Mensur Suljović

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Mensur Suljović
Personal information
NicknameThe Gentle
Born (1972-03-05) March 5, 1972 (age 46)
Tutin, SFR Yugoslavia
Home townVienna
Austria
Darts information
Playing darts since1989
Darts16g Bull's Mensur Suljović
LateralityRight-handed
Walk-on music"The Best" by Tina Turner
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO1999–2007
PDC2007–
Current world ranking8
BDO majors - best performances
World Ch'shipLast 16: 2002
World MastersQuarter Final: 2001
PDC premier events - best performances
World Ch'shipLast 16: 2011, 2016, 2018
World MatchplayRunner Up: 2018
World Grand PrixSemi Final: 2015, 2017, 2018
Grand SlamSemi Final: 2018
Premier League9th: 2018
European Ch'shipRunner Up: 2016
UK OpenQuarter Final: 2014, 2015
Players Ch'ship FinalsSemi Final: 2015
MastersSemi Final: 2018
Champions LeagueWinner (1) 2017
Other tournament wins
Czech Open 1999
Dortmund Open 2000
GDC Halle 2007
GDC Hurth bei Koln 2007
GDC Ramada Hotel Koln 2008, 2008
GDC Wiesbaden 2007
German Gold Cup 2003
Hungarian Open 2003
Newark Xmas Open 2010
PDC Austrian Darts Open Austrian Qualifier 2012
PDC World East European Qualifying Event 2013
Soft Tip Bullshooter European Championship 1999, 2000, 2004
Soft Tip Bullshooter World Championship 2005
Soft Tip EDU European Championship 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005
Soft Tip FECS European Championship 2008, 2009
Soft Tip SDWF European Championship 2004

European Tour Events

Danish Darts Open 2018
International Darts Open 2016

Players Championships

Players Championship (DUB) 2017

World Series of Darts

German Darts Masters 2018

Mensur Suljović (Serbian Cyrillic: Менсур Суљовић) (born March 5, 1972 in Tutin) is a Serbian-born Austrian darts player. He moved to Vienna in 1993 and learned to play darts at his brother's café. He plays in Professional Darts Corporation events having previously played in the British Darts Organisation.

Suljović is nicknamed The Gentle; he is noted for his unorthodox throwing action and favouring double 14 as his finishing double where possible. Suljović is the number one Austrian player in the PDC and reached his first major final in 2016 at the European Championship.

He went one step further in winning his first Major TV Title at the 2017 Champions League of Darts, defeating two-times world champion Gary Anderson on two occasions.

Career[edit]

BDO[edit]

He first appeared at the Winmau World Masters in 1999, reaching the last 16. He defeated Ronnie Baxter before losing to eventual winner Andy Fordham. Two years later he went one step further, beating Colin Monk and Martin Adams en route to the quarter finals, losing to Raymond van Barneveld, who like Andy Fordham in 1999, went on to win the tournament. He made his only BDO World Darts Championship appearance in 2002, beating quickfire Dutchman Vincent van der Voort in round one, but lost in the last 16 to Mervyn King. He made one more appearance at the World Masters in 2003, but lost in the Last 64 stage to Welshman John Burton.

PDC[edit]

Suljović qualified for the 2008 PDC World Darts Championship through the German Darts Corporation Order of Merit. He defeated Andy Smith in round one but lost in the second round to eventual winner John Part. He then qualified for the inaugural European Championship where he beat Roland Scholten in the first round, but lost in the second round to Robert Thornton.

Suljović topped the GDC rankings for a second straight year and played in the 2009 PDC World Darts Championship where he beat Peter Manley in the first round and lost 4-0 to Mark Dudbridge in the second round. With other results falling his way, Suljovic moved into the top 50 of the PDC Order of Merit.

In 2009 the GDC was replaced with the European Order of Merit, but Suljovic still continued to perform well, including another second round showing in the European Championship, again beating Scholten in the first round but losing to Colin Lloyd. His consistent performances on the European tour earned him qualification for the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship but he lost in the first round to 2004 finalist Kevin Painter.

