Michael van Gerwen celebrated a record-extending fifth Jack's World Series of Darts Finals title on Sunday evening, defeating Nathan Aspinall 11-4 to prevail on a memorable night in Amsterdam.
Van Gerwen raised the roof at AFAS Live with a sensational nine-darter in the semi-finals, and he capped off a terrific day of action by claiming the £75,000 top prize with victory against Aspinall.
The three-time World Champion was in imperious form throughout the day, and he secured his fourth televised crown of 2023 to maintain his remarkable record at this event.
Aspinall capitalised on an early reprieve to stay in touch at the first interval, landing a brilliant double-double 86 finish after Van Gerwen missed two darts at tops for a 4-1 lead.
However, Van Gerwen made amends by winning four of the next five legs to stretch his advantage to 7-3, firing in a brace of 14-darters and a spectacular 160 checkout to underline his dominance.
The procession continued as Van Gerwen extended his winning run to five straight legs, and despite Aspinall stopping the rot in leg 14, the home hero wrapped up victory with a clinical two-dart 63 combination.
“The most important thing for me is to win another title on stage,” insisted Van Gerwen, who paid tribute to the sell-out crowd in the Dutch capital.
“You always want to perform well, and to do it in front of your home crowd, it gives you such a good feeling.
“I think the biggest challenge for me was the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd, but they have been absolutely fantastic this weekend.
“Even Luke Humphries after our semi-final said that the crowd were phenomenal, and you can only be proud of that.”
Van Gerwen had sealed his spot in Sunday’s showpiece after winning through thrilling encounters against Dimitri Van den Bergh and Humphries on Finals Day.
The Dutch superstar weathered an early storm in his quarter-final clash against Van den Bergh, recovering from 5-3 down to prevail with a 103 average and nine maximums.
Van Gerwen then came through an extraordinary last-leg contest against Humphries, which saw him land the first nine-darter in the history of the World Series of Darts Finals.
The 34-year-old produced the moment of magic in leg two, and after surviving three match darts in the penultimate leg, he sealed the deal with a magnificent 12-dart break in the decider.
Aspinall, meanwhile, won through hard-fought encounters against Keegan Brown and Peter Wright to reach a third televised final in as many months, only to be blown away by a relentless Van Gerwen.
The Stockport star defied a sluggish start to see off Brown, averaging 107 in a terrific five-leg burst midway through the match, before wrapping up victory with a 97 average and four maximums.
Aspinall then fended off a spirited fightback from two-time finalist Wright to close out a dramatic 11-9 success, defying 120, 141 and 167 finishes from the Scot to prevail in an edgy finale.
“I just said to Michael, I don’t know how he does it,” admitted Aspinall, who was unable to add a maiden World Series Finals crown to his World Matchplay exploits.
“Full credit to Michael. This guy has so much energy, and his will to win is exceptional.
“I’m very happy to participate in another final with Michael. In my era he’s the best, and it’s an honour to share the stage with him.
“Even though I’ve lost, I’m so glad he’s won in front of his home crowd, because he deserves it.”
Earlier in the day, Wright fought back from 6-3 down to overcome Raymond van Barneveld in the last eight, reeling off seven consecutive legs to deny the Dutch legend a fairy-tale triumph on home soil.
Humphries also impressed in his run to the semi-finals, dispatching top seed Rob Cross 10-2, having averaged almost 107 in his second-round win over Krzysztof Ratajski.
Seeded players enter on day two
Winners play the seeds