Michael van Gerwin produced a thrilling comeback to beat Mervyn King and be crowned partypoker.com World Darts Grand Prix champion in Dublin last night. The Daily Shift’s Joel Slattery has more…
The win was the Dutchman’s first victory in a Major event and earned him the winner’s cheque of £100,000 (€123,891).
King started the brighter of the two taking an early advantage. Van Gerwin’s struggle to start in the fourth leg cost him dear and despite hitting a second 180 lost the leg and therefore the first set. Van Gerwin offered little resistance in the first half of the match. A 13-dart-leg in the third set came somewhat out of the blue. However, this was not enough to stop King building up a 3-0 lead.
This was a turning point for the young Dutchman though, who broke throw for the first time in the match at the start of the fourth set. King then missed five darts to win the second leg and watched how his opponent take a 2-0 lead. King then started a mini-revival however another missed double meant his lead was cut to 3-1.
King would take the fifth set in a fashion that made you think it was going to be his night. He fought back from 2-0 down and watched as van Gerwin missed five darts to take the set. At 4-1 King was only two set away from glory.
It was then, however, that the Dutch ace went into overdrive, winning nine out of the next 10 legs. He won sets six and seven to nil and never looked in doubt in the eighth as he took it by a comfortable 3-1 margin. All of a sudden it was 4-4.
The crucial ninth set went to two all and you got the sense that the next leg would be of vital importance. Van Gerwin started with a 152 before landing a 139. This put him in control and despite a fifth 180 of the match from King the Dutchman took a most unlikely of 5-4 leads, much to the delight of the Dublin crowd in the CityWest hotel.
A dejected King seemed to only going through the motions in the tenth. Van Gerwin eased to victory on a historic night for the Dutchman. Along with the big cheque, it also puts van Gerwin up to eighth in the World Rankings. This gives him a chance of making next year’s Premier League, whose participants are announced after the World Championship.
It was joy for the Dutchman in the first final to go to 10 sets since the best of eleven format was introduced in 2007. It was a great tournament that will live long in the memory of those who watched it. The biggest memory however, will be the singing of the Irish fans throughout the tournament who were blasting out renditions of “Stand up if you love the Darts!”