Krzysztof Ratajski secured his tenth PDC title with an 8-1 demolition of Chris Landman in Saturday’s Players Championship Nine final in Wigan.
Ratajski - the runner-up at Players Championship Eight last month - dispatched the Dutchman in a one-sided final to clinch his first PDC ranking title since November 2021.
The Polish number one has enjoyed a welcome return to form in 2023, and produced a series of consistent performances at the Robin Park Tennis Centre to claim the £12,000 winner’s cheque.
However, Ratajski saved his most dominant display for Saturday’s showpiece, converting two ton-plus checkouts in the opening three legs of his clash against Landman.
Having drawn first blood with a 116 finish, Ratajski converted a clinical 124 combination to lead 3-0, before reeling off back-to-back legs in 13 and 14 darts to extend his cushion to 5-0.
Landman opened his account in a scrappy sixth leg, although normal service was soon resumed for Ratajski, who won the next three legs to celebrate his seventh Players Championship crown.
“It feels incredible. It has felt like three years without a title,” joked Ratajski, who was beaten by a resurgent Gary Anderson in last month’s Players Championship Eight decider.
“I am playing well. I am working hard at home and I feel comfortable.
“Last year wasn’t a good year for me. I fell out of the top 16 of the ProTour [Order of Merit] so now I’m having to work very hard to play on the European Tour, because I must play [qualifying events].
“It is very difficult, but I am playing in the next three European Tour events, and now this win is a big step to get back towards the top 16 of the ProTour.
“I think everyone has a bad period, even players in the top four and top ten. It is normal. You must wait, you must be patient and work hard.”
Ratajski began his campaign in Wigan on Saturday with wins over Matt Campbell and Darius Labanauskas, before posting his solitary ton-plus average of the afternoon in a 6-2 rout of Croatia’s Boris Krcmar.
The former World Matchplay semi-finalist continued his progress with a convincing win over second seed Dave Chisnall, which was followed by a first career victory against Josh Rock in the last eight.
This set up a semi-final showdown against an in-form Jonny Clayton, and Ratajski was forced to survive four match darts in the latter stages of his clash against the Premier League star.
The Polish trailblazer swept aside Landman to add to his title tally, although it was a landmark day for the Dutchman, who claimed a host of big scalps to reach his maiden PDC ranking final.
Challenge Tour star Landman - one of the PDPA Associate Members topping up the field due to the absence of Tour Card Holders including World Champion Michael Smith - followed up early wins over Ron Meulenkamp and Mickey Mansell by dumping out top seed Luke Humphries.
He maintained his charge with a resounding 6-1 win over Belgian star Mike De Decker, before surviving a host of match darts against Martin Schindler, recovering from 5-2 down to triumph.
Landman’s fairy-tale run continued with semi-final success against Brendan Dolan, who followed up a ton-plus average against Connor Scutt by edging out James Wade in a decider to reach the last four.
Clayton also departed at the semi-final stage, coming through last-leg shoot-outs against Dutch duo Gian van Veen and Berry van Peer earlier in the day.
The Welshman also accounted for Ricardo Pietreczko and Keane Barry - when he missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish - before a 108 average in the quarter-finals curtailed Anderson’s bid for back-to-back ProTour titles.
Despite this, Anderson continued his fine 2023 form in Wigan, whitewashing Dimitri Van den Bergh, averaging 109 to demolish Chris Dobey and later dumping out Dirk van Duijvenbode in a last-leg thriller.
The veteran Scot bowed out in the quarter-finals alongside Wade, Schindler and World Youth Champion Rock, who followed up a brace of ton-plus averages with a whitewash win over Ryan Searle.
This weekend’s Players Championship double-header concludes in Wigan on Sunday, with Players Championship Ten being streamed through PDCTV and bookmakers' websites worldwide from 1300 BST.
2023 Players Championship 9
Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Saturday April 15
Chris Landman 6-1 Mike De Decker
Martin Schindler 6-3 Joe Cullen
Brendan Dolan 6-1 Connor Scutt
James Wade 6-1 Daryl Gurney
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-2 Dave Chisnall
Josh Rock 6-0 Ryan Searle
Gary Anderson 6-5 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Jonny Clayton 6-4 Keane Barry
Chris Landman 6-5 Martin Schindler
Brendan Dolan 6-5 James Wade
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Josh Rock
Jonny Clayton 6-1 Gary Anderson
Chris Landman 7-5 Brendan Dolan
Krzysztof Ratajski 7-6 Jonny Clayton
Krzysztof Ratajski 8-1 Chris Landman