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MICHAEL VAN GERWEN won the first European Tour event of 2018 as Richard North enjoyed a brilliant run to the semi-finals in Leverkusen on Sunday.

Van Gerwen scooped the European Darts Open title after a thrilling final against Peter Wright in which the world number one recovered from a 5-1 deficit to win 8-7, having seen off North in the semi-finals.

The Dutch ace began his campaign on Saturday when he defeated Cameron Menzies. He then defeated Alan Norris on Sunday afternoon before triumphing over Simon Whitlock, who had enjoyed a fine 6-1 success over Dave Chisnall en route to the quarter-finals.

North’s run to a first ever European Tour semi-final included impressive victories against World Champion Rob Cross and fellow Premier League star Gerwyn Price.

Joe Cullen also reached the quarter-finals, where he was defeated by Wright – who had also seen off John Henderson in the last 16.

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