Template - Date: BetVictor World Matchplay
GARY ANDERSON was crowned BetVictor World Matchplay champion on Sunday night, defeating Mensur Suljovic 21-19 in a tie-break to lift the Phil Taylor Trophy at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
The Scot scooped the £115,000 title and succeeded Taylor as champion with a resilient display against the plucky Austrian, who led 9-7 at one stage. Missed doubles in four successive legs allowed Anderson to seize control, and the two-time World Champion held his nerve during a nerve-shattering finale to close out victory in the longest-ever Blackpool final.
Anderson had also landed a brilliant nine-dart finish during his quarter-final win over Joe Cullen, and added to March’s UK Open triumph with another big title in his tenth World Matchplay appearance.
“I’m delighted to win this magnificent tournament,” said Anderson. “It was a struggle to win, as it always is against Mensur, and I think I rode my luck a bit tonight. “When the bullseye to win it bounced out it was frustrating but I managed to regain my composure to win it.
“It’s been nice to see Phil back in Blackpool this week and the crowd have been fantastic. This is a special place for me now and I’ll look forward to coming back here next year to defend my title.”
A high-quality final saw Suljovic lead 1-0 and 2-1 only for Anderson to land six perfect darts in moving 3-2 up. Suljovic posted a pair of 14-darters to regain the edge, before Anderson finished 68 and 84 as he moved ahead 5-4.
An 11-darter saw the Champions League of Darts winner level before he led once more, and Suljovic opened up the first two-leg lead of the final at 9-7 with the aid of a 118 checkout and another 14-darter. Anderson, though, capitalised on misses from the Austrian in the next four legs as he moved 11-9 up, before extending that advantage to 14-10 despite an 11-dart leg from his opponent.
Suljovic pulled back to 15-13, but Anderson crucially took out 105 and 77 to regain breathing space as he moved to the brink of glory at 17-13. The Austrian hit back once again to save the game, with five straight legs putting him 18-17 up as a capacity Winter Gardens crowd held its breath.
Anderson regained his composure to move 19-18 up, but saw a dart at the bull for the title bounce out as Suljovic kept his hopes alive, only for the Scot to claim the next two legs and seal glory on double ten.
Suljovic took home £55,000 as runner-up following a fine week in Blackpool, and said: “It was a brilliant feeling to play in this final – it was such a good game. “Thank you to everybody for the support, I loved playing here. “Gary played brilliant, he was the best player in the tournament so it is OK to lose to him – he is a champion and I respect him.”
Sunday July 29th (7pm)
Gary Anderson 21-19 Mensur Suljovic
Winner – £115,000
Runner-Up – £55,000
Semi-Finalists – £30,000
Quarter-Finalists – £17,500
Second Round Losers – £11,000
First Round Losers – £7,000
Total – £500,000
Saturday July 21st
Adrian Lewis 10-8 James Wilson
Dave Chisnall 10-4 Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen 6-10 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Michael Smith 10-6 Jonny Clayton
Sunday July 22nd
Darren Webster 10-6 Steve Lennon
Ian White 10-7 Max Hopp
Gerwyn Price 3-10 Joe Cullen
Daryl Gurney 12-10 Steve West
Mensur Suljovic 10-6 Steve Beaton
Gary Anderson 10-7 Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross 10-5 Mervyn King
Raymond van Barneveld 10-6 Kyle Anderson
Monday July 23rd
Kim Huybrechts 13-12 John Henderson
Simon Whitlock 10-2 Richard North
James Wade 12-10 Jermaine Wattimena
Peter Wright 10-5 Jelle Klaasen
Tuesday July 24th (7pm)
Dave Chisnall 11-8 Michael Smith
Daryl Gurney 3-10 Joe Cullen
Jeffrey de Zwaan 11-9 Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld
Wednesday July 25th (7pm)
Simon Whitlock 11-7 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 11-8 Ian White
Rob Cross 8-11 Darren Webster
Peter Wright 11-5 Kim Huybrechts
Thursday July 26th (7pm)
Jeffrey de Zwaan 16-8 Dave Chisnall
Joe Cullen 17-19 Gary Anderson
Friday July 27th (7pm)
Simon Whitlock 5-16 Peter Wright
Darren Webster 10-16 Mensur Suljovic
Saturday July 28th (7pm)
Jeffrey de Zwaan 12-17 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 13-17 Mensur Suljovic