Suljović at the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship

His performances in 2010 did not match previous years. He attempted to qualify for the 2010 UK Open but was unsuccessful and also failed to qualify for the 2010 European Championship.

However, Suljović qualified for the 2011 PDC World Darts Championship and defeated Michael van Gerwen by 3 sets to 1 in the first round. Following that, he upset world #2 James Wade 4-2 in the last 32.[1] In the round of 16, he was beaten 4–0 by Wes Newton and bowed out of the competition.

Suljović did not advance beyond the first round of the 2012 World Championship, as he was defeated 1–3 by Paul Nicholson.[2] He represented Austria with Dietmar Burger in the 2012 PDC World Cup of Darts and together they were beaten 1–3 by the Netherlands in the second round, having defeated New Zealand in round 1.[3] Suljović centred the rest of his 2012 season around the five new European Tour events, qualifying for four of them.[4] Out of those he lost in the first round in three and in the other, the German Darts Championship, he beat James Wade 6–5, before losing to Kim Huybrechts 3–6.[5] He also qualified for the European Championship via the European Order of Merit, but was defeated by Jerry Hendriks 2–6 in the first round.[6] Suljović was knocked out in the semi-finals of the Central European Qualifier for the 2013 World Championship and began 2013 ranked world number 59.[4][7]

Suljović played in his third World Cup of Darts and second with Maik Langendorf in February 2013, but they finished bottom of Group A, losing to Japan 4–5 and England 2–5.[8] He lost in the last 16 of the first European Tour event of 2013 to John Part 5–6.[9] At the next event, the European Darts Trophy, Suljović had his best ever result on the PDC circuit by reaching the semi-finals.[10] He saw off Scott Rand (6–5), Michael Smith (6–4), Andy Smith (6–0) and Kim Huybrechts (6–4), before losing to Wes Newton 6–4.[9] Suljović was beaten 5–4 by Mark Lawrence in the first round of the UK Open,[11] and 6–4 by Adrian Lewis in the first round of the European Championship.[12] Suljović qualified for the World Matchplay for the first time in his career, but lost 10–4 to Raymond van Barneveld in the first round.[13] In November, he won through to the semi-finals of the 13th Players Championship where he lost 6–1 against Brendan Dolan.[14]

2014[edit]

In the 2014 World Championship, Suljović missed four darts to take a 2–0 set lead against Mark Webster in the first round with the match going into a deciding set. With the set on throw with Webster three legs to two ahead, Suljović attempted to finish 57 but hit consecutive single twos to fail to set up a double, and watched Webster step in to take the match.[15] He increased his ranking by 14 places over the year to be world number 45.[16] The first PDC major quarter-final of his career came at the UK Open by seeing off Keegan Brown, Tony Randall, Robert Thornton and Jamie Lewis.[17] Suljović played Adrian Lewis and, although both players averaged 98, Lewis was much more clinical on his doubles to win 10–3.[18] Suljović partnered Rowby-John Rodriguez for the first time in the 2014 World Cup of Darts and they lost both of their singles matches in the second round against the Belgium brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts to exit the event.[19] At his home event the Austrian Darts Open, Suljović produced four fine displays to reach the semi-finals where he was defeated 6–3 by Vincent van der Voort.[20] At the European Championship he lost 6–2 to Jamie Caven in the first round.[21]

2015[edit]

