Van Gerwen retains the title for the first time (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen successfully retained the World Grand Prix title for the first time and took his tally to five with a 5-2 victory over Dave Chisnall in the final on Saturday.
Van Gerwen followed up his previous victories in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 by continuing his dominance in the double-start tournament at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.
The reigning World Champion picked up £110,000 for the triumph as he condemned ‘Chizzy’ to defeat in the final for a second time in six years, despite a plucky showing which included a dozen 180s.
However, after sharing the opening two sets, Van Gerwen showed his class in the deciding leg of the next two to pull clear before holding off Chisnall’s brief rally to close out a glorious triumph and make it 27 games unbeaten against the St Helens star.
“It means a lot to me and I’m really pleased with this victory,” admitted Van Gerwen.
“It’s been a phenomenal week for me and I played really well, and it was a really good performance in the final because Dave put me under pressure. This was some of the best darts I’ve seen from Dave and he never gave in.
“He had a great tournament and he played really well and pushed me, but every time in the important moments I did the right thing – and I think going 3-1 up was a big moment.
“I feel good and I want to keep this form going now into the big tournaments we have coming up.”
Van Gerwen dominated the early exchanges, winning the opening set 3-0 without allowing Chisnall a dart at a double.
The 2013 runner-up hit back well in the second, trading 13-darters with Van Gerwen before winning the set’s deciding leg with a 101 checkout on double 16.
The third set also went all the way as Van Gerwen came from 2-1 down to level with a 13-darter before taking out 111 to claim the set.
A 114 checkout moved the Dutchman 2-0 up in set four, only for Chisnall to land seven perfect darts in an 11-darter to respond before a 14-dart finish forced a decider.
However, Van Gerwen crucially stepped up once again, defying a 180 from his rival to land tops for a 13-darter and a 3-1 advantage in the final.
Van Gerwen then took set five by a 3-1 scoreline to continue his surge towards a fifth title, although the world number one could only watch as a brilliant 13-darter from Chisnall in the set six decider saw him hit back to 4-2.
Chisnall also shared the opening two legs of set seven, and the pair then traded 14-darters before another deciding leg went to Van Gerwen as double six sealed the title.
Chisnall had lost the 2013 final 6-0 to Phil Taylor in a game where he won just two legs, but remained in positive mood despite again having to settle for the runner-up prize.
“It’s been a positive week and I’ve played well so I’m proud,” said Chisnall. “When you go 4-1 down against Michael van Gerwen it’s going to be tough but I never gave in.
“It was a game of fine margins and I missed crucial doubles in a couple of legs, but that’s darts. He punished me and it’s my own fault, but I will work on it.
“I’ve had a great tournament and the atmosphere during the final was fantastic, the crowd gave us both great support. I did better than in 2013 and I’m proud of myself.”
The night also saw Keane Barry produce a rousing comeback to win the 2019 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final in dramatic fashion with a 6-5 defeat of Liam Gallagher.
Teenager Barry will now compete in the William Hill World Darts Championship for the first time in December after claiming the top domestic honour.
Galway’s Gallagher, 23, impressed as he came from a leg down to lead 3-1 as a 68 finish broke throw either side of two tops finishes.
Barry, a 17-year-old from Duleek, responded with a 12-darter, but Gallagher took the next two legs to move to the brink of victory at 5-2.
However, he would pay for missing ten match darts across the next three legs as Barry took out 96, double 16 and 106 to save the match as the tie went to a sudden-death leg.
Barry then missed two match darts himself as the tension inside the Citywest rose further, only for Gallagher to miss an 11th chance for victory as he failed to land tops for a 117 finish, allowing his rival back to land double six and complete a stirring fightback.
Van Gerwen scoops fantastic fifth World Grand Prix title
Michael van Gerwen successfully retained the World Grand Prix title for the first time and took his tally to five…
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