Michael Smith Wins The PDC World Championship After Greatest Game Ever

Smith beat MVG 7-4 after landing a sensational nine-darter
22:38, 03 Jan 2023

Michael Smith is the champion of the world! 

For the very first time, the Englishman has won the PDC World Championship on a special night of darts which saw Smith finally get his hands on darts’ biggest trophy after a 7-4 win over Michael van Gerwen. 

“This is what I think the whole world has been waiting for,” Wayne Mardle said. “At the end of a brilliant world championship, this could be the greatest game of them all.”

The new world number one - Michael Smith - won arguably the greatest game of darts we have ever seen. His win featured without a doubt the best leg of darts in history as MVG hit eight perfect darts before missing D12, only for Smith to hit a nine-darter to surpass him in the very same leg. 

After such a history of pain in major finals, Smith has finally put that behind him with the biggest win of the lot. That win over Nathan Aspinall in the Grand Slam seems to have given him a huge amount of belief and now, he stands on top of the world. 

The image of him hitting the nine-darter in the final, the second we have seen on this stage, will live long in the memory, as will the image of him lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy for the very first time. It was a match-up between two of the greats that will never be forgotten. 

Smith went 1-0 up in the first set by holding his throw before Van Gerwen wasted eight darts at double before creaking over the line with a D1. It was a chance Smith wasted to break, and then he missed D8 as MVG broke him. From there the Dutchman got into his groove to take the set with ease, and once again, the world number three took the opening set. 

MVG then took out 90 to hold his own throw in the opening leg of the second set. Smith responded to level the scores. Then there was the greatest leg of darts we have arguably ever seen. Eight perfect darts from Michael van Gerwen. Nine perfect darts from Michael Smith on the biggest stage, in the biggest game of all. The two hit 180 after 180 until eventually MVG missed D12. The crowd were on their feet as Smith completed the first nine-darter in any final of the World Darts Championship.

"You can watch darts for the rest of your life but you'll maybe never see the like again!" Mardle said. "That was incredible! It was improbable and for some just impossible to comprehend. 

"I've played darts for decade after decade and I've never seen it happen. To do it in a world final...these two are special." It was the most sensational leg and Smith went on to level the scores at one set apiece. 

He kept the momentum going by starting the second leg well and then he broke with a D10, but he missed his chance to win the set in the third leg. Both players missed three darts at the doubles, Smith’s to win the set, before MVG broke him back. Smith then escaped with the set, as he hit the D10 needed to take the third leg. Smith 2-1 MVG.

MVG took the first of the fourth set, and then broke Smith as he wasted his shot at D20. Bully Boy had hit two 180s on his own throw, but still lost the leg as Van Gerwen found his groove. He hit D16 and won three straight legs to level the final at 2-2.  

Smith won the opening leg of the fifth, MVG responded, before Smith gave himself a 2-1 lead in comfortable fashion. Van Gerwen responded with a ten dart leg. Then, he broke the throw in the crucial moment to go 3-2 up as Smith crumbled at a pivotal moment. 

Smith broke in the first leg with some huge scores, before cleaning up D20. However, he once again couldn’t press home the advantage as he was way off it and allowed MVG to break back. Van Gerwen missed two at D10 to hold throw and Smith broke back again, before he landed a key D10 to take the set and level things at 3-3. 

MVG broke in the first leg of the seventh before checking out 80 to go 2-0 up. However, he then missed two darts to win the set and Smith broke back with a ridiculous 130 finish to drag himself back into the set. Then in the decider he hit the D6 needed to take the leg in unlikely circumstances. 

Smith then hit D20 to break in the opener of the next set and then traded legs with MVG to go 2-1 up in the eighth set. Then he nailed the D8 to win three consecutive sets and take charge of this World Championship final to go 5-3 up. 

Then Bully Boy took the first leg, before he got himself set up for a break with three darts at D10. It took his last on D5 to go 2-0 up, and then he hit D20 to win his fourth set in a row to go 6-3 up in the final. 

MVG landed a 105 finish to take the first of the tenth set before Smith wasted a chance at D10 to finish. However, Van Gerwen then missed his chance to break, as Smith came back to finish. MVG hit the D8 to go back in front before Bully Boy responded again with D20 to make it 2-2. In the decider though, Smith felt the pressure and Van Gerwen took full advantage. Smith 6-4 MVG.

Van Gerwen came out after the break on fire, and broke Smith with ease in the opener, before hitting D16 to go 2-0 up. It was a different Dutchman on show, as Smith was clearly feeling the pressure. He responded with a 106 finish to pull it back to 2-1 and put the pressure on MVG’s throw. As the Dutchman missed the bull, Smith hit D7 to level things up. Then with the darts in hand he threw two 180s, and then finished on a D16.

He ran to his wife and his kids to celebrate this moment he has waited so long for. Michael Smith, finally champion of the world.

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