By Alex Moss
25 MAY 2017 • 10:31PM
Gary Anderson retained his Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters title with a stunning 11-7 comeback win over Michael van Gerwen in the final tonight.
In a repeat of last year’s final, and January’s World Championship and Masters deciders, Anderson again mastered the desert heat and outdoor conditions at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium to win the title for a second successive year.
The Scot defeated Peter Wright 11-8 in a nervy semi-final, but returned to the stage and produced an outstanding display to deny van Gerwen his fourth Dubai title.
Anderson averaged an astonishing 110.88, the highest ever average recorded in the tournament’s five-year history, and hit 12 maximums and finished 50 per cent of his chances at doubles, coming from 3-1 and 5-3 down to lead 9-6 with a run of six legs in seven, before closing out victory.
Van Gerwen, who earlier in the day had cruised past World Series debutant Gerwyn Price 11-3 to reach his fifth Dubai final in as many years, hit six 180s and also averaged over 110 in the final against Anderson, but fell to defeat in the decider for a second year in a row.
“It’s a brilliant win for me,” Anderson said. “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 beat them.”
The final, between the top two players in the world, began with the pair hitting seven 180s between them in the opening five legs, which saw van Gerwen establish an early 3-2 lead.
Anderson eventually restored parity in the 10th leg with an 11 darter to break the van Gerwen throw, before back-to-back 12-dart legs moved the Scot into a 9-6 advantage.
Van Gerwen hit back with an 11 darter and then set up a possible nine darter in the next leg with scores of 177 and 144, but after the Dutchman’s chance of a perfect leg went wayward, Anderson checked out in 11 darts to lead 10-7, before double four sealed the win in the 18th leg.
The next World Series event will be the Shanghai Darts Masters at the Pullman Hotel Shanghai South on July 6-7.
2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters
Thursday May 25
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson 11-8 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 11-7 Michael van Gerwen