Five memorable World Championship finals
Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen will duke it out in the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship final tonight to see who will walk away with the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy and the £200,000 winner’s cheque.
Many believe it could be one of the best finals ever, but there are many others to try and compete with.
Here are five of the best so far and you can check out the latest match odds here:
Part punishes Power (2003)
Coming into the tournament, Taylor was almost unstoppable in everything he played in. His achievements were gradually being recognised by the wider world, and in order to present himself better, he lost weight and changed his image.
All the attention leading up to the final was firmly focused on the Power. However, his dogged Canadian opponent wanted to steal the show. John Part was perhaps the only player at the time capable of giving Taylor a run for his money, and duly won it in the final set, winning 7-6 in the end.
Artist so close in title quest (2004)
A year later, another classic Ladbrokes World Darts Championship final would have fans talking about it for years to come. This time round, the aggressive Kevin Painter relinquished what was a commanding lead thanks to some spirited play from Taylor.
Like his previous encounter with Part, it went to the final set, but Taylor threw all he had at Painter and prevailed. After the game, The Artist was magnanimous in defeat, applauding his conqueror and his performance.
Barney and Taylor serve up a classic (2007)
Making his PDC World Championship debut, a lot of attention was paid to Raymond van Barneveld, who was top dog in the rival BDO circuit before switching nearly a year previously. He was 32nd seed, but managed to reach the final, paving the way for a memorable clash with Taylor.
Early on, Taylor was bossing the game, but something clicked and Barney started to chip away at the lead before taking it to a last-set decider. This game reached the sudden death leg, which was won by Barney after he nailed double 20. The match has been labelled the greatest of all time for so many reasons.
Maximum enjoyment (2010)
Taylor met Australian Simon Whitlock, who saw off three of the top eight seeds en route to the final and was hitting 180s and ton-plus checkouts for fun. However, The Power was favourite, and a 7-3 scoreline in his favour suggested that the pundits were right.
In terms of quality, though, this was one of the best finals ever.
Both players hit a 170 checkout and averaged over 100, while many of the sets finished 3-2. It was a final played in good spirit, and helped to make Whitlock a household name in the sport which he justified by going on to win a clutch of Pro Tour events and the European Championship in September 2012.
Nine is fine for Jackpot (2011)
This was only the second ever PDC World final to not feature Taylor. Instead, it featured former practice partner Adrian Lewis and big-scoring Scot Gary Anderson. In the first leg, Lewis achieved a feat that was never done before – a nine-dart finish in a World Championship final.
That magical leg set the tone for a game that featured 30 180s and a handful of missed doubles. The pace of the match as well as the tight 7-5 score helped to mark the game out as one of the best finals ever.
Watch the nine-dart finish here…