MENSUR SULJOVIC overcame Dimitri Van den Bergh 8-2 to claim glory in the German Darts Masters in front of a record-breaking 20,000 fans at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen on Friday.

The Austrian star claimed only the second televised title of his career as he claimed glory on the PDC World Series of Darts circuit for a first time.

Both Suljovic and Van den Bergh had battled through the 16-player field to reach the final on a bumper day in front of a world record crowd, before the Champions League of Darts winner took the £20,000 title.

Suljovic followed up his 6-2 first round victory over Robert Marijanovic with a narrow 8-7 quarter-final defeat of World Champion Rob Cross.

He then swept past reigning champion Peter Wright with an 8-2 semi-final triumph and maintained that dominant form throughout the decider with Van den Bergh.

Finishes of 109 and 100 gave Suljovic an immediate lead in the final, with Van den Bergh taking the third leg before the Austrian followed an 80 checkout with finishes of 13 and 11 darts to lead 5-1.

Double 16 saw Van den Bergh hit back in leg seven, but Suljovic posted a fifth 180 of the final in an 11-darter to move 6-2 up.

Double eight moved Suljovic to the brink of glory, and he sealed the title with a 76 finish ending, typically, on his favourite double 14.

Mensur Suljovic (PDC)

"It's a great feeling for me and I'm really happy," said Suljovic. "Dimitri is a brilliant player and it was a long day, but I did well.

"The crowd was brilliant and to win this tournament makes me so happy. People have been playing really well against me recently but I had a good feeling and it was a great day."

Van den Bergh enjoyed the most memorable run of his emerging career on a superb day of darts, which began with a 109.98 average in a brilliant 6-0 whitewash of Martin Schindler.

He then defeated Michael van Gerwen for the first time with an 8-3 quarter-final triumph, before claiming a maiden defeat of Gary Anderson in the semi-finals by following finishes of 111 and 124 with an 11-darter in their deciding leg.

"It's one of the best days of my life, it's unbelievable," said Van den Bergh. "I have to thank the PDC and the crowd and I'm thankful to have been in the final.

"I've learned a lot and it means so much to me. It's a huge step for me and I'll keep believing. What I've shown today is all the things I've been working in and I'm happy with the result.

"Winning against Michael and Gary is something I've been dreaming of, but these things happen when you keep believing."

Anderson overcame emerging German Gabriel Clemens and World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis on his way to the last four, while Wright defeated Dragutin Horvat and Raymond van Barneveld on the day.

Van Gerwen overcame top-ranked German Max Hopp 6-4 in the first round, with Van Barneveld whitewashing Manfred Bilderl, Cross being a 6-4 winner over Stefan Stoyke and Lewis coming from 3-0 down to edge past Nico Kurz.

The one-day tournament had seen the Veltins Arena turned into a "Darts Music Arena", which included a performance from German stars Culcha Candela as part of the day's entertainment.

The German Darts Masters was the first of six global events being held on the PDC's World Series of Darts circuit this year.

The second U.S. Darts Masters will be held in Las Vegas in July as the World Series of Darts returns to action, before heading to Shanghai to complete a double-header.

August then sees tournaments being held in Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane before the season-ending World Series of Darts Finals see the stars compete in Vienna in November. For tickets, see www.pdc.tv/tickets.

Mensur Suljovic (PDC)

2018 German Darts Masters
First Round

Raymond van Barneveld 6-0 Manfred Bilderl
Jamie Lewis 6-5 Nico Kurz
Mensur Suljovic 6-2 Robert Marijanovic
Gary Anderson 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-0 Martin Schindler
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Max Hopp
Peter Wright 6-1 Dragutin Horvat
Rob Cross 6-4 Stefan Stoyke

Quarter-Finals
Gary Anderson 8-6 Jamie Lewis
Dimitri Van den Bergh 8-3 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 8-7 Raymond van Barneveld
Mensur Suljovic 8-7 Rob Cross

Semi-Finals
Dimitri Van den Bergh 8-7 Gary Anderson
Mensur Suljovic 8-2 Peter Wright

Final
Mensur Suljovic 8-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh

FIRST ROUND MATCH INFO
Raymond van Barneveld whitewashed TV debutant Manfred Bilderl 6-0 to open the German Darts Masters with a comfortable victory, punishing seven missed doubles from the home qualifier.

