Darts News and Events

James Wade Wins World Grand Prix Title

2010-World Grand Prix Wade-Winner
Photo Lustig/PDC

JAMES WADE claimed his fifth major title with a 6-3 victory over Adrian Lewis in the final of the World Grand Prix.

The left-hander from Aldershot picked up his second Dublin title, following up his 2007 triumph with a confident defeat of Lewis, who knocked out reigning champion Phil Taylor in the semis but failed to repeat the feat against Wade.

While the first four sets were shared, Wade crucially took the next two for a 4-2 lead and, after Lewis won the seventh, he took two more sets of his own to wrap up the victory.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Wade, who also leaps above Raymond van Barneveld to become world number two once again. “To be called champion again is a great feeling for me.

“I’ve not been playing well at times this year and I probably didn’t this week but I was good enough to win the tournament, and that’s all that matters to me.

“I’ve doubted myself but this will give me a lot of belief because I know I can improve still so to win a major title and know I’ve got improvement left in me is a big thing.”

Wade made a brilliant start to the contest, with his accuracy on double top helping him to take the first set without reply by hitting the bed on three occasions.

Both players opened the second set with scores of 160, but it was Lewis who led by hitting a 180 and double top for a 14-darter, which he repeated to break in the second leg.

Wade broke back after three missed darts from Lewis for the set, but the younster punished a slow start from the left-hander – who missed ten starting doubles in the fourth – to land double ten and square the game.

Wade’s clinical finishing on double top saw him sweep through the third set with a trio of legs, as Lewis twice saw legs slip away.

He regained his composure to edge the fourth in five legs, defying a 100 checkout and two maximums from Wade to take the decider in 14 darts with a 56 checkout.

He also led 2-1 in the fifth, but was left waiting on 40 for the set when Wade finished brilliantly on the bullseye with an 81 checkout to level.

The left-hander then took the deciding leg on tops to edge 3-2 up in the match, before winning the sixth set against the darts to lead by two.

Lewis had taken out 78 for the opening leg of the sixth, but Wade levelled and punished his opponent’s sloppy finishing to break – as the Stoke ace missed double 18, two darts at double nine and then burst his score.

Lewis also missed the bull for a 121 finish in leg four, as Wade posted tops to lead 4-2, finally putting daylight between the pair.

The next, though, went comfortably the way of Lewis as he cut the gap to one with three successive legs, opening with a fine 11-darter and then taking out 96 and 89 to pull back to 4-3.

Wade won the eighth 3-1 against the darts, twice breaking throw and hitting a 14-dart finish as he pulled towards the finishing line.

A 100 checkout put him ahead in the next, before Lewis hit a 180 in a 15-darter to level and a 13-darter against the throw for a 2-1 advantage.

However, he missed double top for the set in the fourth as Wade took out double four for a 14-dart finish before the left-hander claimed glory with an 80 checkout on double five.

“I’ve won five majors now but this means maybe more for me,” added Wade. “I was desperate to win tonight because my Nan isn’t too well and I was determined to do something to cheer her up, so this is dedicated to her.

“I felt good before the game but I was also really nervous, because Adrian can hit some big scores and we only saw glimpses of that in the final.

“I think the occasion maybe got to him and I also applied enough consistent pressure on him.

“I’m still not happy with my performance but it’s the third time I’ve come off after a major final feeling that I didn’t play that well but with the win and that’s the main thing.”

Lewis admitted that his semi-final win had been emotionally draining, and said: “I’m annoyed with myself.

“I was really up for playing Phil and although I didn’t feel physically tired I did feel mentally tired. It took a lot out of me in the semis and it did take its toll because I hit 16 180s against Phil and only eight against James, and I missed a few stupid shots.

“I’m know as one of the best scorers in the world but my finishing has let me down sometimes but I’ve started well all week and, other than in the final, I started at the right time.

“Tonight, I didn’t get off as quickly and that killed me in the end. James has finished well throughout the tournament and deserved to win.

“It’s the biggest game I’ve played in but I’m learning and it won’t be the last final that we compete against each other – and I’m determined that he won’t win many more!

“Overall, I’ll take a lot from the tournament and especially from beating Phil, and I’ll be back. I’m disappointed, but I’ll keep battling”

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