World Matchplay Darts: Michael van Gerwen lifts his third title in Blackpool after beating Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen produces a supreme display to defeat Gerwyn Price and clinch a third World Matchplay title on a scintillating Sunday night in Blackpool Sky Sports Darts is back for the World Grand Prix in Leicester from October 2-8
Last Updated: 25/07/22 11:00am
Michael van Gerwen sealed a hat-trick of World Matchplay titles after winning an epic battle with Gerwyn Price at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Sunday.
The Dutchman, who has recently had wrist surgery, has had a dip in form over recent years since winning a third World Championship crown in 2019, but looked back to his best after recovering from a sluggish start to record a stunning 18-14 victory, converting five ton-plus finishes to scoop the £200,000 top prize and the coveted Phil Taylor Trophy.
Van Gerwen said during his on-stage interview: "To put my hands on the trophy again means the world to me. To come back against a player in his form means a lot to me.
"I can only be proud. This is what they want, they want drama in the final. I am really proud of myself that I could hold my nerves together."
Sunday, July 24
|Final||Gerwyn Price||14-18||Michael van Gerwen|
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Price was in dreamland in the early exchanges, punishing a profligate start from Van Gerwen to race into a 4-0 lead, before the Dutchman came agonisingly close to opening his account with a sensational nine-darter in leg five.
'The Green Machine' missed double 12 for his second perfect leg at the Winter Gardens, but a 10-dart leg provided the catalyst for a stunning three-leg burst, which saw him follow up a 13-darter with a spectacular 160 checkout to reduce the arrears to 4-3.
The three-time world champion was firing in maximums with alarming regularity, but his outer ring woes resurfaced in leg eight, with six more misses at double - taking his tally to 17 - enabling Price to regain control at 6-4.
The third session was littered with quality, as Price established a four-leg buffer with legs of 11, 12 and 14 darts, but a brilliant 82 finish on the bull from Van Gerwen, coupled with a 10th 180 and a 12-dart break in leg 15, saw him cut the deficit to 9-6.
Van Gerwen maintained his relentless assault on the treble 20, firing in back-to-back 180s and taking out 97 in two darts for an 11-dart hold, before pinning an effortless 140 combination to stay two legs adrift.
Price, who finished superbly in the opening exchanges, was beginning to display fallibility in the doubling department and Van Gerwen capitalised by winning three of the next four legs to level at 12-12.
The tension was tangible in the Winter Gardens, but following four straight holds, Van Gerwen struck the decisive blow in leg 29, producing a magnificent 130 finish to secure the lead for the first time.
The 33-year-old cemented his advantage with a comfortable hold, before moving to within a leg of glory with a nerveless 114 outshot - his fourth ton-plus finish of the contest.
Price replied with a ninth 180 as he looked to preserve his hopes, but an inspired Van Gerwen wasn't to be denied, wrapping up a famous victory with a brilliant 121 checkout on the bullseye.
'The Iceman' pocketed £100,000 as runner-up following a superb campaign, which included a 104 average against Jose De Sousa, and a nine-darter in his semi-final success against Danny Noppert.
The 37-year-old was unable to cap off a brilliant week with his eighth PDC televised triumph, but he does reclaim the world No 1 spot following Peter Wright's quarter-final exit.
"I hope we can have a lot more battles like this. I think before this tournament a final would have been a dream for me, because I've been going through a tough period," added Van Gerwen.
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"I was fortunate to be 9-6 up. Michael is a fantastic player and once he gets on a roll like that, it's hard to contain him," admitted Price, the 2021 world champion.
"I didn't have a purple patch which I needed in this game, and I think Michael had it all game!
"Michael was fantastic. He's a deserving winner. He is a great player and a great friend.
"I am definitely proud of myself, especially with the way I've been playing in the last couple of months. It just didn't happen for me today."Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. The 25th staging of the World Grand Prix 'Double in, Double out' set format is coming to Sky Sports from October 2-8 in Leicester.