World Champion Cross in front of a partisan home crowd, as he bids to create history on home soil in an event where tickets sold out in hours when released in April.

“I am very happy that we have the first historic PDC tournament in Poland,” said Ratajski, ranked 19th on the PDC Order of Merit.

“I think this tournament will have a very positive impact on the development of darts in Poland, and the ticket sales show how much the fans wanted to see such an event live.

“I’m very positive about the weekend. The preparations went very well, but I’m expecting a tough match against Rob. I know I will have to play at the highest level to have a chance to win.

“It would be amazing to lift this title and of course I dream of such an achievement. It will be very difficult because I am playing against the best players in the world, but I also know that it is possible.”

; Interwetten European Darts Matchplay 2023

World Champion Michael Smith is among the eight PDC representatives making the trip to Poland this weekend, and the St Helens star has been pitted against another of the four home hopes, World Cup representative Kciuk.

Smith heads to Warsaw in bullish mood after averaging 111 on his way to last weekend’s European Darts Matchplay quarter-finals, in his first competitive outing with a new set of darts.

“I’m happy with the way I’m playing. I’m feeling confident,” insisted second seed Smith, the winner of January’s inaugural Bahrain Darts Masters.

“I’ve only been playing with these darts for seven days, but it’s about your mindset, not the darts. If my mindset is right, I will win most matches.

“I last changed my darts about ten years ago, but I’m a different person to the one I was ten years ago. I’ve got a stronger mindset, stronger belief.

“I want to be ready to produce a strong performance in Poland, and I want to be ready for the World Matchplay, so I’m going to be really focused.”

Top seed Gerwyn Price will also face home opposition in the shape of TV debutant Lukasz Waclawski, who came through a 175-player field in last weekend’s Polish qualifier to confirm his big stage bow.

US Darts Masters champion Michael van Gerwen begins his bid for back-to-back World Series titles against UK Open semi-finalist Adam Gawlas, whose Czech compatriot Karel Sedlacek takes on Belgian number one Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Elsewhere, world number six Luke Humphries will open his challenge against newcomer Nándor Major, the winner of last month’s Hungarian qualifier.

; Interwetten European Darts Matchplay 2023

Humphries has featured in all three World Series of Darts events in 2023, and he warmed up for this weekend’s showpiece by celebrating his fifth European Tour title in Trier on Sunday.

“To pick up my fifth European Tour title last weekend was a big moment,” claimed Humphries, a US Masters semi-finalist in New York last month.

“I think my game is probably in the best shape it has ever been in. Last year I won five titles, but I personally think I am playing better than I was last year.

“It’s a privilege to be here and be part of these massive events and I’m really looking forward to it.

“These are great tournaments to be a part of because they’re not just about the darts, we’re trying to grow the sport as a whole in different parts of the world.”

The remaining last 16 ties will see Nathan Aspinall play Croatia’s Boris Krcmar, while Danny Noppert makes his first World Series appearance of 2023 against Tour Card Holder Radek Szaganski. Following Friday’s opening night, the Poland Darts Masters will conclude with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper Saturday evening session.

The tournament will be broadcast live on Viaplay in Poland and through the broadcaster’s other territories, including the Netherlands and Nordic & Baltic region. Further global coverage will include DAZN and PDCTV (excluding subscribers based in Germany, Austria & Switzerland).

Coverage on ITV4 in the UK will be from 2100 BST on Friday and Saturday. Information for ticket holders
Doors open at 1800 on Friday and Saturday ahead of a 1900 start.


Fans attending on Saturday are advised to leave additional travel time due to another large event being held in the same area.

2023 Superbet Poland Darts Masters
Draw Bracket


(1) Gerwyn Price v Lukasz Waclawski
Nathan Aspinall v Boris Krcmar
(4) Rob Cross v Krzysztof Ratajski
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Karel Sedlacek
(2) Michael Smith v Krzysztof Kciuk
Danny Noppert v Radek Szaganski
(3) Michael van Gerwen v Adam Gawlas
Luke Humphries v Nándor Major

Friday July 7 (1900 CEST, 1800 BST)
First Round

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Karel Sedlacek
Danny Noppert v Radek Szaganski
Luke Humphries v Nándor Major
Nathan Aspinall v Boris Krcmar
Gerwyn Price v Lukasz Waclawski
Michael van Gerwen v Adam Gawlas
Rob Cross v Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael Smith v Krzysztof Kciuk

Saturday July 8 (1900 CEST, 1800 BST)


Quarter-Finals
Price/Waclawski v Aspinall/Krcmar
Cross/Ratajski v Van den Bergh/Sedlacek
Smith/Kciuk v Noppert/Szaganski
Van Gerwen/Gawlas v Humphries/Major

Semi-Finals
Price/Waclawski/Aspinall/Krcmar v Cross/Ratajski/Van den Bergh/Sedlacek
Smith/Kciuk/Noppert/Szaganski v Van Gerwen/Gawlas/Humphries/Major

Final
v

Format
First Round – Best of 11 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 11 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 13 legs
Final – Best of 15 legs

—-ENDS—-

Images: PDC







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