Players Championship: Adrian Lewis triumphed in the Players Championship 20 in Barnsley on Sunday, earning his first ranking victory in more than three years.
The 8-4 victory over Boris Koltsov in the championship match marked the two-time world champion’s heartwarming return to the winners’ circle.
Lewis has had a difficult time after winning the Players Championship in March 2019, when he dropped out of the top 32 in the world.
Nevertheless, he displayed class by picking up seven victories on Sunday, the third of four days of competition at the Barnsley Metrodome, to win the £12,000 championship.
Lewis’ participation in the Betfred World Matchplay, which starts in Blackpool on Saturday, is assured by the victory. The 2013 runner-up, who missed out last year for the first time since his debut in 2004, is set to return for an 18th appearance.
“I’ve worked hard for this, so I’m really happy,” he said. “It’s been amazing – I made a semi on the first day and that gave me the confidence to turn it on today.
“It’s more important, because I thought I might not make the Matchplay – it was hard. After the first day when I got to the semis, it takes a bit of pressure off.
“I played alright yesterday and lost to Matt Campbell, and then today I thought ‘right, come on, just give it what you’ve got’.
“I always believe in myself. If everything clicks, I’ve got a great chance – I can lose to anybody and I can beat anybody!”
Lewis had to put up a fight in the first stages of the day, overcoming Shaun Wilkinson in a decisive leg before defeating and Nick Fullwell by scores of 6-4.
He subsequently defeated Pete Burgoyne with an average of over 102, and in the quarterfinals, he defeated reigning World Grand Prix winner Jonny Clayton with an average of 99.97.
Lewis defeated Nathan Aspinall in the semi-finals, coming back from a leg down to win 7-2, and then defeated Koltsov in the championship match.
Noppert wins his third PDC championship
At Players Championship 19, Danny Noppert won his third PDC ranking championship on Saturday by outlasting Andrew Gilding 8-6 after rallying from behind.
In his fourth ranking final, Gilding was down 6-3 and appeared to be headed for his long-awaited first PDC championship, but the UK Open champion stopped him.
Noppert’s late recovery allowed him to reel off successive victories, his first Players Championship triumph since 2018.
“It was a long time ago since I last won a Players Championship title,” said Noppert, who takes home the £12,000 winner’s prize.
“I won this title through fighting and never giving up, if you believe in something then you can achieve it.
“I am a happy man to finally have my moment on the floor. There are 128 fantastic players here so to win this means a lot.
“Now, I am looking forward to all the tournaments coming up.”
The penultimate tournament before the deadline for World Matchplay qualifying, Event 21, brings the string of four Players Championship competitions to a close on Monday.
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