Jamie Lewis came from 3-0 down and survived a missed match dart, at the bull, from youngster Nico Kurz as he progressed with victory in a deciding leg of their tie.

Mensur Suljovic landed five 180s and hit six doubles from 13 attempts as he overcame Robert Marijanovic 6-2 to move into the quarter-finals.

Gabriel Clemens caused some nervous moments for Gary Anderson as he took out 156 in taking a 2-0 lead, before the Scot took six straight legs - including a 167 checkout - to progress to a tie with Lewis.

Dimitri Van den Bergh produced a sensational display to whitewash Martin Schindler 6-0, with his 109.98 average being the tenth highest in World Series of Darts history.

Legs of 12, 13 and 12 darts helped the World Youth Champion into a 4-0 lead, and he wrapped up a comprehensive victory with an 11-dart finish, punishing seven missed doubles from Schindler along the way.

Michael van Gerwen held off a fightback from Max Hopp before sealing a 6-4 win over the former World Youth Champion, averaging 106.46 as the world number one moved into the last eight.

Reigning German Darts Masters champion Peter Wright began his bid to retain the title with a comfortable 6-1 win over Dragutin Horvat, who had pushed the Scot all the way in last year's event but was unable to pressure the number two seed.

World Champion Rob Cross made a winning debut on the global World Series of Darts circuit with a hard-fought 6-4 win over German qualifier Stefan Stoyke, setting up a tie with Mensur Suljovic.

Dimitri Van den Bergh continued his dream debut on the global World Series of Darts circuit with a memorable 8-3 defeat of world number one Michael van Gerwen.

The World Youth Champion followed up his first round whitewash of Martin Schindler by pulling clear from 2-2 to lead 5-2 before holding his nerve to set up a semi-final with Anderson.

QUARTER-FINALS MATCH INFO
Gary Anderson ended Jamie Lewis' hopes in Gelsenkirchen with a tight 8-6 victory in their quarter-final, with the Welsh ace coming from 2-0 down to lead 4-2 before the Scot eventually claimed the win, despite seven 180s from his opponent.

Dimitri Van den Bergh continued his dream debut on the global World Series of Darts circuit with a memorable 8-3 defeat of world number one Michael van Gerwen.

The World Youth Champion followed up his first round whitewash of Martin Schindler by pulling clear from 2-2 to lead 5-2 before holding his nerve to set up a semi-final with Anderson.

Peter Wright's quest to retain the title continued with a narrow 8-7 win over Raymond van Barneveld, who hit back from four legs behind to take the game into a decider only to see the Scot claim victory with a 12-darter.

After the pair shared the opening two legs, Wright pulled clear with checkouts of 130 and 156 in a stunning four-leg burst, and he also led 6-2 before the Dutchman hit back to level in a dramatic finale.

Mensur Suljovic's challenge to claim a first World Series of Darts win saw him reach the semi-finals with a narrow 8-7 win over Peter Wright.

World Champion Cross hit back from 5-3 down to lead 7-6, only for legs of 13 and 15 darts to see the Austrian sneak through to the last four.

SEMI-FINALS MATCH INFO
Dimitri Van den Bergh won through to his maiden World Series of Darts final with a thrilling 8-7 semi-final defeat of Gary Anderson.

Anderson led 2-0 and 5-3 before the Belgian took out 111 and 124 as he took the game into a deciding leg, which the World Youth Champion won with an 11-darter to continue his dream run in Gelsenkirchen.

Mensur Suljovic's bid to win a first World Series of Darts title continued with an 8-2 romp over Peter Wright as the Austrian set up a final with Van den Bergh.

Suljovic took the first legs legs without reply, landing a 121 finish along the way, to assume command, and though Wright took out 120 as he won two out of three, the reigning Champions League of Darts winner sealed the win with a 14-darter.

2018 PDC World Series of Darts Events
German Darts Masters May 25, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
U.S. Darts Masters July 6-7, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, USA
Shanghai Darts Masters July 13-14, Pullman Hotel Shanghai South, China
Auckland Darts Masters August 3-5, Trusts Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
Melbourne Darts Masters August 10-12, Hisense Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Brisbane Darts Masters August 17-19, BCEC, Brisbane, Australia
World Series of Darts Finals November 2-4, Multiversum, Schwechat, Vienna, Austria

Ticket info at https://www.pdc.tv/world-series-darts-event-tickets