‘I want to take over the sport’ – Smith world champion after hitting nine darts in epic finale with Van Gerwen

Michael Smith is looking to “take over the sport” after he became world champion for the first time, beating Michael van Gerwen 7-4 in an epic final on Tuesday.

Smith was twice runner-up at Alexandra Palace and was defeated by Van Gerwen and Peter Wright in the 2019 and 2022 finals, respectively, but eventually crossed the line with a stunning show where she finished with nine darts. – only the second time in a PDC World Championship final.

After Van Gerwen won the opening set, they took a foot-a-second before a phenomenal third foot, the Dutch lost a double 12 for a nine-dart finish, nine darters only for Smith to go out on the oche and score 141 points, and send the crowd into ecstasy.

The match continued to fall apart, with Van Gerwen looking to take control by taking a three-to-one lead, only Smith came back and won four sets on the return, giving him a 6-3 advantage.

Van Gerwen pulled the score back to 6-4, but Smith sank at the double eight and the 11th set drew twos and won the championship and became the world number one.

When asked what it sounds like to be described as a world champion, Smith told Sky Sports: “[It] sounds great. I don’t want to cry and get into feelings.

“Michael left me there and I finally took a chance I didn’t deserve once. I want to apologize to Michael, I was in that situation too.

“It’s 1-1 in worlds now. I tried my luck but he knows this won’t be the last world final between us and I’m doing it. He’s the best player in darts, I’ve been saying that for years. and you have to take your chances and finally I did it.

“I want to do what this man did. [Van Gerwen] It’s over, I want to take over the sport.”

Smith says the crowd encouraged him to reach an incredible finish with nine darts, explaining, “I didn’t hit nine darts in practice today but 180, 180, ma’am, so I thought, ‘Now do one. Give the crowd what they deserve.’

Van Gerwen was humble after missing the opportunity to become a four-time world champion and said: “He played really well. I had luck, we all know that.

“When you don’t hit them, it throws everything at you. You can only blame yourself, but that won’t take anything away.” [from Smith] because he played great from start to finish.

“I wasn’t the person I wanted to be, but it’s part of the game and you have to take it.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of the job. It’s a good job when we celebrate and it’s hard when we lose games. We all know that.”

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