FOURTH TRIUMPH FOR VAN GERWEN AT UNIBET WORLD GRAND PRIX
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN lifted the Unibet World Grand Prix title for a fourth time with a 5-2 win over Peter Wright at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin on Saturday.
World number one Van Gerwen landed two vital ton-plus finishes and fired in seven 180s to notch up an 18th title of the year at the double-start event, which he first won in 2012.
Despite an edgy start, the Dutchman produced a 101 checkout to go 3-2 up in sets before reeling off the last two sets in impressive style to land the trophy and the 100,000 pound top prize.
"I had to fight really hard to win that one," said Van Gerwen. "All credit to Peter, he made it difficult.
"At the start of this game I didn't play well but I showed winning instinct inside me to survive.
"Everyone wrote me off but I took the recent defeats on the chin and fought back even harder and played a phenomenal tournament.
"I'm building my preparation for the World Championship and I'm growing in confidence with every win - they should all be afraid of me."
Starring in his first Dublin final and bidding for a fourth title of the year, world number two Wright got off to a good start but was unable to convert his superior average into a lead.
Van Gerwen claimed a tight first set with a superb 110 finish in the deciding leg, before Wright claimed the second without reply courtesy of some superb darts.
That pattern continued as Van Gerwen took the third in a fifth leg before Wright won the fourth 3-1.
With the pair tied at 2-2, the crucial moment of the match came at the end of the fifth set as Wright missed a set-dart and was punished by Van Gerwen who landed a stunning 101 checkout to take a 3-2 lead.
The Dutchman, who defeated Steve Lennon, Darren Webster, Dave Chisnall and Daryl Gurney en route to the final. found his groove in the final two sets to drop only one further leg as he ran out a worthy champion.
"Michael is a fantastic player but he only won tonight because I let him off so much," said Wright, who saw off Steve West, Jermaine Wattimena, James Wilson and Mensur Suljovic to reach the Citywest showdown.
"My form this year has been up and down, I had an awesome game against Mensur on Friday but unfortunately I couldn't do it again in the final.
"I enjoy my darts and I mix it with the best, maybe next time I will go all the way."
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