22ND EUROPEAN TOUR WIN FOR VAN GERWEN
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN claimed a 22nd European Tour title and a second in as many weeks as he defeated Peter Wright 8-5 in the final of the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich.
Having claimed the year's opening PDC European Tour title with victory over Wright in the European Darts Open a week ago, Van Gerwen enjoyed a repeat success to claim the 25,000 pound top prize.
Van Gerwen set the tone in the opening leg of the final by breaking the Wright throw to take the early initiative.
The world number one then kept Wright at arms length until the ninth leg of the match, when the Scot took out 106 to close the gap to one.
Wright, who was looking for his seventh European Tour victory, then produced a stunning 161 checkout to break the Van Gerwen throw and level the match at 5-5.
The Dutchman reacted immediately, retrieving the break of throw that had just been snatched from him by pinning tops for a 6-5 lead.
Van Gerwen then won the following two legs to claim an eighth PDC title of 2018 and yet another victory over Wright in a decider.
"Peter is a phenomenal player and he works so hard, it's always a great game between us and I'm really glad to win this one," said the two-time World Champion.
"I'm really proud of myself. I didn't play brilliant but I did enough to win."
Wright, who maintained his record of playing in every single European Tour event since the format's inception in 2012, was in a similarly jovial mood after the final.
"I'm a great runner-up!" joked Wright. "[Michael] said to me a couple of years ago that I would be number two in the world and he would be number one. He was correct - I hate him!"
The positive signs were there for all to see for Van Gerwen when he opened the final day of action at the Zenith in Munich with a thumping 6-1 win over Alan Norris, with the Dutch ace averaging 105 in the process.
A similarly devastating 6-0 win was dished out to Keegan Brown in the quarter-finals, with the former World Youth Champion no match for Van Gerwen as his march towards the title continued.
The semi-finals saw Van Gerwen take on 2017 World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney, but yet again the 28-year-old was in no mood to hang around, running out a 7-3 winner and progressing in to the final.
Wright's run to the final began with a 6-0 whitewash of Alan Tabern before an average of almost 110 saw him sweep aside Joe Cullen 6-1 to move in to the semi-finals.
The 48-year-old's opponent in the last four was James Wade, who was making his second European Tour semi-final appearance of the year as his return to form continued.
Wright, though, was too strong for Wade in the end and the Scot took his place in the final with a 7-3 win.
There was also a quarter-final run for World Champion Rob Cross and for home favourite Max Hopp, who was hoping to become the first German to make a European Tour semi-final, but it was Van Gerwen who claimed the 25,000 pound prize and yet another PDC title.