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Van Gerwen retains Dubai title

ESPN staff
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Michael van Gerwen beat Peter Wright 11-7 © Getty Images
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Michael van Gerwen retained his Dubai Darts Masters title after seeing off Peter Wright 11-7 in Friday's final.

The Dutchman, who won the inaugural World Series of Darts event in Dubai 12 months ago, beat Adrian Lewis by the same score in the last four.

Wright had led Van Gerwen 3-2 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, however the world champion reeled off four successive legs from 4-4 to lead 8-4, and moved 9-5 up with a 116 finish.

A 158 checkout from Wright halted Van Gerwen's progress before he landed two 180s, his 10th and 11th of the tournament, in the next three legs to complete the win.

"This is a very special win for me," said Van Gerwen. "This is the first time I've won a major title twice in a row and it's absolutely fantastic.

"To win this great trophy again is huge and it means a lot to win again in this country means a lot because it's one of the nicest places in the world.

"I've worked so hard for this for the past two days. I thought I was the better player throughout the final but I made it difficult for myself at times - but I got the win and that's all that mattered.

"It was a tough game against James Wade on Thursday and it was the same again when I played Adrian and Peter, and I think I was the best player in the tournament.

"Peter hit a couple of good finishes in the final to keep himself in the final, but it doesn't matter how you win and I've got the trophy in my hands. I think I showed my class in this tournament and I'm very proud of myself.

"This is a great tournament, the crowd is fantastic and the venue is great. To win this is a great feeling for me."

Wright, in his first World Series of Darts tournament, had beaten Dave Chisnall 11-8 in their semi-final, following his victory over Phil Taylor in the last eight.

"It's been a brilliant experience," said Wright. "The venue was amazing and the crowds were fantastic and Dubai is a beautiful place, and hopefully I'll be back next year to try and take the trophy away from Michael.

"I took a couple of big finishes out but I was too inconsistent with my scores. I should have made it five-each but I was struggling with my consistency.

"It's all about stepping stones and learning, and each time I'm getting closer and closer, and this will give me lots of confidence for the tournaments which are coming up."

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