Michael Van Gerwen beat Gary Anderson 7-3 in the World Darts Championship Final at Alexandra Palace on Monday night after 15 days of scintillating darts.
The 'Green Machine' was looking for just his second title with his last win coming back in 2014. His opponent Gary Anderson beat Phil Taylor 7-6 in 2015 and then retained his title in 2016 by beating Adrian Lewis 7-5.
Anderson comes out fighting
Van Gerwen had got into a habit of starting matches slowly throughout the tournament. This was the case in his semi-final match against Raymond Van Barneveld in which he eventually came out 7-2 winner.
Both players were soon showing their quality in this match including a 122 finish from Van Gerwen in the first leg. Van Gerwen managed to take the first set 3-2 in which neither player managed to break.
However, Anderson managed to level the match as he took the second set. Van Gerwen had chances to break in both the first and the third leg but Anderson managed to hold on to win the second set 3-2 in what was becoming a tightly fought contest.
Anderson carried his momentum into the third set as he immediately broke Van Gerwen's throw in the first leg. However, Van Gerwen responded by breaking back and then holding his throw. Van Gerwen then had the opportunity to achieve the first nine dart finish of the tournament but was unable to hold his nerve. Remarkably, Anderson capitalised on this and still won the leg. This allowed Anderson to then take the third set 3-2 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Van Gerwen begins to build
When Michael Van Gerwen gets into his rhythm, he is almost unplayable. Gary Anderson will have known how much work he still had to do despite making a good start against the Dutchman.
Van Gerwen managed to get himself back level in the match at 2-2 by winning the fourth set 3-2. After both players managed to hold their throws relatively comfortably, Van Gerwen broke in the final leg despite really struggling to hit the doubles he required.
This allowed Van Gerwen to really get into this stride and this showed in the fifth set. Anderson's poor scoring allowed him to break the Scott's throw twice to take the set 3-0. Anderson was left to rue not capitalising on a Van Gerwen error in the first leg and now found himself 3-2 down in the match.
Anderson was really starting to struggle as the players entered the sixth set. He just managed to hold his throw in the first leg but couldn't keep up with Van Gerwen's high scoring and lost the set 3-1. The set saw Van Gerwen hit his 12th maximum and Anderson hit his 11th immediately afterwards in what was an incredibly high standard match.
Being two sets down to Van Gerwen is a tough ask for any player, but it was getting even more difficult for Anderson with every throw. Despite the fact he was consistently hitting maximums, he just could not keep up with Van Gerwen. Van Gerwen hit a 125 finish to win the set 3-0 for the second time and go 5-2 up in the match.
Anderson continues to battle
After such a high quality match, it was a poor standard in the first leg of the eighth set. Both players were missing doubles and Anderson finally managed to hold by hitting double two. However, Van Gerwen then hit back by holding and then breaking after Anderson missed a vital double. He then held his throw to win the set 3-1 and go 6-2 up and end the match as a contest.
However, despite Van Gerwen's utter dominance, Anderson showed the battling spirit which comes with any two-time World Champion. He managed to come out 3-2 winner in the ninth leg but not without some controversy. Both players managed to hold their throw but in the fourth leg a spectator got onto the platform and grabbed hold of the trophy.
This was right in front of Van Gerwen who at the time was looking to finish off the match. Instead, this incident interrupted his momentum and Gary Anderson managed to hold to make it 2-2 in the set. He then went on to break Van Gerwen's throw to win 3-2 and prolong the match at 6-3.
This set was not only controversial but historic. As Anderson broke in the final leg, he hit the 700th 180 of the tournament and also the 35th of the match soon after. This meant the pair had broken the record number of 180s ever seen at the World Championships.
Deserved World Champion
Both players again were hitting the 180s in the tenth set as they continued to smash the record. They were both able to hold their throws until the final leg where Van Gerwen hit an 85 finish ending with the bull to secure the set 3-2 and therefore the match 7-3.
It was a well deserved second title for the Dutchman who again produced breathtaking darts throughout the tournament. He ended the match with a 108.06 average in comparison to Anderson's 104.93.
At the age of just 27, it makes you wonder how far Van Gerwen can go in his career. Paul Taylor is sat with 14 titles to his name and the ambitious Dutchman will be looking to beat this in the long-term.
However, for now he will relish yet another title in what was a superb tournament aswell as the £350,000 he has now won in prize money.