Van Gerwen resists fightback to grab first World title
Michael van Gerwen defeated Peter Wright by seven sets to four to win the Ladbrokes World Championship at Alexandra Palace.
The 24-year-old Dutchman, beaten by Phil Taylor in last year's final, was simply too strong for world number 16 Wright and took control of the contest by winning the first four sets.
He said: "It was a very tough match. I got nervous after going 4-0 up but it doesn't matter how you win a final, winning it is the most important. It's so difficult to win this title and there was more pressure on me this year than last year. It means so much for me.
"It's unbelievable, a dream come true. I'm so glad I won but all credit to Peter, he did well and put me under pressure."
Although Wright made a fight of it, the Suffolk-based Scot paid for the poor start as Van Gerwen closed out victory to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy.
Wright said: "I never give up – that's my game. The crowd got behind me and made me play – but well done Michael."
Van Gerwen lost just a single leg in taking the first two sets.
The Dutchman then wrapped up the third set with a finish of 108. Wright did manage to end a nine-leg losing run in the fourth set but soon after the Dutchman had established a 4-0 lead.
Then 'Snakebite' Wright pulled it back to 4-1 and hopes of a comeback were raised when it became 4-2. However, a key moment came in the seventh set when Wright missed double top in the deciding leg and paid as Van Gerwen hit double eight to go three sets clear at 5-2.
Then Van Gerwen moved to within a set of victory. An edgy ninth set went with Wright's way and his bid for an unlikely comeback continued when he reduced the deficit to 6-4.
But a nervous Van Gerwen saw the job through, nailing double top to wrap up victory.