Nathan Aspinall beats Michael Smith to win opening 2019 World Series of Darts title
Last Updated: 07/07/19 11:04pm
Nathan Aspinall beat Michael Smith in a high-quality final to mark his World Series debut with the US Darts Masters title at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
The Asp has enjoyed an incredible run over the last seven months, catapulting himself into the sport's elite and he underlined that by coming through a star-studded field to beat Bully Boy 8-4 in an incredible climax to the weekend's action in the US.
A run to the World Championship semi-final brought his career to life and he has not looked back, claiming a maiden major with the UK Open in March and a Premier League debut in Nottingham as one of the contenders.
That run earned the the 27-year-old a place in the World Series, which will take place across the globe over the coming months, and after beating Shawn Brenneman in the first round he added wins over Rob Cross and Peter Wright before his victory over Smith earned him the £20,000 first prize.
2019 World Series of Darts
|US Masters||Nathan Aspinall||8-4||Michael Smith|
|German Masters||July 12-13||Cologne|
|Brisbane Masters||August 9-10||Brisbane|
|Melbourne Masters||August 16-17||Melbourne|
|New Zealand Masters||August 23-24||Hamilton|
|World Series of Darts Finals||November 1-3||Amsterdam|
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"It's absolutely fantastic for me, I played really well in the semis but the way I started in the final was superb," said Aspinall, who will make his World Matchplay debut in Blackpool next month.
"I've never had a performance like that on stage and to do it in the final, I'm a very happy man.
"Growing up you want to play in front of the biggest crowds in the biggest arenas in the best countries. The UK Open was massive for me and I wanted to make a good show of myself coming to Las Vegas - it was the top seven players in the world and me!
"To come out on top and win the whole thing is brilliant. I'm enjoying life, loving my darts and reaping the rewards for the hard work I've been putting in.
"I've had an incredible time in Vegas. The crowd were on my side from the start and gave me brilliant support - and hopefully I'll be here next year to defend my title."
Smith opened Friday's quarter-finals with an 8-6 victory over world champion Michael van Gerwen and then hit top gear to average 102 in his 8-4 semi-final defeat of Gerwyn Price.
He had been bidding to follow up last July's Shanghai Darts Masters triumph with a second World Series title, but was overpowered by Aspinall in the decider.
"It's nice to have reached the final but Nathan was too good there," said Smith. "I was chasing it from the start.
"Nathan played really well but I got myself back into it at four-all and that was my chance. Then my first dart started dropping low and I was chasing trebles.
"I played well against Gerwyn Price in the semi-finals and it was nice to get the win there. I've reached the World Championship final, the semi-finals of the UK Open and the final in Las Vegas, so it's not too bad."
Price had booked his semi-final spot with a high-quality 8-6 win over reigning US Darts Masters champion Gary Anderson as they met for the first time since the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts final.
World Matchplay on Sky Sports
Nine days of coverage from the legendary Winter Gardens gets underway on Saturday July 19 through to the final on Sunday July 28
US Darts Masters
Michael Smith 8-6 Michael van Gerwen
Gerwyn Price 8-6 Gary Anderson
Nathan Aspinall 8-5 Rob Cross
Peter Wright 8-6 Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith 8-4 Gerwyn Price
Nathan Aspinall 8-7 Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall 8-4 Michael Smith
You don't have to wait long until darts is back on Sky Sports, with every dart from every session in Blackpool and the World Matchplay. It starts on Saturday, July 20 and the final is on Sunday, July 28.