Michael van Gerwen completed a full house of PDC major titles after adding the Grand Slam of Darts trophy to his career roll of honour.
The Dutch sensation, who won his first major just three years ago, sealed his 11th big success with a thrilling final win over defending champion Phil Taylor.
van Gerwen recovered from a nightmare start, having trailed 3-0, 4-1 and 7-3, by winning six straight legs in the middle of the contest before going on to clinch a 16-13 victory.“I’m so happy with this win,” said van Gerwen, the world number one.
“I’ve now won every major PDC title and it feels like something special. To do it by beating the greatest darts player there has ever been makes it even more special and Phil put me under a lot of pressure so I’m so pleased to have won this tournament,
“I feel like I have been the best player this week and I just want to thank my fans and everyone who believes in me. The last three years have been amazing and I hope I can continue this and get stronger and stronger. I want to enjoy even more moments like this.”
Taylor dominated the first session, kicking off with six perfect darts and taking out a 131 finish to charge into a 4-1 lead.
van Gerwen improved dramatically after the first interval, with the next four legs being shared but missed five darts at double in the tenth leg, allowing Taylor to break with a 106 finish.
‘Mighty Mike’ responded with a 105 finish to break back immediately, sparking a sensational run of six straight legs to move 9-7 ahead.
Taylor won the next two before a 121 finish restored the lead at 10-9 for van Gerwen and he then bedded tops to move two legs clear once again.
He then moved three legs clear for the first time with the aid of his ninth 180 but Taylor took the next two legs to reduce van Gerwen’s lead to 12-11 before the pair both held their throws in each of the next four legs.
van Gerwen hit his 14th 180 to move within a leg of victory, before finishing the job on double 18 against the the throw.
van Gerwen averaged over 100 in every match he played in the tournament, which saw him clinch his fifth major title of the year.
How he won the final (Leg-by-leg)
0 – 1 Taylor opens with 180 and 177 and went on to hold his throw in 11 darts.
0 – 2 Taylor misses two darts at double 16 but van Gerwen misses two at double before ‘The Power’ returns to break.
0 – 3 Taylor takes out 81 to move further ahead.
1 – 3 Taylor misses a dart to break again and van Gerwen pegs double 16 to get off the mark.
1 – 4 Taylor gets the first big finish of the match, taking out 131.
2 – 4 van Gerwen throws his first 180 and lands double ten.
2 – 5 Taylor fires in his second maximum and ups his average to over 107.
3 – 5 van Gerwen starts with a 180, Taylor replies in kind but the Dutchman goes out in 11 darts after his opponent had left 16 after nine.
3 – 6 The pair exchange 180s before Taylor beds double 16 to complete an 11 darter.
3 – 7 van Gerwen misses five darts in a leg he was seemingly dominating and Taylor takes out 106 to punish him.
4 – 7 van Gerwen hits his fourth 108 and capitalises on missed doubles from Taylor by taking out 105 to break back.
5 – 7 The world number one hits another maximum and pins double ten.
6 – 7 ‘The Power’ levels the 180 count at five apiece before van Gerwen hits a sixth and punishes Taylor for three missed darts at double to break again.
7 – 7 van Gerwen draws level for the first time by cleaning up 66
8 – 7 Taylor misses two further darts at double and ‘Mighty Mike’ completes a whitewash session with a 74 checkout.
9 – 7 van Gerwen takes a sixth straight leg by nailing double 16.
9 – 8 The Dutch star fires in his seventh 180 but Taylor hits his sixth and lands double 16 to stem the tide.
9 – 9 Taylor makes it seven 180s apiece and pegs double ten to break and level up the match after both players missed doubles.
10 – 9 van Gerwen kicks off with a 180 and takes out 121 to break back and regain the lead.
11 – 9 van Gerwen punishes Taylor for three missed darts at doubles by bedding tops.
12 – 9 A ninth 180 helps van Gerwen move three legs clear for the first time as he breaks Taylor’s through after the defending champion misses a dart at tops.
12 – 10 Taylor’s ninth 180 and a missed dart at tops from van Gerwen sees ‘The Power’ grab a break of throw.
12 – 11 van Gerwen hits a tenth maximum but can’t finish 36 and Taylor takes out 94 to move within a leg.
13 – 11 van Gerwen starts with a maximum and lands double 16 to go three legs away from glory.
13 – 12 ‘Mighty Mike’ opens with another 180, Taylor responds with one of his own and cleans up 81.
14 – 12 van Gerwen nails double eight with his last dart in hand to hold his throw.
14 – 13 The Dutchman kicks off with a 13th maximum but misses four darts to break, allowing Taylor to and double eight.
15 – 13 van Gerwen starts with a 180 for the fourth leg in five before finishing double 16 to go within a leg of victory
16 – 13 van Gerwen finishes the job on double 18 and completes a full set of PDC major titles.
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