After a great final darts battle, Michael Smith managed to grab the world title for the first time in his career. Van Gerwen appeared at the oche, beaming with self-confidence. Mighty Mike made a deep impression in recent days. In the quarterfinals, the Dutchman was 5-0 too strong for Chris Dobey and in the semifinals he also did not give a single set to Belgian Dimitri van den Bergh: 6-0. Van Gerwen started the final battle very well. He immediately managed to grab Michael Smith’s set. In the second set, the two created a historic moment. Both went on for a 9-darter, Van Gerwen missed the double. Then Smith set Alexandra Palace on fire and convinced with a 9-darter.
Pressure by Smith
Van Gerwen then came under more and more pressure, missed one double after the other and had to leave five legs in a row to the Englishman. Smith took a 2-1 lead in sets as a result. The fourth set was again a prey for the Dutchman and so it went right: 2-2. In the fifth set, Van Gerwen was again impressive in the old-fashioned way and thanks to a 10-darter he took the fifth company: 3-2. It rained breaks and Smith took the sixth set: 3-3. In the seventh set, Van Gerwen seemed to be on his way to winning the set, but the Englishman showed his fighting spirit. With three legs in a row he ‘just’ won his set and took a lead in the match: 4-3. Van Gerwen received a mental blow to the ears.
Bully Boy dominates
The eighth set also went to Bully Boy who took three sets in a row: 5-3. So there is work to be done for Van Gerwen. But the Dutchman could not come up with an answer and also had to leave the ninth set to Smith. With 3-0, note: 6-3. Van Gerwen knew he couldn’t drop a single stitch now, as Smith needed just one more set to win the top darts prize for the first time in his career.
The tenth set was a nerve-racking one, but it was Van Gerwen who could breathe a sigh of relief afterwards: 6-4. There was a big sigh of relief in the Dutchman, he was still alive. The set win seemed to have given Mighty Mike confidence, because at the start of the eleventh set he immediately broke Smith with an 11-darter. Yet it was Smith who grabbed the set and therefore the title.