Van Gerwen holds firm for victory

Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen admitted he felt the pressure on his way to winning the Ladbrokes World Championship final on Wednesday night.

The 24-year-old raced into a 4-0 lead but struggled to maintain the high level of darts against Peter Wright, although he held his nerve to wrap up a seven sets to four success.

After securing the Sid Waddell Trophy at Alexandra Palace, Van Gerwen said: "It was a very tough match.

"I got nervous after going 4-0 up - but it doesn't matter how you win a final, winning it is the most important thing.

"This is a dream come true. I'm so glad I won this. It's so difficult to win this title.

"There wasn't so much pressure on me last year as this year - but it means so much to me.

"It's unbelievable but all credit to Peter, he did well and put me under pressure."

Suffolk-based Scot Wright thanked the crowd for helping raise his game and end the one-sided nature of the contest.

He added on Sky Sports 1: "I never give up - that's my game.

"The crowd got behind me and made me play and I thank them for it - but well done Michael."

Van Gerwen, beaten by Phil Taylor in last year's final, took control of the contest by winning the first four sets.

At that stage a whitewash looked a very real prospect. However, 'Snakebite' Wright began to show some of the form which earned him an impressive semi-final win over Simon Whitlock.

The 43-year-old pulled two sets back to halve the deficit and needed to hit double top to reduce the deficit to a single set - but missed it and paid as Van Gerwen hit double eight to go three sets clear at 5-2.

The closing stages of the contest, which saw more than 600 maximums hit - a new record for the tournament - were edgy.

However, the decisive moment came in the 11th set when van Gerwen nailed double top to wrap up victory.

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