Michael Smith hits first nine-darter since 2011 World Darts Championship in final vs Michael van Gerwen
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Michael Smith produced a sensational nine-dart finish at the World Darts Championship to pull level with Michael van Gerwen in their thrilling contest on Tuesday.
The Ally Pally crowd watched on at Alexandra Palace as Van Gerwen took the first set in the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship final.
However, Smith pulled the contest level in the second leg after producing a stunning nine-dart finish - the first since the World Championship final in 2011.
The 33-year-old Van Gerwen stepped up first and hit 180 before Smith instantly responded with his own series of treble 20s.
World No 3 Van Gerwen went on to score 177, with the 32-year-old Smith completing back-to-back 180s in a thrilling final in London.
The Dutch-born darts player then missed the chance to extend his advantage after he hit two 60s, but he failed to hit the double 12 on the board.
Van Gerwen was left to rue his mistake as Smith stepped up to hit the treble 20 before landing a treble 19 and double 12 to complete his stunning nine-darter.
THIS IS INSANE!!! WHAT A LEG OF DARTS!!— Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) January 3, 2023
MICHAEL SMITH HITS A NINE DARTER!! 🤯😲 pic.twitter.com/T6HWmRCQYX
One fan posted in response to Smith’s nine-darter: “Best leg of darts I’ve ever witnessed.”
“Greatest leg of darts in history. In a final. Wow,” another fan wrote.
While a third Twitter user said: “Best leg of darts of all time and we missed it watching the football. Cheers. Son’s crying.”
A fourth added: “Incredible! I don’t always watch it but that drama in a world final is amazing.”
And a fifth simply tweeted: “Best sporting moment of 2023 done and dusted!”
Speaking ahead of the match against Van Gerwen, Smith insisted that he must “keep going” after reaching his third darts final in five years.
“This is my third World final in five years now and I have just got to keep going,” he told Sky Sports.
“If I do get darts to win the Worlds, if I miss it, I miss it, if I hit it, I am world champion.
“I will never dwell on it and I will keep coming back fighting every year. Let's see what happens tomorrow.”
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Sky Sports