Gerwyn Price overcame two-times former world champion Gary Anderson in yesterday’s final by seven sets to three to become the tenth winner of the PDC World Championship.
What would be a dramatic final of twists and turns set out its stall early on as Anderson won the first two legs of the match to give himself the darts for a 1-0 lead, before Price’s game got going and he won three legs on the trot to establish an early lead in the final. Anderson managed to turn breaks of throw into his advantage in the second set though as he broke in leg three to lead 2-1 before winning the set on double top. The Welshman, however, looked renewed after the second set and came out firing on all cylinders, winning the next two legs and taking out the set after the brief interlude of a 170 from Gary Anderson. 2-1 was soon to become 3-1 as Anderson struggled to keep with the pace. The next leg was a break of throw for Price before he took out leg two in 15 darts. Anderson responded with a leg of his own but Price soon extended his lead to 4-1.
The sixth set upped the ante in the final even further as Price registered the best ever average in a set in the history of the PDC World Championship (136.64). He took out the legs in eleven, twelve and ten darts to put himself within touching distance of victory. Anderson won the next set 3-2 to keep himself in with a fight but Price took the next set with the same scoreline to go within one set of the world crown. He followed that up with a break of throw in leg one before a hold of throw in the second leg. What would occur next was extraordinary. Price missed two match darts at 2-1 up before missing a further seven in the next leg. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ showed some of his best to take advantage and he sealed the set after Price’s extraordinary display. Anderson broke throw in leg one of the tenth set and Price was in a dangerous position as he then went 2-0 down on the two-times champion. The next leg, however, would be significant for boosting Price’s confidence as he got a leg on the board and got his foot back in the door. He followed it up with a break of throw before both missed darts in the next leg for the set. In the end, it would be Price who got over the line with a double five, to win in an incredible climax to nearly three weeks of action.
Double delight for Price as he tops Order of Merit
Gerwyn Price knew exactly what was at stake as he began his final with Gary Anderson yesterday evening. Not just the chance to etch his name into darts history forever with a world title but also the chance to become world number one, and end Michael van Gerwen’s seven year spell as the top of the PDC Order of Merit. In winning, he became the tenth PDC world champion and tenth PDC world number one. And he knows what more is to come, too. A year of hearing those words ‘champion of the world’ uttered by MC John McDonald, and hopefully plenty of exhibitions and touring the country to enjoy his success. It has been an extremely tough year in which players and fans have had to make do with no crowds and accessing the sport merely through TV or computer screens, but nothing can underestimate Price’s achievement or the degree to which it is deserved. It comes after a series of milestones for the star – winning his tour card in 2014, his first PDC Pro Tour title in 2016 and of course his 2018 Grand Slam victory, followed by a defence of that title in 2019 and 3 other TV majors since. The transformation from former rugby star to the world number 1 and world champion is one to be marvelled at, and is another example of, after Rob Cross, a player making the full and complete journey through the PDC ranks.
A fascinating year beckons
Darts looks to be on hold for a little while yet, with the Premier League set to be delayed until Easter and Q-School having already been pushed to February. But when the arrows do get flowing once again, the dynamics will be fascinating. Gerwyn Price will face the newfound pressure of being world champion and world number one as he goes into every major and every event with a weight on his shoulders. Michael van Gerwen will return with a vengeance, eager to take back the number one spot and get more TV titles under his belt to banish any questions about his long-term form. Peter Wright, now free of his reigning world champion status, will look to cause trouble in the field yet again, while a whole host of others, including Michael Smith, Rob Cross, Glen Durrant and Dimitri van den Bergh, will have their eyes on further success. It will no doubt make the waiting worth it.
The full collection of dartsweb articles from the 2021 PDC World Championship can be found here. Dartsweb will be back soon with more content.
Image Credits: PDC