Ricardo Pietreczko’s darting dreams were realised in Hildesheim on Sunday, after he produced the performances of his life to lift the Interwetten German Darts Championship on home soil.
Pietreczko stunned World Champions Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen in an astonishing finale at Halle 39, to become only the second German player to win a PDC ranking title.
The 28-year-old denied Van Gerwen in a thrilling semi-final, defying a valiant fightback from the Dutch superstar to triumph with a magnificent ten-darter in a deciding-leg shoot-out.
Pietreczko then produced a flawless display of finishing to defeat Wright 8-4 in the decider, converting four ton-plus checkouts and pinning all eight of his attempts at double.
The popular German remarkably landed 14 consecutive darts at double to scoop the £30,000 top prize, having also hit his last six attempts at double to topple Van Gerwen in the last four.
“I have no words for this!” said Pietreczko, who also saw off Mickey Mansell, Martin Schindler, George Killington and Stephen Bunting to emulate Max Hopp’s 2018 European Tour success.
“I didn't realise that I didn't miss a dart at a double [in the final], I was just so happy in the moment to have hit them.
“I've often dreamed of standing on that stage and winning a title but to see it actually coming true is unbelievable.”
The diminutive German is only the fourth player to win a PDC European Tour title on home soil, with Van Gerwen, Hopp and Mensur Suljovic the others to achieve the feat.
Pietreczko had arrived in Hildesheim with his European Championship qualification hopes in the balance, but his famous victory saw him finish 14th on the European Tour Order of Merit.
The emerging star overcame Mansell in Friday’s first round, before firing in his highest big-stage average of 107.08 to demolish his fellow countryman Schindler in Saturday’s second round.
This was followed by a routine 6-2 success against Killington in the last 16, and he then reeled off five straight legs from 4-1 down in his last eight win over Bunting, who averaged 103 in defeat.
Ironically, he will take on reigning champion Ross Smith in his European Championship opener in Dortmund later this month, as he bids to create more history on home soil.
“It was incredible to play in Hildesheim, I absolutely love it here,” added Pietreczko, who has also now qualified for November’s Grand Slam of Darts.
“I know I can beat the best in the world and I try my very best to beat the best in the world.
“I'm over the moon to win this title, and I am very happy to be in the Grand Slam.”