4 players who could win their 1st PDC TV title in 2021
The 2020 darts season wasn't the same with having to watch the PDC's major events behind closed doors. However, one positive thing that came out of the 2020 PDC darts season was the amount of new winners emerging on the tour.
Dimitri Van Den Bergh winning the World Matchplay kickstarted this trend. We then saw Jose De Sousa winning the Grand Slam of Darts and Glen Durrant winning the Premier League. Jonny Clayton also won the World Cup of Darts partnering the world number 1 and new World Champion, Gerwyn Price and Clayton also won The Masters just 1 month ago (yes, I know that already happened in 2021).
So this all begs the question... will we see more first time TV winners in the PDC this year? I believe that we will. Michael Van Gerwen is not as invincible as he used to be and the quality of the field gets stronger every year. Here is 4 players who I think could realistically claim their first PDC TV title this year.
Dave Chisnall - World Ranking #6
Dave 'Chizzy' Chisnall is currently the highest ranked player in the PDC Order of Merit to not have won a TV title. He has won multiple time in the PDC's Floor Events but, when it comes to TV, Chisnall seems to always be the 'nearly-man'.
In the World Championships, we started to see the best of Chizzy. His 5-0 demolition job of former world number 1 Michael Van Gerwen in the quarter-finals proved that. Chisnall is also one of the highest scorers in the world making him a threat against anyone on his day.
It has to be said though, the Achilles heel of Chizzy throughout his career has been his finishing. If he gets his doubles in order, Chizzy is more than capable of breaking his TV duck.
Krzysztof Ratajski - World Ranking #14
Ratajski, 'The Polish Eagle' is the most successful player to ever come out of the nation. He has enjoyed a steady climb up the rankings over the past couple of years and is now recognised as one of the most solid players on tour.
Although winning the World Masters in 2017 when he was a part of the BDO, Ratajski has still yet to win a televised title in the PDC. Ratajski has however won a total of 5 times at the non-televised PDC Pro Tour Events suggesting that he does have the ability to win on the big stage.
After reaching the quarter finals of the World Championships and the World Matchplay recently, I don't think it is out of the question that we could see Krzysztof victorious on a televised stage. He will still have a lot of work to achieve that however, if he can slightly up his averages on a more consistent-basis, he will be an extremely difficult player to beat.
Dirk van Duijvenbode - World Ranking #32
There is no two-ways of looking at this one, "The Titan" Dirk van Duijvenbode is a star. He burst onto the scene out of nowhere in the second half on 2020 reaching the finals of the World Grand Prix.
Van Duijvenbode, an aubergine farmer by day, has really caught the eyes of dart fans around the world. Reaching the final of the Grand Prix, his crazy walk-ons, the comical interviews and his solid performances in the World Championships are all reasons to love van Duijvenbode. There is a lot more to the of antics that come with Dirk, but beyond the antics is an extremely talented darts player who in 2021 may just become a TV winner.
He has certainly come a long way since busting 180 in the World Championships 5 years ago against Raymond van Barneveld. That is something that he said he got ridiculed for but that seems to be well and truly in his past now. The only direction that DvD will be going is up the rankings. Expect to see him around the top 16 by the end of the year - potentially higher.
Mervyn King - World Ranking #20
It is actually quite hard to believe that Mervyn King has never won a televised title in the PDC. He has came close in the past being runner-up multiple times but has never gotten over the line on TV. I think that could potentially change this year.
Towards the end of 2020, "The King" really started to improve. His scoring and finishing was getting better and ultimately, his averages too. The new Winmau darts he is using seem to be really helping him and he has mentioned that in interviews last year.
He also finished last year getting so unlucky losing in the final of the Players Championships 11-10 to Van Gerwen and losing in the Last 16 of the World Championships to eventual winner Gerwyn Price. He kept us his good form in 2021's first tournament as well coming so close again. He lost in the final of The Masters to Jonny Clayton.
One thing I have definitely noticed about Mervyn King lately as well, is there seems to be a change in his attitude. Maybe working as a delivery driver for Amazon has helped him mentally? He seems to be calmer and more focused on stage and that is leading to him getting better results.
Watch out for "The King" in 2021.