World number two Gary Anderson produced a comeback of epic proportions, to beat world number Michael van Gerwen and retain his Dubai Desert Darts Masters title. In the searing heat of the Dubai evening, Anderson was forced first to beat Peter Wright in the semi-finals, then come from behind to beat the world champion to lift the crown. The final was one of the finest games we have seen on TV, with both players averaging well over 110 in their best of 21 games.
Earlier in the evening, MvG was playing Gerwyn Price; sadly this was a one-sided affair as the newcomer Price didn’t have the answers to beat the great Dutchman. Van Gerwen raced away with the semifinal and maintained his incredible record of reaching all of the five finals in Dubai, with an 11-3 victory over the Welshman. In the second semi-final saw Scottish teammates, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright lock horns. Anderson was tested much more in his semi-final, as Wright is one of the inform players on the PDC tour. This match swung both ways and back again, as Anderson took the better of the early exchanges leading 7-3 after ten legs. Then after the break, Wright steamed his way back into the match, as he missed a dart to make the scores 8-8. Anderson wouldn’t look back from the Wright missed chance and closed out the match 11-8, to renew his rivalry with Michael van Gerwen.
The final caught light from the early stages, as MvG took the first session 3-2. The second mini session was the pivotal moment in the fight, as van Gerwen missed a dart to lead 6-3. From that moment Anderson found his best darts, racking up the legs and racing into a 9-6 lead. During that spell, Anderson unleashed a barrage of 180s, as the Scotsman’s average was around the 114 mark. Anderson would produce an eleven dart leg, to seal victory 11-7 over the world number one.
Speaking after Anderson said
“It’s a brilliant win for me,” said Anderson, who also overcame Phil Taylor in Wednesday’s quarter-finals. “The scoring was great, and it just shows what an old boy can still do!
“A few years ago against a player like Michael I would have just packed in and given up [when I was behind]. Now I believe I can catch them and get on a roll.
“When I retire I can look back at playing the likes of Van Gerwen and Taylor and say that I played them and I beat them.”
“I’ve been fortunate enough to grace the stage with Phil Taylor, the greatest dart player in the world, but this man has taken over him,” said Anderson.
“To me, Michael van Gerwen is the best dart player in the world, without a doubt, so to pinch anything off him is always a bonus. I was over the moon with the way [the darts] went.”
Van Gerwen was very gracious in defeat “At the moment there’s only Gary who can do this,” said Van Gerwen. “I know what he’s capable of, and I tried anything that was in my possibility, and it wasn’t enough [on Thursday].
“Fair play to Gary, it was a great game. We always have great games, and I can’t be angry – I also think I played well, I had a great final, and unfortunately, I didn’t win, but there’s always next year.”