Gary Anderson has finally got his hands on the World Darts Championship Trophy – and he still can’t quite believe he’s actually done it.
Making only his second appearance in the final, the Scot defeated fourteen-time champion Phil Taylor in a scintillating 7-6 encounter at Alexandra Palace on Sunday night.
His only previous appearance in the final saw him crash to defeat at the hands of Adrian Lewis in 2011 – and the 44-year-old told Sky Sports News that he was beginning to doubt his championship winning credentials.
Long awaited win
"It’s just really nice to actually get my hands on the trophy. For the length of time I’ve played darts and with people doubting me, I was starting to doubt myself and whether I would ever pick that trophy up.
“But I’ve finally got my hands on it so I’ve got to give myself a pat on the back for that.”
But even during the thrilling final, Anderson was still far from confident in his chances.
With the tie level at 4-4, the 44-year-old threw a 180 only to see all three darts fall out of the board.
“It was a perfect 180 to start the leg, and when the three of them fell out I thought, ‘that’s it’,” he said.
“Phil then stepped up and put in a 180 himself, and I felt my luck had definitely gone. I just had to dig in and see what happened.”
Anderson did well to win that set despite that setback, as well as distraction from the crowd, but Taylor’s extensive experience took the tie to a deciding final set.
Final set domination
That was when Anderson, in the face of tremendous pressure, roared out of the traps and raced to three consecutive legs to seal the win.
“I felt absolutely fine [in the final set]. I wasn’t that nervous; I don’t know if I’m getting older and wiser. I’ve learnt to enjoy the darts and just take my time."
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“I felt absolutely fine [in the final set]. I wasn’t that nervous; I don’t know if I’m getting older and wiser. I’ve learnt to enjoy the darts and just take my time"