MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won the 2014 PDC World Championship with a 7-4 victory over Peter Wright tonight.
The Dutchman, who is the youngest man to lift the trophy at 24, got off to the better start at Alexandra Palace and looked to be in cruise control as he sailed into a 4-0 lead.
But Wright refused to go down without a fight, pulling his opponent back to within two sets on two separate occasions. However, as the pressure mounted on both players, Van Gerwen – the 2013 runner-up – hit the decisive double top to claim his first world title.
Van Gerwen looked to be in top form in the early stages and was quick out of the blocks, storming to a 3-1 victory in the opening set.
The Dutchman went on a nine-leg winning streak as he moved into a 4-0 lead, with Wright, who was struggling to find the doubles, looking like he would struggle to register a set in his first televised final.
But the colourful Wright – nicknamed Snakebite – came back with renewed venom in the fifth set, hitting two maximums before producing a 130 checkout on double five to reduce the deficit to three.
And, with Van Gerwen beginning to falter, Wright took full advantage by claiming the sixth 3-1 to pull the scores back to 4-2.
The seventh set – which went to a deciding leg – proved pivotal.
Wright missed a double top to claim the set, opening the door for Van Gerwen, who had three darts at double 16. He hit 16 with his first dart, missed with his second, before nailing double eight with his third to re-establish his three-set advantage.
And Van Gerwen was four in front once again soon after as the eighth set reached a scrappy conclusion. Wright missed double 14 to keep the set alive, before his opponent spurned three chances to go 6-2 in front.
However, Wright wasted his next three darts as Van Gerwen eventually hit the double two to win the set.
But the Scot was not going down without a fight and claimed the next two sets to halve the deficit once again as Van Gerwen struggled to close out the encounter.
The 11th and final set went down to a deciding leg, with Wright missing two darts at double top that would have taken the scores to 6-5. And Van Gerwen did not waste his opportunity, making a 72 checkout to win the title with the double 20.