PDC World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen thrashes Gary Anderson to reach final

Michael van Gerwen
Van Gerwen is aiming to win a third world title

Michael van Gerwen eased past Gary Anderson with a 6-1 win to set up a meeting with Michael Smith in the PDC World Championship final.

Number one seed Van Gerwen took a tight first set on a deciding leg but then dominated the world number four.

The Dutchman, a two-time champion, averaged 104.76 and hit 50% of his doubles on the way to victory.

Smith booked his place in the final after a battling 6-3 victory over Nathan Aspinall at Alexandra Palace.

"I played really well, especially early doors," said Van Gerwen, 29. "He couldn't find his form and I took advantage.

"I had a phenomenal bullseye finish early doors and I didn't give him any room to breathe.

"It means the world [to get to the final]. I do a lot to come to this stage but the work is not done yet."

Van Gerwen's match against number four seed Anderson, 48, was expected to be a classic but it proved a one-sided contest.

Anderson had lost 15 of 18 legs at one point before taking the sixth set to avoid a whitewash.

I'm one step away from living my dream - Smith

Instead, Smith's semi-final against Aspinall was the tie that provided the excitement.

Tenth seed Smith, 28, stormed into a 2-0 lead but tournament debutant Aspinall gathered himself to level at 3-3 as both players produced some big scoring.

But Smith then took control of the match and reeled off the next three sets against the world number 73.

It appeared Smith was on the way to a comfortable win after taking the first seven legs against fellow Englishman Aspinall.

Smith failed to take out a 104 to go 3-0 up and Aspinall took advantage by taking the third set against the darts.

Aspinall, 27, composed himself, found his range and began to put pressure on Smith, who held his nerve to win with an average of 105.22.

He also hit 17 maximums - an individual record in the semi-finals - and had a 51% success rate on the doubles.

"I've never felt like that. I'm so happy to be in the final," said Smith. "I'm one step away from living my dream.

Aspinall averaged 100.53 and said: "I've enjoyed every minute of it. I never expected to get to the semi-final.

"I was so nervous at the start but I made a great game there.

"I just relaxed. It started flowing and I wanted to give Michael a game. I wish Mike all the best as he deserves to win this."

The final takes place on Tuesday, 1 January at 20:00 GMT.

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