VAN GERWEN DENIES WADE TO CLAIM SHANGHAI DARTS MASTERS TITLE
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN got back to winning ways on the PDC World Series of Darts circuit with a superb 8-3 victory over James Wade in the final of the Shanghai Darts Masters on Sunday.
The world number one, a winner of four previous international events and last year's World Series of Darts Finals, has missed out in Dubai and Auckland so far in 2016, but produced some of his best form as he claimed the inaugural title at the Pullman Hotel Shanghai South.
After battling past Singapore's Paul Lim in Saturday's first round, van Gerwen overcame fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld 8-4 in the quarter-finals and then came from 4-1 down in his semi-final to defeat Dave Chisnall 8-5.
Chisnall followed up his hard-fought 8-6 quarter-final win over Adrian Lewis with checkouts of 148 and 150 to take the initiative against van Gerwen, who responded with a 145 finish as he turned the game around with a run of four successive legs before claiming victory.
The Dutchman also opened the final with a 138 finish and a pair of tops checkouts gave him a 3-0 lead before Wade took out 116 to respond.
A four-leg burst then moved van Gerwen into a 7-1 lead, and though Wade again finished 116 in claiming back-to-back legs to keep his hopes alive, a missed bullseye in the next allowed the world number one in to post double 16 for a 13-darter to claim the title.
"Every win means a lot to me but this is the first Shanghai Darts Masters so it's very special," said van Gerwen, who ended the final with a 100.54 average. "Everything came together and I'm really glad I won this trophy.
"It's been a very good week in China and it's a pleasure for me to play in tournaments like this. Shanghai's fantastic and to get the win makes it even better.
"James did really well to reach the final but I hit the right shots at the right time and I'm very happy with how I played."
Wade had won through to his second World Series of Darts final, matching his achievement at the Perth Darts Masters last year, by seeing off World Champion Gary Anderson 8-7 in the quarter-finals and Phil Taylor 8-6 in the semi-finals.
Anderson had hit back from 5-1 down to force a deciding leg in their contest, but missed three match darts to complete his comeback as Wade followed a pair of earlier 118 checkouts by landing double five to edge through.
He then saw off Taylor in another tight clash, with the 16-time World Champion finishing 121 on the bull to open up a 4-2 lead before Wade claimed four legs in a row to put himself in command as he closed out the win.
Taylor had earlier produced a sensational comeback from 7-1 down to defeat Peter Wright 8-7 in their quarter-final, and kept up the pressure on Wade with a 138 checkout before the left-hander eventually sealed his place in the final.
"I've beaten two amazing darts players today in Gary and Phil and unfortunately I didn't turn up in the final," said Wade.
"Michael was too strong but it's a step in the right direction because it's a great thing to be involved in a final, and it's obviously the first time over here in China."
ITV4's delayed coverage in the UK will be broadcast at 7.30pm on Sunday evening.
The PDC World Series of Darts continues with the Zipang Casino Tokyo Darts Masters on July 6-7, with the eight PDC stars set to take on eight Japanese qualifiers across two days at the Yoyogi Olympic Hall. For tickets, visit www.pdj.co.jp.