Michael Smith has claimed the biggest title of his career!
The Team Unicorn star was crowned Shanghai Masters Champion on Saturday as he beat Rob Cross 8-2 in the final.
He swept aside Michael van Gerwen in the semi-final before dominating Cross in the final.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win a big TV title. I know it isn’t a Major but this is a big deal for me going forward. It is another big step and to beat the World No.1 and World Champion to do it makes it very special,” Smith said.
He went 4-0 up in the both the semi-final and final and wasn’t going to let it slip from there. Against Van Gerwen, the Unicorn man won all four legs on D10. The Dutchman threatened a fightback with three legs on the spin, including a 170 finish, but Smith got the job done in style as he hit three 180s in three legs to complete an 8-4 win.
He had earlier beaten Royden Lam - Gary Anderson’s conqueror - in the quarter-finals.....five 180s and finishes of 164, 88 on the bull, 82 and 110.
Cross looked tired in the final after he beat Unicorn’s James Wade and then Peter Wright, but take nothing away from Smith who dominated from the first dart.
Double 10 was a friend to him all weekend and so it proved in the final. From 4-0 he was in total control and although he missed a dart for a 5-1 lead, he needn’t have worried. Smith took out 130 on D5 and after a third maximum, fittingly it was D10 that saw him claim his first World Series prize.
Wade will be disappointed at his quarter-final exit, but China 2018 belongs to Michael Smith as the Unicorn ace claims what could well be a career changing victory.
Michael Smith 8-5 Royden Lam
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Daryl Gurney
Rob Cross 8-3 James Wade
Peter Wright 8-7 Gerwyn Price
Michael Smith 8-4 Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross 8-5 Peter Wright
Michael Smith 8-2 Rob Cross
From STUART PYKE in China
Photo courtesy PDC