Gerwyn Price composes himself to win Sid Waddell Trophy after missing 11 match darts to complete a memorable three weeks in north London; The Iceman becomes the sport’s new world No 1 in addition to winning his maiden World Championship
By Paul Prenderville at Alexandra Palace
Last Updated: 04/01/21 7:30am
Gerwyn Price produced a display worthy of darts’ new world No 1 to beat Gary Anderson 7-3, claim his first World Darts Championship title and end Michael van Gerwen’s reign at the top of the sport’s rankings.
Having entered the tournament 19 days ago as the man with the most titles on the tour this year, Price added the biggest of the lot with a dominant victory that featured an average of 100.08, 13 180s and three 100+ finishes.
The 35-year-old from Markham in South Wales cruised through the early exchanges and missed nine match darts for a 7-2 victory as his previously spectacular display of finishing – that had sat at 75 per cent for periods – deserted him when he needed it most.
However, Price steadied himself and finally, with his 12th match dart, managed to pin the outer ring, sinking double five and then to his knees to breathe a huge sigh of relief as he claimed the title and much more besides.
“It’s going to take a couple of days for it to sink in, I’m on cloud nine. I can’t even speak really; it means the world. I’m the most emotional person ever. It’s crazy!
“I’ve never felt pressure like that in my life. That was tough to hit that winning double, how Michael [van Gerwen], Peter [Wright] and other people make it look so easy, it’s crazy. That was tough.”
Gerwyn Price 2021 World Darts Champion
Along with winning the £500,000 first prize, Price – a rugby league and rugby union player less than 10 years ago – ended Van Gerwen’s seven-year reign as world No 1 and denied Anderson a chance to joining the illustrious band of players to have won three world titles.
Seven years on from winning his Tour Card at Q school, and playing in his first World Championship final, the Iceman becomes the fifth Welshman to be crowned a world darts champion but the first to lift the prestigious Sid Waddell Trophy. He is also the first Q-School graduate to become world champion.
A new world No 1 – Price’s major televised titles
|Grand Slam of Darts||2018, 2019|
|World Grand Prix||2020|
|World Cup of Darts||2020|
|World Series of Darts Finals||2020|
Price rallies after fast Anderson start
Despite their much-publicised contest at the Grand Slam, the pair have met six times since and much of the animosity has subsided but the clash of personalities and styles still made for a fascinating watch.
Even more so when Price hit back after losing the first two legs of the match to claim the opening set. Anderson wasted three darts for the set and was punished in ruthless fashion by the Iceman.
Fifteen, 16 and 14-dart legs gave Price the initiative which he continued into the start of the second set with a clinical 52 combination finish. But Anderson swung things back his way with six brilliant darts, following a 180 with a classy 128 finish on his way to levelling the match
However, Price, a five-time televised champion, had the perfect riposte, reeling off the best set of the World Championship to average 120 and claim three of the four sets in 14 darts or fewer – only denied a clean sweep by Anderson’s spectacular 170.
The Iceman extended his lead as he pushed his level up even further. With an average of 102 and a flawless performance on double top, Price’s doubling statistics were 10 successful darts from 13 thrown at the outer ring. He also connected with his first three-figure outshot of the contest.
Price, who beat Anderson 7-1 and 8-3 in last year’s Premier League, began to pull clear. Once again doubles proved decisive.
Iceman puts his foot down
Having moved 2-0 in front in the fifth set with another successful dart at double top, the Welshman missed double 18 and double nine to give Anderson a chance to get on the board but Price returned to pin double top for the 10th time from 10 at the target and he was four sets clear.
Remarkably he continued to climb, pinning the same target to complete a brilliant 11-dart leg with a 100 finish. Having hit a record-setting eight 100+ finishes in his semi-final win over Stephen Bunting, he added a third when he took out the bull for a 161 check-out.
The 36-year-old completed an astonishing set of darts by going eight darts of the way to a perfect leg and while he missed double 12 for the nine-darter, he returned to win the set in just 33 darts with a record-setting average of 136.
Leading 5-1, Price took his tally to 11 from 13 legs as he looked like steamrollering his way to the title but he missed darts for a 6-1 lead, including a first at double top and Anderson reeled off three legs without having to do too much to get a second set on the board.
With nerves understandably coming into play, Price’s level dipped but his accuracy on double top didn’t as a 14th successful dart at the target took him within one set of the title and he was soon within one leg after a clinical start to the ninth set.
“It’s probably tougher to get world No 1 than it is to win this trophy, as tough as it is to win the trophy. To be No 1 as well… this is good but world No 1 you have to do it for two years.
“I’m world No 1, I’m world champion… I can’t wait for John to call me out in my first tournament. It’s going to be crazy! To be able to say that, I never even dreamt of it really, until this year,”
Gerwyn Price, New World No 1
When Anderson missed three darts to keep the set alive, Price could not punish him and he missed the first of nine championship darts as Anderson somehow scrambled to the set and kept the match alive.
Price’s errors haunted him and Anderson claimed a third and fourth leg in succession before Price halted a run of 14 successive missed darts at double to first pin tops and then nail double 10 when the Scot missed two darts to reduce the deficit to two sets.
Price missed two more match darts but Anderson failed to capitalise. Price finally had his moment.
Six years on from playing in his first World Championship, the same year Anderson won his first world crown, Price had toppled the two-time champion when he pinned double five for the moment of his darting, and sporting, life.
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