Luke Littler’s hopes of winning a second Players Championship event in as many days were ended in the second round of the competition by Radek Szaganski. The teenage sensation impressed on his PDC Pro Tour debut on Monday, clinching the title in emphatic style but he was stopped by Szaganski on Tuesday.
Littler landed a nine-darter on Monday on his way to collecting the £15,000 prize money at the Robin Park Tennis Centre. The 17-year-old looked set to mount a strong challenge to make it consecutive wins when putting world No. 7 Danny Noppert to the sword in the first round on Tuesday.
However, Littler was then knocked out by Cork bus driver Szaganski. The 44-year-old managed to keep up with Littler during the opening stages of the contest before breaking and moving into a 5-3 lead.
Littler soon hit back to level the score and take it to a deciding leg before Szaganski kept his composure to book his spot in the next round. The win will certainly be remembered as a career highlight for the victor given that he only began playing darts in 2008 when he was 28.
Szaganski was born in Poland and grew up in Poznan but is now living in Ireland, where he is a bus driver in Cork. He moved to Ireland in 2006 and drives for Bus Eireann. He has previously represented both Limerick and the Rebel County in darts.
Aside from his day-to-day work, the 44-year-old has worked his way up the ranks as well though, recently earning himself a ranking of 68th in the Order of Merit.
Having been knocked out of the 2024 World Championship in the second round by Dutch star Raymond van Barneveld, the Polish-Irish Szaganski has his sights set on making an impact at other competitions this year and his victory over Littler will certainly prompt his rivals not to overlook him going forward.