Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright will meet in the final of the 2019/20 William Hill World Darts Championship after van Gerwen defeated Nathan Aspinall on Monday at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Reigning champion Van Gerwen and former runner-up Wright both claimed 6-3 wins to set up a repeat of the 2013/14 showdown, which Van Gerwen won 7-4 to lift the first of his three World Championship titles.
Darts’ biggest event will reach its climax on New Year’s Day as Van Gerwen and Wright go head-to-head for the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy and the £500,000 winner’s prize.
Semi-finals night saw Van Gerwen make it through to his fourth World Championship final by shrugging off the challenge of Aspinall, who was making his second successive last four appearance.
The deciding leg of the opening set saw Van Gerwen produce a 14-dart break of throw, only for Aspinall to hit straight back with a nerve-settling 124 checkout to break throw on his way to winning the second set 3-1 to level.
Three visits without a treble cost Aspinall in the set three decider as Van Gerwen took out 48 to regain the lead in sets, but once again Aspinall fought back with a 110 checkout to win the deciding leg of the fourth set to level once more at 2-2.
After Aspinall missed a dart at double top to go 3-2 up, Van Gerwen showed his ruthless edge to take out 25 in two darts for a 3-2 lead, and then pressed home the advantage by winning the sixth set without conceding a leg for a 4-2 advantage.
The response was strong from Aspinall, who won the seventh set 3-0 to go within a set once again, but he was unable to earn himself a shot at double in the deciding leg of set eight as Van Gerwen took out 68 in two darts to move 5-3 up.
There was to be no remarkable comeback from Aspinall, as Van Gerwen won the ninth and final set 3-1, sealing the deal on double ten to continue his quest for a fourth World Championship crown.
“Every time I had to play well I did it, so I can’t really complain about how I played,” said Van Gerwen, who will be hoping to retain the World Championship title for the first time.
“I had too many bad scores and I know I can do better, so I will have to improve that for the final.
“Most of the time Peter plays me he blows up and misses darts at double and that’s a good thing for myself.
“I hope I can play a bit better than I have been doing so far in this tournament and I’m looking forward to the final.
“I think he’s more scared of me than I am of him.”