Gary Anderson says winning the World Matchplay is one of his greatest achievements

Gary Anderson celebrates with Phil Taylor Trophy after winning the World Matchplay (Picture: PDC/Lawrence Lustig)
Gary Anderson celebrates with Phil Taylor Trophy after winning the World Matchplay (Picture: PDC/Lawrence Lustig)

Gary Anderson believes his magnificent victory at the BetVictor World Matchplay ranks among his greatest achievements in darts.

The two-time world champion claimed his first Blackpool win at the 10th attempt on Sunday night, defeating Mensur Suljovic 21-19 in one of the most incredible matches ever seen on the famous Winter Gardens stage.

It was the first time he'd ever reached the final and success saw him become only the third man behind Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen to complete the Triple Crown of Darts, which also consists of the world championship and Premier League.

Reflecting on his achievements of the last nine days, which included a sensational nine-dart finish against Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals, Anderson was proud to lift the Phil Taylor Trophy in the face of such strong competition.

"Winning this tournament at my age means a lot to me with the talent we've got coming through," said Anderson, who saw off rising Dutch star Jeffrey de Zwaan in the semi-finals.

"We've seen Jeffrey break through this week, he's gone from a boy to a man and I think he is going to have a brilliant career.

"He was fantastic, my player of the week, so it just shows you the standard we're up against these days, but the final was between Mensur and myself which shows the old boys can still do it!

"It's been an incredible week, I've loved playing up there and, of course, it's always nice to hit a nine-darter."

Before this week, the Blackpool event hadn't been a happy hunting ground for Anderson, whose best performances came in 2014 and 2016 when he made the semi-finals on both occasions.

However, after a long drive up from Somerset, Anderson made the trip worthwhile with wins over Stephen Bunting, Raymond van Barneveld, Cullen, De Zwaan and Suljovic.

"It took me 11 hours to get up here and I'm shattered after this week and such a long final," Anderson added.

"Me and Mensur are two old boys who just wanted a lie down and put our feet up after that game!

"We're used to playing first to six legs so when you get up there and play 40 legs it is a bit of a culture shock.

"This is a special place for me now and I'll look forward to coming back here next year to defend my title.

"It's also been nice to see Phil back in Blackpool this week and the crowd have been fantastic."

Anderson will now jet off to Auckland for the start of three World Series events Down Under, with events in Melbourne and Brisbane to follow.

"I'm not looking forward to the plane journey!" Anderson laughed.

"But I am looking forward to visiting and playing in Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane - especially Brisbane because we've never been there before and it will be good to play in a new city and spread the game."

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