The last couple of months, more and more people were assuming that Michael van Gerwen's dominant spell at the top of the world of darts was over. This was mainly due to the fact that he actually lost a few times, even in a couple of important tournaments this was the case. However, in the last couple of weeks, the still young Dutchman (he's only 29 years old) showed that he is the best of the world, and it seems he will remain so for another while.
In the semi-final, The Green Machine completely outplayed the other 2-time world champion Gary Anderson, and in the final, not hairy Michael did the same to hairy Michael (Smith). It was the second World Championship in which the two finalists were younger than 30 years of age. The only other time this was the case was in 1983. Back then Keith Deller became the youngest world champion at that time by beating Eric Bristow in the final. In my preview post that I shared yesterday, I already explained why Michael van Gerwen was the big favorite to win this final. Not just because he is the number one in the world rankings, but also because of his experience, as well as the head-to-head results and better statistics throughout the tournament.
Ahead of the final, Michael van Gerwen was interviewed, in which he was asked about his view on the upcoming match. Van Gerwen was clear, and predicted a 7-3 win, after a 4-0 lead in sets. A couple of hours later, Michael van Gerwen was leading Michael Smith indeed with four sets to nil. The pressure of the final was clearly visible and Michael Smith was unable to handle it very well. With this lead Michael van Gerwen lost his composure and concentration a bit, which gave Michael Smith the chance to come back. You would almost assume that he made it happen on purpose to confirm his earlier prediction, but that would make an "ass" out of "u", "me" and Michael van Gerwen.
This loss of concentration resulted indeed in the slight comeback, taking two sets in a row, of which one was against the throw of darts, and in the next set Smith would have the darts. In that set Michael van Gerwen put things back in order, winning the set, to take a 6-2 lead. He then had a match-dart to win it 7-2 in sets, but when he missed Smith threw a winning dart, to claim his third set. Van Gerwen then finished the last set in style, not giving Michael Smith a single chance anymore. His prediction of a 7-3 win came through. He could have made a lot of money through a legit bookmaker, but instead, he decided to win a lot of money by winning the tournament. The prize money was 500k British Pounds for the winner and 200k British Pounds for the runner-up.