Michael van Gerwen returned to winning ways by beating James Wade to clinch glory at the inaugural staging of the Shanghai Darts Masters at the Pullman Hotel, Shanghai South, on Sunday evening.
Van Gerwen had suffered quarter-final defeat to Wade in Auckland just last week, but the world number one avenged that defeat with a ruthless display which saw him average 100.54, whilst he converted 40% of his attempts at double.
‘The Green Machine’ made a blistering start to the final, racing into a commanding 3-0 lead. MvG converted a majestic 138 finish to open his account, before breaking Wade’s throw with a clinical 97 kill. The Dutchman then won his third straight leg by virtue of hitting tops.
Wade opened his account with a typically ruthless 116 checkout, but this didn’t quash Van Gerwen’s charge. The world number one pinned D1 to regain his three-leg cushion, before hitting D8 to move 5-1 ahead.
MvG was in cruise control and extended his lead to five legs by again nailing D8, before posting D8 for the third leg in succession, having missed the bullseye for a maximum 170 outshot in the preceding visit. Van Gerwen was within a leg of victory, but Wade continued to battle valiantly.
The eight-time major winner converted D10 after MvG squandered two match darts, before winning back-to-back legs thanks to his second 116 finish of the final. Nevertheless, Van Gerwen diffused any faint hopes of a Wade fightback, by hitting D16 to complete a 13-darter, wrapping up his first World Series title of 2016.
Earlier in the day, Van Gerwen defeated his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld 8-4 in the quarter-finals. Van Barneveld averaged over 100 and hit five maximums, but Michael’s clinical combination finishing was the difference, as the world number one won 6 of the remaining seven legs to close out victory.
In the last four, Van Gerwen came from 4-1 down to defeat Dave Chisnall. ‘The Green Machine’ averaged 101.36 and hit 57% of his attempts at double, winning seven of the last eight legs to secure his second World Series final appearance of the year. However, on this occasion, the Dutchman was to claim the spoils.
However, James Wade performed superbly in Shanghai, defeating both Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor to secure a place in his second World Series final. ‘The Machine’ was involved in a classic encounter with world champion Anderson, who had won both previous World Series events this year.
Wade finished superbly in the opening stages to establish a commanding 5-1 lead. Anderson fought back, but Wade regained the initiative to move 7-5 ahead. However, the Scot won back-to-back legs to force a last-leg decider.
The world champion had the advantage of throw, but Wade kicked off the leg with six perfect darts. Despite this, ‘The Flying Scotsman’ incredibly missed four match darts, and Wade edged through by nailing D5 with his last-dart in hand.
In the last-four, ‘The Machine’ met Phil Taylor, who produced a miraculous comeback in his quarter-final against Peter Wright. Snakebite led 7-1 at one stage, but Taylor reeled off seven successive legs to secure an extremely unlikely victory, after Wright had missed five match darts.
Taylor led Wade 4-2 thanks to a brilliant 121 finish on the bullseye, but this time Taylor was on the receiving end of the comeback. Wade averaged 98.79, hit five maximums and won six of the remaining eight legs to overcome the 16-time world champion. Yet, James’ wait for an elusive first World Series title goes on.
Shanghai Darts Masters
Sunday June 26
James Wade 8-7 Gary Anderson
Phil Taylor 8-7 Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall 8-6 Adrian Lewis
James Wade 8-6 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 8-5 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen 8-3 James Wade