Mighty Michael van Gerwen crowned king of the world

Irrepressible Dutchman dethrones plucky Gary Anderson to secure second world title

Michael van Gerwen crushed reigning champion Gary Anderson to win his second World Championships title. Photograph: Getty/Bryn Lennon

Michael van Gerwen crushed reigning champion Gary Anderson to win his second World Championships title. Photograph: Getty/Bryn Lennon

 

An emotional Michael van Gerwen admitted his relief at ending a two-year wait to reclaim the PDC World Championship title at Alexandra Palace.

The Dutchman produced another stunning performance to see off two-time champion Gary Anderson 7-3 and claim his 26th title in a dominant 12 months.

However it was the world title that had eluded Van Gerwen after first lifting it in 2014, and he made no secret of his desire to reclaim the trophy prior to the tournament.

He told Sky Sports 1: “I’m a really happy man at the moment. I fought all year for this, and won all the majors and made the clean sweep.

“This is the most important one of the year and everyone knows that.

“I’m really glad I did it today at the right moment. I did what I had to do because Gary is a phenomenal player and all the credit to him.”

Van Gerwen, who had broken records throughout the tournament, turned in another performance of the highest quality as he finished with an average of 107.79 in the final, knocking out five ton-plus finishes.

Anderson was not far behind in a heavy-scoring final which saw 42 180s thrown — a record for a single match — but he was unable to live with ‘Mighty Mike’, whose relentless scoring proved too much for the Scot.

Van Gerwen admitted he had to be at his best to see off Anderson, who had been victorious the previous two years at the tournament.

“I feel absolutely over the moon,” he said. “I had to bring my ‘A’ game.

“It was incredible for everyone watching these darts.

“I was struggling a bit at the start of the game, he put me under pressure and I missed a few doubles, but I got back in the game and this feels phenomenal.

“This means a lot to me. Everyone keeps saying you need to win a second one. I did that today.”

The match, as expected, started at a frantic pace, with the two scoring heavily before Van Gerwen took out 122 in the first leg.

After taking the first set, Van Gerwen let his standards slip in the second and third, missing a succession of doubles, but a run of five successive legs took him into a 3-2 lead.

Van Gerwen’s consistent heavy scoring proved too much for Anderson as he raced further ahead and closed out the match with an 85 checkout, sealing the title with a bullseye.

A defeated Anderson admitted the better player had won.

He said: “This boy will be quite good! It’s been a walk in the park for him, and tonight was no different.

“(It was) well deserved, if anyone was going to win it, it was going to be Michael.

“At 2-2 I just dropped a bit, and if you do that you’re going to get punished and the boy did that.”

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