KRZYSZTOF RATAJSKI landed the fourth PDC title of his career at Players Championship 17 in Wigan on Saturday, defeating Nathan Aspinall 8-3 in the final.
The opening day of the ProTour double-header weekend saw Ratajski pick up his first title of 2019, continuing his 100% success rate in PDC ranking finals.
The Polish number one showed great consistency across the day, averaging over 100 in five of his seven victories, one of which came against two-time ProTour winner Glen Durrant.
Ratajski began the day by edging out Spain's Toni Alcinas 6-5, before defeating Barrie Bates, Durrant and Marko Kantele to reach his second ProTour quarter-final of the year.
There, the 42-year-old whitewashed Jamie Hughes 6-0, followed by a 7-3 semi-final success over James Wilson and a convincing display in the final which saw him land the £10,000 top prize.
"I feel really good about this win, I am very satisfied with how I played," said Ratajski, who won three PDC titles in 2018 despite not being a Tour Card Holder.
"Every match I played I averaged around 100 or more, but even with that sometimes it was very difficult and I won some close games.
"I think I have been a little unlucky this year even though I played really well. Even when I play super my opponents sometimes play better.
"Of course, I believe I am able to win the World Matchplay if I play on a high level like I did today."
The final saw Ratajski get off to a perfect start, hitting double top in the second leg to strike the first break of throw.
After the Pole missed a dart to go 4-0 in front, Aspinall found double ten to get his first leg on the board and reduce the deficit to 3-1.
Undeterred, Ratajski produced a stunning 122 checkout for another break of throw and a commanding 5-1 lead, before Aspinall showed some resilience to bring it back to 7-3.
Ratajski landed a perfectly-timed 180 in what turned out to be the final leg of the contest, securing the victory with a 95 checkout.
World number 13 Aspinall continued his progression by reaching his second PDC final since being crowned UK Open Champion in March ahead of his World Matchplay debut in July.
A number of players were vying for the 16 ProTour Order of Merit places in the Blackpool event ahead of the cut-off on June 30, with Wilson's run to his first semi-final since October 2018 cementing his place among the qualifiers.
Ron Meulenkamp reached his second ProTour semi-final in as many months to keep his hopes alive, while Kyle Anderson made it to the Last 32 to stay in the final provisional qualifying place.
Ryan Searle, Keegan Brown and Ross Smith lead the chasing pack, but they all suffered exits from the tournament by the Last 64 stage.
Aspinall was the only top 20 player to make it through to the quarter-finals on an open day in Wigan, while Gerwyn Price and Stephen Bunting made it to the Last 16.
Sunday will see the second day of the Players Championship weekend in Wigan, with live streaming from two boards simultaneously on video.pdc.tv. Follow fixtures, results and live match stats through Dart Connect.
See full Players Championship 17 results in DartConnect.
Players Championship 17
Saturday June 22
Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Marko Kantele
Jamie Hughes 6-1 Danny Noppert
Luke Humphries 6-3 Stephen Bunting
James Wilson 6-1 Jose de Sousa
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Gerwyn Price
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-5 Mark McGeeney
Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 William O'Connor
Boris Koltsov 6-1 Jelle Klaasen
Krzysztof Ratajski 6-0 Jamie Hughes
James Wilson 6-4 Luke Humphries
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ron Meulenkamp 6-2 Boris Koltsov
Krzysztof Ratajski 7-3 James Wilson
Nathan Aspinall 7-5 Ron Meulenkamp
Krzysztof Ratajski 8-3 Nathan Aspinall