Photos courtesy Lustig/PDC
ADRIAN LEWIS hit an amazing nine-dart finish in winning the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship with a 7-5 defeat of Gary Anderson at Alexandra Palace on Monday night.
The 25-year-old from Stoke produced the best performance of his career to defeat the Scot and claim the £200,000 first prize – his first major title since turning professional in 2004.
Lewis made an incredible start to the match with a nine-dart finish in the third leg – the first time in history a player has landed a perfect leg in a World Championship final – and averaged 123 in winning the first set.
He went on to hit 20 180s in the game, pulling clear from three-all in sets to lead 6-3 before holding off Anderson’s fightback to claim victory.
“This is an unbelivable feeling and I’m in dreamland to be honest,” said Lewis afterwards. “I feel like I’ve deserved it after the potential I’ve shown over the years.
“I did feel nervous in my semi-final against Mark Webster, but I woke up today and felt great – and it showed in my performance.
“To hit the nine-darter was fabulous, especially to do it on an occasion like this and it just adds to a brilliant night.”
Anderson had produced five ton-plus averages in winning through to the final, but fell just short of claiming glory in the biggest game of his career.
“I was tired to honest, and it was possibly one match too far for me,” said the 40-year-old, who is based in Somerset. “Adrian played absolutely brilliant and his scoring power really killed me.”
Anderson won the opening leg of the contest in style with a 104 checkout, with Lewis waiting on double 18, but the Stoke won the second leg with the aid of two maximums in a show of what was to come in the next.
After Anderson opened the third with a maximum, Lewis posted two of his own to set up a nine-dart finish, and coolly completed the 141 finish with treble 20, treble 19 and double 12 for a piece of history as the first nine-darter in a World Championship Ffinal.
Lewis then had an opportunity in the next to take out 161 for the set, but after missing the bullseye he returned to finish the leg in 14 darts to secure the set with a 123 average.
Lewis opened the second set with his fifth maximum of the game and went to win the leg by hitting double one after both players had missed previous opportunities.
The 25-year-old kept up the incredible standard by taking the second leg with a 103 finish and then took out a showpiece 100 checkout, courtesy of two double tops, to establish a two-set lead.
Anderson hit a maximum at the start of the third set and went to take the leg by hitting double two to win his first leg since the game’s opener, and took the next two legs in fabulous fashion with checkouts of 130 and 136 to win the set.
The number five seed won the opening leg of the fourth set in 13 darts before both players recorded 180s in the second, which Anderson took by landing double five after Lewis missed three darts to double his lead.
Lewis missed the bullseye for a 170 checkout in the third leg, and both players missed chances to take the leg before the Stoke ace won it on double one.
A missed dart at double top from Anderson proved costly in the fourth leg as Lewis recorded a 78 finish to win the set and restore his two-set advantage at 3-1.
Anderson managed to hold throw at the start of the fifth set, but missed two darts at doubles in the second leg to allow Lewis in on double ten.
Anderson hit his fifth maximum of the game in the next leg but missed three darts at double ten, only to be given a reprieve after two misses from Lewis.
In the fourth leg Anderson hit another 180 and went on to win the leg with an 81 finish, hitting double top with his third dart to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Lewis made a winning start to set six with a 76 finish, punishing Anderson for three missed attempts at double 18.
Anderson managed to win the second leg with a 14-darter after Lewis missed a dart at double top for a 151 finish, before taking out a fantastic 164 checkout and an 86 to level the game.
Anderson won the opening leg of set seven by hitting double top to lead for the first time since the opening leg, but Lewis quickly hit back to win the second with a fantastic ten-darter.
Anderson was on course to win the third leg before a tenth maximum from Lewis applied pressure, and the Scot succumbed to miss three darts at doubles as the youngster broke on double five.
The Stoke star hit another maximum in the fourth leg and then went on to hit double 12, for a 15-dart finish, to take set and move 4-3 in front.
Lewis missed five darts to win the first leg of the eighth set and Anderson managed to nick it with a two-dart 84 finish.
Lewis opened a second leg in succession with a 177 score and managed to win the leg by converting 97 in two darts to break back.
He then won the third leg by hitting double 14 before Anderson won the fourth in 13 darts to force a deciding leg.
Lewis held the advantage in the final leg and high scoring from the Stoke ace saw him first to a finish as he hit double 18 to re-establish a two-set lead.
Lewis hit a 12-darter to win the first leg of set nine which included two 180s, and he hit another in the process of taking his third successive leg.
Anderson managed to take the third leg in 15 darts, but Lewis soon took the fourth with the aid of his 16th maximum to move three sets clear at 6-3.
Both players traded 15-darters in the opening two legs of set ten before the Scotsman secured a break of throw in the third leg by hitting double four after Lewis was guilty missing two darts at double nine.
The pair then hit maximums in the fourth leg, but Anderson won it by hitting double 16 to take the set and keep his hopes alive.
Anderson managed to hold throw at the start of set 11 by hitting double top with his first dart after Lewis missed three chances to break.
The Scotsman hit the same bed to complete a 76 finish to win the second leg and then took his sixth leg in succession by hitting double five, to reduce the gap to just one set at 6-5.
Lewis managed to hit double top to stop Anderson’s run, and then won the second leg of the 12th set against the darts, which included his 20th maximum of the match.
That put Lewis one leg away from the title, and he secured the victory by hitting double 11 to make his dream of becoming World Champion a reality.
Adrian Lewis 7-5 Gary Anderson
(3-1, 3-0, 0-3, 3-1, 1-3, 1-3, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 1-3, 0-3, 3-0)