Michael van Gerwen’s dreams of World Matchplay glory were put on hold for another year as he lost out to an amazing performance by Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor on Sunday.
Taylor clinched his 15th title at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens with an 18-9 defeat of the reigning World Champion and world number one.
An imperious display saw Taylor storm into a 7-1 lead with van Gerwen unable to recover.
Having fought back to 14-8, the Dutch ace was punished by ‘The Power’ for a missed dart at double seven for a 122 finish, before the world number two pulled away to seal the title.
van Gerwen showed his class in defeat, conceding that Taylor deserved the trophy and £100,000 first prize.
“I was here to win the tournament but Phil was the best player all week and he was the right winner,” said ‘Mighty Mike’, who returns to Holland ahead of his imminent wedding to partner Daphne.
“I didn’t perform as well as I can and I don’t know why. I wanted to win this title so much and maybe I tried a little too hard.
“It feels bad and I’m extremely disappointed but in the next few days I will pick myself up. I lost to Phil in the final of the World Championships two years ago but then came back at won it a year after and I want to do the same here next year.
“I have hurt Phil in the past and I will learn from this and come back stronger in the next few tournaments.”
By Chris Murphy