31 January, 2011

MERVYN KING won the opening Players Championship of 2011, defeating Vincent van der Voort 6-1 at the Gerry Weber Centre in Halle.

King ended an 11-month gap between titles by claiming victory in the first of two tournaments being staged in Germany this weekend, earning £6,000 in the process.

The world number 11 came through tough battles with Patrick Bulen, Kevin Munch, Gary Welding and Mark Hylton to reach the last eight, coming from 5-3 down against Hylton before edging victory in one contest.

Having overcome Ireland^s William O^Connor 6-1 in the quarter-finals, he then knocked out world number seven Simon Whitlock 6-3 in the semis, winning five of the final six legs on his way to the win.

He then swept past van der Voort in the decider, taking out a 101 finish and double four to lead 2-0 before van der Voort hit back to take the third with the aid of a 180.

King finished 120 for the fourth, and punished three misses from the Dutchman for a 4-1 lead.

He then hit two successive 180s for six perfect darts in the next, which he won in ten darts before sealing a 6-1 victory on double four for his first title since winning back-to-back events in Swindon last February.

"It means a huge amount to me because it^s the first tournament I^ve won since losing my Dad last year, and this was for him," said King. "It^s been a tough period for me but to win an event is a huge relief.

"This is a venue I^ve been successful at before, reaching the German Darts Championship final in 2009, and it^s been good to me again.

"I wanted to make a good start to the year after dropping out of the top ten and I^ve done that. It^s a huge boost and I^d love to keep this form going."

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