Peter Wright produced a sensational comeback to beat Michael Smith in a thrilling final of the PDC World Darts Championship.
Trailing 5-4 and with Smith two legs up in the 10th set, Wright fought back to win three sets in a row to claim the title.
The Scot, champion in 2020, is only the sixth player to win the title twice.
“I’m over the moon, I’ve got her back,” said Wright. “This is my lady and I’m happy to get it back.”
“I didn’t turn up for eight sets and it was horrible and I was telling myself off so I stopped doing that,” added Wright, who changed darts twice during the final.
“I was getting more and more frustrated with myself and I stopped doing that and that’s why my darts straightened up.
“To be part of that elite group, people might have said I was lucky to win to beat Michael van Gerwen [in 2020] who wasn’t on form that year but I can prove to everyone I can win it horrible as well.”
The 51-year-old wins £500,000 in prize money and is only £15,250 behind world number one Gerwyn Price in the world darts ranking system.
- Reaction as Wright wins his second world title
Stunning comeback from Wright
Playing in his third final, Wright raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to 148 and 124 checkouts but England’s Smith won the third with a superb 167 finish in the third leg to break the Scot’s throw.
With the partisan crowd at Alexandra Palace in London firmly behind Smith, Wright missed two darts at the double that would have put him 3-1 up at the first break. Smith, 31, took advantage of Wright’s misses to nail double 10 and level the match at 2-2.
World Matchplay champion Wright came back from the break with a new set of darts and held his throw to go 3-2 up, despite Smith throwing his 72nd 180 of the tournament to break Gary Anderson’s previous record of 71.
Ninth seed Smith then won two straight sets to lead the match for the first time at 4-3. Then, after both players held their serve again, a crucial moment came with Smith 5-4 up.
In the 10th set, Wright was two legs down before winning three in a row to level the match again.
That gave the Scot the momentum and he reeled off another three legs without a response to win the 11th set then won two more to move within one leg of victory.
Smith stopped the rout winning the third leg in the 12th set but it was not enough and Wright hit double 16 to win the match and become a two-time world champion.
Both players were in tears at the end, with Smith, who also lost to Van Gerwen in the 2019 showpiece, inconsolable.
“Michael has done fantastic to get to the final again and will learn from that. He’s going to be a future world champion,” added Wright.
Smith said he would return to the big stage, having lost 7-3 and 7-5 in finals.
“I got five sets instead of three this time,” he told Sky Sports.
“I must have done something terrible in a past life because it’s doing my head in now. I’ll have a bad night now, but I’ll definitely be back on that board and I’ll be getting ready for the next one.”
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