Chisnall looking to maintain 'winning run' in Leverkusen

Dave Chisnall (Taylor Lanning/PDC)

Dave Chisnall believes he’s on the verge of ending his elusive wait for a televised title in 2023, as he sets his sights on a second consecutive European Tour triumph in Leverkusen this weekend.

Chisnall will be among the stars in action at the Interwetten European Darts Open from March 24-26, as the Ostermann Arena plays host to the second European Tour event of 2023.

The St Helens thrower claimed the spoils at last month’s inaugural Baltic Sea Darts Open in Kiel, having also lifted the Belgian Darts Open in Wieze last September.

Chisnall is now bidding to win his third European Tour crown in the space of four events, and he’s brimming with confidence as he prepares to make his return to German soil.

“I’ve got a great chance,” declared Chisnall, who will play Welsh star Jim Williams or Scotland’s former World Cup winner John Henderson in Saturday’s second round.

“I’ve started this season very well and I’ve got a lot of confidence in my own game.

“I’m playing super darts, big averages, and hopefully it’s my tournament again. I’d love to keep that winning run going. That’s my goal!”

Chisnall warmed up for this weekend’s action by posting an astronomical 117 average on the ProTour on Monday, and he attributes his new-found belief as the catalyst for his resurgence.

“Winning in Belgium last year was very important,” reflected Chisnall, who was without a PDC ranking title for over three years prior to his success in Wieze.

“Because the standard is so high at the moment, I started to doubt whether I would ever win another title again.

“I was playing really well at home in practice, but you’ve just got to believe and that’s what I did in Belgium.

“I’ve been hitting big averages, I’m starting to win tournaments again and I’m feeling more confident.

“I’m playing close to the top of my game right now, and I believe this could be the year when I win a major or two.”

Chisnall has been among the sport’s leading contenders throughout the last decade, appearing in eight televised finals, which include two deciders on the World Series of Darts circuit.

His most recent defeat in a televised final saw him succumb to Joe Cullen at the Masters in January 2022, but last year saw a host of new TV title winners crowned, which gives Chisnall encouragement.

“You’re seeing different winners now. It’s not just the likes of [Michael] Van Gerwen, [Gerwyn] Price or [Gary] Anderson,” added the 42-year-old.

“You’ve got Ross Smith, Michael Smith, Andrew Gilding, Danny Noppert. They’ve all won their first TV tournaments over the last 12 months because they deserve to – they’re very good players.

“I know I can win these tournaments, but so can everybody else. Sometimes you just need that bit of luck.

“Look at the UK Open last month – you don’t want to play Michael van Gerwen in your first game, and that’s what happened!”

Chisnall is also taking inspiration from his St Helens counterpart and close friend Michael Smith, who suffered defeat in nine consecutive TV finals prior to his victory at last year’s Grand Slam of Darts.

Smith defeated Nathan Aspinall to fulfil his darting destiny in Wolverhampton, and he’s since celebrated World Championship success to become the new world number one.

“It does give me inspiration,” revealed Chisnall, a winner of 18 PDC ranking events.

“Michael is a fantastic player. I’ve said it for four or five years now – once he wins one, he’s going to be hard to stop.

“He won the Grand Slam and then went on to win the World Championship. He also won a World Series event in January.

“He is probably the best player in the world at the moment, and I believe he will go on and win a lot more titles.

“I think the same could happen for me. When you start winning, these titles come along like buses – that’s what people say anyway!

“I just have to get that first TV title under my belt and then we can go from there.”

Live coverage of all 2023 European Tour events will be streamed through Viaplay in the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and all Nordic & Baltic countries, and through DAZN for viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Coverage will also be shown on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers' worldwide.