Beau Greaves continued her domination of the women’s game to storm to the 2023 Betfred Women’s World Matchplay title at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Sunday afternoon.
Greaves dispatched Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki 6-1 in Sunday’s showpiece to triumph on her Winter Gardens debut, relinquishing just four legs throughout the event in claiming the £10,000 top prize.
The 19-year-old has shattered a host of records on the PDC Women’s Series circuit during the last year, and she reaffirmed her status as the premier player in women’s darts at the Empress Ballroom.
Greaves and Suzuki arrived in Blackpool as the top two seeds, and they renewed their rivalry on one of the sport’s most iconic stages, in a fitting finale to the second staging of the £25,000 tournament.
Suzuki was punished for a bizarre miscount in the opening leg of Sunday’s showpiece, and Greaves capitalised to seize the early initiative, crashing in five perfect darts to break throw in leg two.
The 19-year-old continued her barrage of big scoring by firing in a second 180 en route to a 3-0 lead, before exploiting further misses from Suzuki in leg four to continue the procession.
Greaves missed the bull for a spectacular 161 checkout before moving to the cusp of victory, although Suzuki avoided the whitewash by surviving two match darts in leg six.
However, the Doncaster darter soon quashed any hopes of a miraculous fightback, defying back-to-back 140s from Suzuki to secure victory with a clinical 74 combination on tops.
“I wasn’t at my best, but I got over the line, so I’m really happy,” reflected Greaves, who has now sealed her qualification for November’s Grand Slam of Darts and the 2023/24 World Darts Championship.
“I didn’t think I was going to win this with the way I was playing, but after the year I’ve had and all the tournaments I’ve won, I’m so grateful to be stood here holding this trophy.
“I’m so excited to be going to the Grand Slam and the World Championship, but I need to practice more! I need to get more comfortable on the big stage.
“It means everything [to win this title]. I’ve got so much respect for all of the ladies that have played up here, and I’m looking forward to another great year.”
Greaves kicked off her campaign with a thumping 4-0 victory over Dutch debutant Noa-Lynn van Leuven, who became the first trans woman to compete in a PDC televised event.
Greaves then recovered from a sluggish start to defeat Ireland’s Robyn Byrne in an entertaining semi-final, producing a brilliant three-leg burst from 3-2 down to confirm her progress.
The teenage star followed up a 14-dart leveller in leg six with a crucial 101 checkout to break Byrne, before firing in an unconventional 13-dart hold via double one to complete the comeback.
Two-time Lakeside Women’s Champion Suzuki fell just short in her bid for glory, despite claiming the scalps of last year’s runner-up Aileen de Graaf and Lancashire veteran Lisa Ashton on her Blackpool bow.
Suzuki enjoyed a dream start in her quarter-final win over De Graaf, converting 67% of her attempts at double and registering a 92.16 average – the highest in Women’s World Matchplay history.
The Japanese star then fended off a spirited fightback from four-time Women’s World Champion Ashton to run out a 5-3 winner in a gruelling semi-final contest.
Suzuki raced 3-0 ahead before Ashton reduced the arrears to 4-3, although the second seed regained her poise in the closing stages, firing in a magical maximum to seal the deal.
Earlier in the afternoon, reigning champion Fallon Sherrock was beaten by Ashton in a dramatic quarter-final, despite producing a 12-dart skin-saver in leg six to force a last-leg shoot-out.
Byrne also won through a deciding-leg tie against Rhian O’Sullivan in the last eight, defying eight 140s from the two-time Lakeside runner-up to triumph with a terrific two-dart 95 checkout.
2023 Betfred Women’s World Matchplay
Schedule of Play
Sunday July 23
Beau Greaves 4-0 Noa-Lynn van Leuven
Robyn Byrne 4-3 Rhian O’Sullivan
Mikuru Suzuki 4-2 Aileen de Graaf
Lisa Ashton 4-3 Fallon Sherrock
Beau Greaves 5-3 Robyn Byrne
Mikuru Suzuki 5-3 Lisa Ashton
Beau Greaves 6-1 Mikuru Suzuki