Despite having a higher average (98.91) and higher checkout percentage (60%) than his opponent Michael Smith in the first round of the 2015 World Championship, Suljović lost 3–1 with each set going to a deciding leg. His average was the highest of all 32 first round losers and the fifth highest of all 72 players.[22] Suljović and Rodriguez were eliminated in the last 16 of the World Cup for the second year in a row, this time to Germany.[23] Suljović came from 5–2 down against Terry Jenkins in the opening round of the World Matchplay to win 11–9 and then enjoyed a big win by taking out reigning world champion Gary Anderson 13–9. In his third major PDC quarter-final, Suljović was 12–5 down to James Wade, but responded to trail just 13–11. He missed one dart at double 14 in the next leg to reduce the gap to a single leg and instead went on to be defeated 16–11.[24] He exacted revenge over Wade in the next major by beating him 2–1 in sets in the opening round of the World Grand Prix. Suljović was a set down but won six unanswered legs aided with checkouts of 148 and 129 to eliminate the two-time winner of the event.[25] His form in the major events this year continued as he progressed to his third successive quarter-final with a 3–0 whitewash over Simon Whitlock.[26] Vincent van der Voort missed 11 darts to take a 2–0 lead and Suljović responded by taking nine consecutive legs and wrapped up the match with a 170 finish in a win which he described as the best moment of his career.[27] Suljović fought for a narrow 2–1 lead in his first major semi-final, but Robert Thornton won three sets in a row to end his tournament with a 4–2 defeat.[28]

On the 2015 Pro Tour, Suljović had previously reached the last four at the first European Tour event of the year, the German Darts Championship and at the seventeenth Players Championship, losing to Michael van Gerwen and Ian White, respectively.[29][30] At the final European Tour event, the European Darts Grand Prix, Suljović caused another upset with a 6–4 second round win against world number one Michael van Gerwen, with an average of 109.7.[31] He then saw off Mervyn King 6–5 and Joe Cullen 6–4 to reach another semi-final, where he missed one dart at the bullseye in the deciding leg to complete a 132 finish against Wright in a 6–5 loss.[32] Suljović concluded his year by beating Jamie Caven 6–3, Michael Smith 10–3 and White 10–6 at the Players Championship Finals to reach his second major semi-final of the year, where he was thrashed 11–1 by Adrian Lewis.[33]

2016[edit]

Suljović and his second round World Championship opponent David Pallett both missed darts at doubles to complete nine-dart finishes in a close match in which there was never more than a set between the players.[34] Suljović took the final set by three legs to one, but was thrashed 4–0 by Adrian Lewis in the third round.[35] He lost in the semi-finals of the Dutch Darts Masters and a UK Open Qualifier, and at the UK Open itself was knocked out in the fifth round 9–5 by Mark Webster.[36] Suljović and Rodriguez got to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, but only won one leg between them as they lost both of their singles matches to the top seeds of England.[37]

He lost 11–5 to Phil Taylor in the second round of the World Matchplay, but had still done enough to enter the top 16 on the Order of Merit for the first time.[38] In September, Suljović won his first ranking title by claiming the International Darts Open as he survived seven missed championship darts from Kim Huybrechts to win 6–5 in the final.[39] He progressed through to the final of the next European Tour event, the European Darts Trophy and, though he led Michael van Gerwen 4–2, he lost 6–5.[40] Another final followed at the 14th Players Championship, but he was whitewashed 6–0 by Van Gerwen.[41]

In the second round of the European Championship, Suljović was 8–3 ahead of Ian White and hung on to squeeze through 10–9.[42] He then produced the performance of his career to beat his idol Phil Taylor for the first time. Suljović averaged 105.50 as he eased past the 16-time world champion 10–3 and then saw off Peter Wright 11–8 to play in his first major final. Van Gerwen averaged 111.62, the highest ever in a televised final and over 25 points higher than Suljović, as he won 11–1.[43] He qualified for his first Grand Slam of Darts and had a chance of getting out his group going in to the final round of fixtures, but was defeated 5–3 by Raymond van Barneveld.[44] Suljović was now ranked the eighth best PDC player.[45]

2017[edit]

His second round tie with Mark Webster at the 2017 World Championship went to a deciding set in which Webster won all three legs to eliminate Suljović 4–3.[46] Suljović got through to the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy after Daryl Gurney missed four darts to beat him in the semi-finals. In the final Michael Smith was 3–0 up, before Suljović took four legs in a row. He was waiting on 56 at 4–4, but Smith completed a 132 finish and won the next leg to defeat Suljović 6–4.[47] Austria played England in the quarter-finals of the 2017 World Cup for the second successive year. Suljović thrashed Adrian Lewis 4–0 and Rowby-John Rodriguez lost 4–1 to Dave Chisnall, before Austria were defeated 4–2 in the decisive doubles match.[48]

Suljović won through to another European Tour Final at the 2017 European Darts Matchplay, including wins over in-form Gurney, Chisnall and Reyes, before falling to van Gerwen 6–3.[49]

At the 13th and 14th Players Championships Suljović reached the quarter-finals and the last 16 stage, losing both times in tight games 6–5.

