2015 PDC World Darts Championship – Review

January 5th, 20150 Comments »

The 22nd PDC World Darts Championship, held at the Alexandra Palace, London was possibly the greatest world darts tournament to date. Incredible player averages, fantastic finishes, spectacular walk ons and loud, colourful crowds all combined to make it a championship never to forget. It will certainly stay in the memory of Gary Anderson for as long as he lives, as the Scotsman brought the tournament to and end by lifting the Sid Waddell trophy on Sunday night.

Early Upsets

The tournament featured players representing 21 different countries, including Russia, Greece, Croatia and Spain. It was the Spanish representative, Cristo Reyes, who caused an upset in the first round, defeating the three time quarter-finalist Wes Newton. The Spaniard’s run in the tournament came to an end in the third round, as did Benito van de Pas’, who eliminated Paul Nicholson and Dave Chisnall before losing to Robert Thornton. The other major shock of the early rounds was the dismissal of Australian Simon Whitlock, the number 7 seed, to Darren Webster. However, moving in to the quarter-finals, there were no real surprise names remaining in the event.

Great Games

Two of the best matches in the tournament featured Raymond van Barneveld and were great not so much for the quality of play on show but for the drama they provided. Both matches, against Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting respectively, required deciding sets and there was never more than one set between the players in either match. Lewis also had a dart to win the match, which was missed before van Barneveld came back to take the match. The Dutchman went on to lose in the semi-final to Phil Taylor.

It was Taylor who was involved in one the best games of the third round, against Kim Huybrechts. The 16 time champion was clearly becoming annoyed by his opponents jumping and celebrating each time he won a leg and the Belgian gave Taylor his biggest test on the road to reaching the final. It will certainly be a dual to look out for in the future, especially during the 2015 Premier League.

Special Moments

One of the special moments of the tournament came when Adrian Lewis struck a nine dart finish during his defeat to Raymond van Barneveld. It was the only nine dart finish of the event but was still not enough to see the Englishman through. Other great moments included the signalling of the new guard in the PDC, when youngster Keegan Brown defeated the former world champion John Part in the first round. There were fantastic 170 check-outs by Dutchmen Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen and Englishman Michael Smith. Leading the way in the 180’s table was Gary Anderson, over 20 ahead of second placed van Gerwen and the tournament set a record for the total number of 180’s, with 625 recorded during the event.

The Final

gary-anderson-wins-2015-pdc-world-championshipThe greatest match of the tournament was saved for the final, with Gary Anderson defeating Phil Taylor in a last set decider. With Anderson leading the match 3-1 and playing some fantastic darts, Taylor turned on the power to race in to a 4-3 lead. In a topsy-turvy match, Anderson then went on a brilliant run, winning the next 3 sets to take a commanding 6-4 lead, during which the Scot saw a 180 fall the floor, as all three of his darts dropped out of the board. That, possibly, was the turning point of the match as Anderson battled back from the disappointment of that moment to take the set.

However, Taylor, despite uncharacteristic misses on double 16 and double 8, went on to take the next 2 sets and this took the match in to a final, deciding set. Anderson took the first set with the darts and then broke Taylor in the second set before rounding off the tournament in style by hitting a maximum and then taking out double 12 to seal the 2015 PDC World Darts Championship. It was a final leg which summed up Anderson’s performance throughout the tournament and the Scot was a deserved winner.

The final of the 2015 PDC World Darts Championship highlighted everything that is great about the sport. High scoring, spectacular finishes on the bullseye, drama with bounce-outs, crowd interaction and great mental strength shown by the winner. The 2016 tournament has got a lot to live up to.

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