Michael van Gerwen wins World Matchplay epic to reach semi finals

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Michael Van Gerwen remains on course to win his first World Matchplay title after coming from behind against Ian White in a pulsating encounter at Winter Gardens last night.

Epic Encounter

White had led 6-1 and been ahead on three other occasions before van Gerwen produced an astonishing comeback, a missed nine-darter not putting him off his stride.

It was "The Diamond" who started the better of the two and seized early control of the tie. Holding his throw to win the first leg before taking advantage of van Gerwen's missed 120 checkout for a break of throw. And it was soon 3-0; White again holding, this time taking out 76.

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Van Gerwen pulled one leg back but White then won three successive legs to open up a 6-1 lead, leaving "Mighty Mike" stunned.

But the world number one showed he was no pushover and levelled the contest seven-all by taking out 72 before White again took the lead.

Van Gerwen finally took the lead in leg 21. A superb 156 checkout had seen him level again at 10-10 before two double eight checkouts saw him win four successive legs and move 12-10 ahead.

Comeback Complete

The "Diamond" did take the lead again at 13-12 but poor finishing let him down and van Gerwen completed his comeback with double top and set up a semi-final showdown with Peter Wright, who had earlier beaten Gerwyn Price 16-7.

"It's amazing to win a game like this," van Gerwen told the PDC. "Ian played fantastic darts but I played really well and hit the doubles at the end, so it's a big pressure off my shoulders.

"To win a game like this is quite emotional and fantastic. Ian put me under pressure constantly and full credit to him. I was struggling at times and I know I can play better, but I'm glad to win this game and proud to be in the semi-finals again."

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And Ian White admitted: "It's very disappointing but I'm showing everyone what I can do, getting up there to play the world number one and pushing him right to the end.

"I had a good start and I knew I had to get ahead and try and stay ahead. When I got to 12-12 it just didn't go for me, but he did well to get through it."

Tonight sees James Wade play Gary Anderson's conqueror, the Austrian Mensur Suljovic, before Phil Taylor and Dave Chisnall step up to the oche to conclude the quarter final stages.

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