Michael van Gerwen produced one of the greatest double-in performances of all time as he stormed past world champion Gary Anderson to win his third World Grand Prix title in a fantastic final at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin, on Saturday evening.
The world number one averaged 100.29, landed seven maximums and converted 43% of his attempts at double, to record an emphatic 5-2 victory to scoop the £100,000 winner’s cheque. Van Gerwen’s average was the highest ever in a World Grand Prix final, surpassing Phil Taylor’s previous best of 100.17, set in 2002.
Anderson battled valiantly, averaging 92.73 and firing in eight maximums, but ‘The Flying Scotsman’ was ultimately punished for a lacklustre start, as he suffered defeat in his maiden Grand Prix final.
‘The Green Machine’ lived up to his name as he breezed to the first set without reply, taking just 43 darts to take the lead. He fired in a maximum with just his second visit to the board, before clinching the set with a classy 14-darter.
The second set followed a similar pattern of Dutch domination. Van Gerwen missed the bull for a 161 checkout for a fourth consecutive leg, as Anderson opened his account on D5. Nevertheless, the 27-year-old from Boxtel fired back with clinical 101 checkout on D16.
Anderson endured double-trouble in the third leg, failing to pin a starting double with his first nine darts, and Van Gerwen pounced. MvG registered scores of 180 and 68, before pinning D18 to complete an 11-darter to break throw. The Scot again experienced problems with finding a starting double moments later, allowing MvG to double his lead via D6.
The world champion was under huge pressure but he emerged from the interval with renewed vigour, kicking off with a 160, before hitting D9 to break throw in 12-darts. Despite this, Van Gerwen was completely unperturbed, breaking back instantly after following up his third maximum with a 96 checkout.
Anderson fired in a maximum of his own as he attempted to seal a third consecutive break of throw, but Van Gerwen completed a clinical two-dart 98 finish to hold. The world number one then kicked off the fourth leg with a perfect 160, before converting a 70 kill on D16 to establish a commanding three-set cushion.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ was in dire need of respite, but he produced a majestic fourth set, reeling off three straight legs to reduce the arrears to 3-1. Anderson was in clinical mood, taking out shots of 41, 61 and 75 to clinch the set.
Van Gerwen stopped the temporary rot by nailing D18 to hold throw, but the two-time world champion produced a brilliant 108 checkout to draw level. MvG retook the lead in the third leg with a 65 finish, but Anderson forced a set decider after the Dutch star uncharacteristically spurned five set darts.
However, in arguably the most important leg of the match, Anderson faltered. The Scot failed to pin a starting double within his first seven darts, with Van Gerwen already sat on an outshot by the time Ando kicked off the leg with tops. The world champ pressured MvG with a maximum, but the world number one found D10 to move 4-1 ahead.
At the beginning of the sixth set Anderson was guilty of a miscount, but it didn’t prove expensive as he hit D2 to hold throw. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ doubled his lead with a clinical 107 checkout moments later, before sealing another whitewash set after nailing D10.
The world champion secured his fourth straight leg to break Van Gerwen early in set seven, completing a 70 checkout to do so. Nevertheless, Van Gerwen halted Anderson’s growing momentum in stunning fashion, recording six perfect darts before levelling up proceedings on D16.
The Scot had an opportunity to register the third break of throw in succession, but he failed to convert a 62 finish, allowing Van Gerwen to move to within a leg of victory via D16. Anderson appeared poised to force a set decider, but ‘Mighty Mike’ had other ideas, clinching the title in magnificent style with a sensational 160 finish.
It was an incredible performance from Van Gerwen, who was in unstoppable form all week. The Dutchman recorded the three highest averages of the tournament and saved his best till last, averaging over 107 for much of the contest. Anderson fought back valiantly, but coming from three sets down to defeat MvG proved a virtually impossible task.
Unibet World Grand Prix
Saturday October 8 (8.30pm)
Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Gary Anderson
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC