Astonishing Anderson beats Super Suljovic to first World Matchplay title

Gary Anderson pulled through a thrilling final as he edged past Austria’s Mensur Suljovic 21-19 in extra time at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Anderson added £115,000 to the £45,000 he earned after hitting a nine-darter on Thursday evening. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ produced a triumphant display as he fought back from 9-7 down to eventually edge past a tough opponent in Suljovic.

Anderson celebrating his win with his son Tai (Credit: Lawrence Lustig / PDC)

The Scotsman had previously came from behind in all four of his matches played in Blackpool and did so once again as he proved too much in the end for the Austrian. Anderson battled back from 5-1 down against both Stephen Bunting and Raymond Van Barneveld before surviving match darts against a fired up Joe Cullen.

The Burnam-on-Sea-based ace ended Jeffrey de Zwaan’s tremendous run at the semi-finals stage after the Dutchman had beaten Adrian Lewis, Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall to get to that stage. Anderson followed up his 106 average against de Zwaan with a solid showing to better Suljovic.

“I’m delighted to win this magnificent tournament,” said Anderson, when talking to pdc.tv after a thrilling final.

“It was a struggle to win, as it always is against Mensur, and I think I rode my luck a bit tonight.

“When the bullseye to win it bounced out it was frustrating but I managed to regain my composure to win it.

“It’s been nice to see Phil back in Blackpool this week and the crowd have been fantastic.

“This is a special place for me now and I’ll look forward to coming back here next year to defend my title.”

The final was the longest ever World Matchplay final in the tournaments 25 year history with the pair playing 40 legs over the duration of the evening.

Suljovic made the first real break through off the final as he snatched a two leg advantage to move 9-7 in front, only to miss handfuls of attempts at the outer ring and was punished by his Scottish opponent, who won 10 of the next 14 legs to move within one of victory at 17-13.

‘The Gentle’ stepped up his game at a crucial moment in the clash as he reeled off the next four legs, hitting two bullseye finishes en route to levelling the match up at 17-a-piece. The next two legs with throw as it was starting to look like the Austrian’s night. That was minutes before Anderson hit an outstanding 14-dart leg to move within one and break his opponents throw.

The next leg produced a lot of drama as Anderson had a dart fall out of the bull for a 121 outshot to win it before being punished by courageous opponent who held his nerve, hitting his favourite double 14 to gain the advantage once again.

Suljovic then went off the boil at the vital stage in the tie as Anderson broke the Austrian’s throw in 14 darts before wrapping up a gutsy win courtesy of pinning double 10, which had previously caused his a lot of problems earlier in the tournament.

The Vienna-based ace pocketed £55,000, as the runner-up, enjoying wins over Steve Beaton, Ian White, Peter Wright and Darren Webster en route to his maiden PDC premier final.

When talking to pdc.tv after his win, Suljovic said: “It was a brilliant feeling to play in this final – it was such a good game.

“Thank you to everybody for the support, I loved playing here.”

He added: “Gary played brilliant, he was the best player in the tournament so it is OK to lose to him – he is a champion and I respect him.”

Anderson joins Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor as players to have won the ‘triple crown’ of the World Matchplay, Premier League and the World Championship.

Betvictor World Matchplay

Saturday July 21 (7pm)
First Round
Adrian Lewis 10-8 James Wilson
Dave Chisnall 10-4 Keegan Brown
Jeffrey de Zwaan 10-6 Michael van Gerwen
Michael Smith 10-6 Jonny Clayton

Sunday July 22
Afternoon Session (1pm)
First Round
Darren Webster 10-6 Steve Lennon
Ian White 10-7 Max Hopp
Joe Cullen 10-3 Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney 12-10 Steve West

Evening Session (7.30pm)
First Round
Mensur Suljovic 10-6 Steve Beaton
Gary Anderson 10-7 Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross 10-5 Mervyn King
Raymond van Barneveld 10-6 Kyle Anderson

Monday July 23 (7pm)
First Round
Kim Huybrechts 13-12 John Henderson
Simon Whitlock 10-2 Richard North
James Wade 12-10 Jermaine Wattimena
Peter Wright 10-5 Jelle Klaasen

Tuesday July 24 (7pm)
Second Round
Dave Chisnall 11-8 Michael Smith
Joe Cullen 11-3 Daryl Gurney
Jeffrey de Zwaan 11-9 Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld

Wednesday July 25 (7pm)
Second Round
Simon Whitlock 11-7 James Wade
Mensur Suljovic 11-8 Ian White
Darren Webster 11-8 Rob Cross
Peter Wright 11-5 Kim Huybrechts

Thursday July 26 (7pm)
Jeffrey de Zwaan 16-8 Dave Chisnall
Gary Anderson 19-17 Joe Cullen

Friday July 27 (7pm)
Mensur Suljovic 16-10 Darren Webster
Peter Wright 16-5 Simon Whitlock

Saturday July 28 (7pm)
Semi-Finals
Mensur Suljovic 17-13 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 17-12 Jeffrey de Zwaan

Sunday July 29 (7pm)
Final
Gary Anderson 21-19 Mensur Suljovic

Prize Fund:
Winner – £115,000
Runner-Up – £55,000
Semi-Finalists – £30,000
Quarter-Finalists – £17,500
Second Round Losers – £11,000
First Round Losers – £7,000
Total – £500,000

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