Peter Wright books World Championship date with Michael Smith
Peter Wright secured a return to the William Hill World Darts Championship final with a thrilling victory over former champion Gary Anderson on Sunday.
The 2020 winner will face Michael Smith, the runner-up three years ago, in Monday’s final after beating Anderson 6-4 in a second high-quality semi-final at Alexandra Palace.
Wright, who later revealed a knee injury caused him discomfort, was reduced to 3-2, then 5-4 after opening in style by winning the first three sets.
Anderson then took a leg off the throw to move forward into the 10th set, but second seed Wright recovered to fend off compatriot Scotland and reach the final for the third time.
Wright, who averaged 104 and broke a tournament record of 24,180 in the match, told Sky Sports: “To secure a victory over Gary Anderson, one of the greatest Scottish darts to ever have. never existed… like we both didn’t give up it was so hard I’m exhausted.
“I knew (the fight) was going to happen. I couldn’t stop it. What a dart game – phenomenal.
Wright now intends to rest his knee before returning to the arena for the final.
“In the last few days I have had a knee injury,” he said. “I have straps on it and it’s burning like hell right now. I have to rest but everything will be fine for tomorrow.
His opponent will be Smith, who resisted a response from James Wade to book his second appearance in the final.
Wade recovered from 5-1 but couldn’t keep up the momentum as his compatriot England won by 6-3.
“It was a tough game,” said Smith, who shot 16,180 and an average of 101. “I knew he was going to push me.
“There was a set where he hit 180 after 180. It was about keeping my cool.
“You are not good at the things in life. I didn’t deserve it – I worked hard for it.
Smith opened strong by winning the first leg in 13 darts and quickly led by straight sets.
Wade responded by winning the third set of the deciding stage with a 121 out, then taking the first two stages of the fourth.
Still, Smith fought back to win the set and the next two to open a 5-1 lead. Wade claimed the next two to cut the deficit but couldn’t keep the momentum going and slipped to the semifinals for the fourth time in his career.
“I’m over the moon,” Smith said. “The first set was shady, then the next five sets, I felt I had played really well.
“Then you have to pinch yourself, you need one more set and you’re in the final. It’s a lot easier when it’s in the round of 16 or for a quarter-final but I’m proud of myself for the way I kept my cool at the end.