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.
Michael van Gerwen held off a valiant fightback from Singapore veteran Paul Lim to move into the Shanghai Darts Masters quarter-finals, as all eight seeds progressed through at the Pullman Hotel, Shanghai South, on Saturday afternoon.
Van Gerwen averaged 96, recorded three maximums and hit 60% of his doubles, but he was pushed all the way by his legendary 62-year-old opponent. ‘The Green Machine’ raced into a 4-1 advantage, but Lim won successive legs to reduce the arrears to 4-3. The next two legs were shared, before Van Gerwen held throw on tops to edge through.
Gary Anderson begin his bid for a third successive World Series crown with a whitewash victory over China’s Yunfei Jiang. The world champion wasn’t at his vintage best, averaging 93.94, but he didn’t allow his opponent a single dart at double in the entire contest.
Adrian Lewis also progressed to the quarter-finals by virtue of a whitewash victory, defeating Jianhua Shen 6-0. Jackpot averaged a modest 81.98 and hit three maximums, but Shen averaged a miserly 62.86 and also failed to register an attempt at double on home soil.
The full line-up for the 2016 World Series of Darts has been announced and it promises to be the best one yet, with the addition of the Shanghai Masters accompanying existing tournaments in Dubai, New Zealand, Japan and Australia; featuring eight of the biggest names in world darts.
The World Series was initially introduced in 2013, beginning with tournaments in Dubai and Sydney. Perth was added to the calendar a year later, whilst events in Auckland and Japan were implemented in 2015. The Shanghai Masters will join these five events, with the 2016 World Series culminating in Glasgow for the end-of-season finals.
The top four players on the PDC Order of Merit are automatically selected, so Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor will all be competing across the globe. Van Gerwen will go in search of his fourth consecutive Dubai Masters title in June, whilst Taylor will be vying for his fourth Sydney Darts Masters crown during the summer.
Adrian Lewis will be defending his Auckland Masters title, whilst reigning world champion Gary Anderson goes in search of his maiden World Series crown. After the six events have been completed, the top eight players on the World Series of Darts rankings will progress to the World Series Finals, hosted in Glasgow during early November.