Dirk van Duijvenbode fires warning shot ahead of World Matchplay and targets first major PDC title

Dirk van Duijvenbode put on arguably his best performance of the season as he stormed to the Players Championship 18 crown in Barnsley.

The Dutchman averaged over 100 in five of his seven matches before whitewashing Gabriel Clemens 8-0 in the final. 

As well as taking the title and the £12,000 prize pot, the world number 14 also made a giant statement of intent just over one week away from the start of the World Matchplay.

After his scintillating victory on Friday, the Dutchman said: "The top three at the moment are not in the best form they have ever been, and so the rest start fancying their chances.

"Luke Humphries has won loads of titles recently and I can do it too. I beat him today, and I have gone on to win the title.

"If you want to beat me now, you have to play well."

Van Duijvenbode has won three Players Championship events during his career, but is yet to claim a major televised PDC crown.

His closest attempt came at the 2020 World Grand Prix, when he fell to Gerwyn Price in the final.

Meanwhile, his only appearance at the World Matchplay came in 2021 when he lost in the first round against Dave Chisnall.

When asked about his chances of success in Blackpool, the 30-year-old said: "In all the other interviews I would have said no, but now I think I am capable [of winning the World Matchplay].

"I think the PDC is a great road to becoming a top player. You play in events like this, and then you go to European Tours with the cameras and crowd and start winning there, and then it's a small step to the big stage.

"I used to be bothered by those sort of things, but the experience now means I am used to it and now I am here as a winner."

READ MORE: Devastating Dirk van Duijvenbode! Dutch star dismantles Gabriel Clemens in Barnsley final

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