Darts World Championship: Michael van Gerwen hails Michael Smith’s ‘phenomenal’ victory in epic final | Darts News
Michael Smith shot one foot nine darts en route to a 7-4 win over Michael van Gerwen in the stunning final at Alexandra Palace; The win was the British tennis player’s first world title and took him to world No 1 for the first time
By Ali Stafford at Alexandra . Palace
Last updated: 01/03/23 11:57 pm
New world No. 1 Michael Smith has set his sights on darts domination after winning the Darts Grand Slam with the elusive first-time Darts World Championship title at Alexandra Palace.
Smith shot a sensational 9-darter in the second set of his 7-4 win over three-time champion Michael van Gerwen, who almost created a 9-darter of his own in the same turns, before winning four of the last five sets. secured the biggest win of his career to date.
The British tennis player’s success was in revenge for his loss to Van Gerwen in the 2019 final, with Smith – who also finished second in last year’s competition – expecting the pair to clash in more finals. of the Alexandra Palace in the coming years.
“I thought [we would] gave the crowd what they deserved and they had a magical night,” said Smith Sports sky. “I told you when I win a Grand Slam I will eventually become a world champion and I want to do what this man [Van Gerwen] did – I wanted to take over the sport, but he’s still there.
“Now it’s 1-1 at Worlds and I took my chance, but he knows and I do it. It won’t be the last game here that we meet. saying it for years, he’s the best darts player and we had to take our chance and I finally took it.”
Smith immediately ran to his family to celebrate his victory with them, ‘Bully Boy’ admitting that it would have been difficult to have a better first-time world championship experience.
“The two greatest moments of my life were sitting there, both of my kids, but if I didn’t have kids that would be!” Smith added. “From a sporting memory it’s the best thing ever, I don’t think it’s going to top. Even if I win the second, it will never top like it did. how I felt at the time.”
Van Gerwen: Smith ‘deserves’ to win
Smith claimed Van Gerwen “ignored him” and gave him a chance he “didn’t deserve” in his win, although the Dutchman was quick to express his gratitude to the man. teammates for his impressive victory.
“At this point he doesn’t give any justice to his game!” Van Gerwen told Sports sky. “This man played absolutely phenomenal – we all know it!
“Of course, I didn’t take my chances, but he was there at times when he had to be. He deserved it, he played well there and played fair with the team. he.”
Van Gerwen maxed out 15 points and averaged 99.58 in a thrilling final where he led 3-2 before losing four of the next five sets, with the Dutchman frustrated with his chances. opportunities he missed in tight play.
“I had two darts in the second episode, when he [Smith] threw the ninth dart,” Van Gerwen added. “There were a few darts in the seventh set and in the ninth set I had three darts to win and when you didn’t hit them he would throw everything at you.
“I haven’t played well in the last few sets, but you can only blame yourself for that. That doesn’t take anything away from Michael, because I think he played brilliantly the whole game. .”
“I’m not the person I want to be but unfortunately it’s part of the game and you have to accept that.”
Watch both Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen compete at the Cazoo Premier League 2023 darts, live exclusively on Sky Sports. Live broadcast begins on February 2 and runs every Thursday until the play-off at The O2 in London on May 25.