In the next European Tour Event, in his home town Vienna, Suljović beat Ronny Huybrechts in the second round, before losing to Mervyn King.[50]

In the last European Tour Event before the summer break Suljović reached the semi-finals. Wins over Kist, Henderson and a walk-over (as his opponent Cullen withdrew in the third round) put him into the semis, where The Gentle lost to eventual champion Wright 6–3.[51]

At the famous major event of World Matchplay seventh-seed Suljović comfortably again beat Henderson and Pipe to reach his ninth major quarter-final. Having been 12–10 up against Gurney, Suljović went on to lose 13–16 in a high-quality game, with both averaging just under 100.[52]

Suljović did not participate in the Players Championships events ahead and following the World Matchplay.

In early September, Suljović lost to Beaton in the second round in the following European Tour Event.[53] A loss to Cross in the third round ended Suljović's campaign in the 2017 German Darts Grand Prix, with Cross avering nearly 110.

Suljović achieved his best run in a major TV event by winning the 2017 Champions League as a debutant. Three consecutive wins over Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall in the group phase made Suljović top the group, with the best three-dart average of all participants. In the semi-finals, the Austrian defeated Raymond van Barneveld 11–9, including a sensational 160 checkout to close out the game, with van Barneveld waiting on 32 after nine darts, after Suljović already missed tops for a 157 checkout to win at 10–8. In the final, Suljović faced Gary Anderson for the second time in the tournament. After crushing him in the round robin stage 10–3, the final proved to be a tougher affair. Another close scoreline of 11–9 in favour for "The Gentle" lead him to be crowned champion of a major TV event for the first time. His winning dart also happened to be on his beloved double 14.[54]

World Championship results[edit]

BDO[edit]

PDC[edit]

Career finals[edit]

PDC major finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Runner-up 1. 2016 European Championship Netherlands Michael van Gerwen 1–11 (l)
Winner 1. 2017 Champions League of Darts Scotland Gary Anderson 11–9 (l)
Runner-up 2. 2018 World Matchplay Scotland Gary Anderson 19–21 (l)
  1. ^ (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

PDC world series finals: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Legend
World Series of Darts (1–0)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Winner 1. 2018 German Darts Masters Belgium Dimitri Van den Bergh 8–2 (l)
  1. ^ (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

Performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
BDO World Championship DNP 2R Did not participate No longer a BDO Member
Winmau World Masters 4R RR QF DNP 2R Did not participate No longer a BDO Member
PDC World Championship Non-PDC 2R 2R 1R 3R 1R DNQ 1R 1R 3R 2R 3R 2R
World Matchplay Did not participate 1R DNQ QF 2R QF F
World Grand Prix Did not participate SF 1R SF SF
UK Open Not held Did not participate 1R QF QF 5R DNP
Premier League Darts Not held Non-PDC Did not participate 9th
Grand Slam of Darts Not held Did not participate DNQ RR QF SF
European Championship Not held 2R 2R DNQ 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R F QF 1R
Players Championship Finals Not held Did not qualify SF 1R 2R DNP
The Masters Not held Did not qualify QF SF
Champions League of Darts Not held DNQ W SF
Performance Table Legend
DNP Did not play at the event DNQ Did not qualify for the event NYF Not yet founded L# lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament

References[edit]

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  51. ^ https://www.pdc.tv/news/2017/07/02/super-wright-completes-european-quartet
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External links[edit]