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James Wade defeated Simon Whitlock, Gerwyn Price and Luke Humphries to win a third UK Open title of his career; his first major title since 2018. The triumph also sees “The Machine” return to the top four of the Order of Merit PDC

Last updated: 07/03/21 22:15 pm

James Wade is back in the top four in the world

James Wade produced his brilliant best throughout Sunday, winning a third UK Open triumph of his brilliant career.

“The Machine” edged out Simon Whitlock, ahead of the astonishing world champion and best player in the sport, Gerwyn Price, in the semifinals, to set up an unlikely final showdown with Luke Humphries.

In a typically grainy display, Wade used all of his experience to see the brave 26-year-old to seal the 11-5 title, adding to his previous UK Open crowns in 2008 and 2011.

UK Open Darts: James Wade produces best to win title and return to world top four |  Darts News

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The seasoned Englishman drew first blood in the decider, taking a 4-1 lead in the first interval. He dug deep for another break in the second session, moving 7-3 forward.

Humphries, who was playing his first grand final, was apparently at a disadvantage by a quick turnaround after his semi-final victory over Michael van Gerwen. After averaging 109 highs in the 11-5 win over MVG, ‘Cool Hand Luke’ was unable to back him up.

He had three double shots to break Wade’s shot down to 9-6, but his capricious attempts on the outside ring gave “The Machine” a 10-5 lead.

From there, it was just a simple procession as Wade smashed the throw into 15 darts to seal the title.

Humphries, who arrived at the weekend as 41st in the PDC’s Order of Merit, can be proud of his efforts as he looks to capitalize on the promising display in the months to come.

In the past six years, the player who beaten Rob Cross has won the UK Open.

Michael van Gerwen (2016 and 2020), Peter Wright (2017), Gary Anderson (2018), Nathan Aspinall (2019) and now James Wade (2021) all beat Voltage on their way to the title.

It was a final couple few could have predicted, after Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen advanced to the semi-finals in great shape. After the world’s top two players impressed on Saturday to reach the bottom eight, it seemed likely the duo would stage a rematch of the 2020 UK Open final.

UK Open Darts: James Wade produces best to win title and return to world top four |  Darts News

Humphries enjoyed a memorable race

The machine engages to reach the decision maker

“The Machine” edged out Simon Whitlock in the afternoon session, beating the Australian star 10-8. This set up a semi-final showdown with Gerwyn Price.

The world champion was brought to a decisive stage by Devon Petersen in the last eight. However, ‘The African Warrior’ couldn’t attack the Welshman’s throw in the final leg, hitting just one big hat-trick on 12 darts. “The Iceman” took advantage of all the advantages, pinning D20 for the win.

But Price couldn’t build on that momentum in the semifinals, as Wade stormed a deserved 5-0 cushion in the interval. The world champion looked shocked as the Englishman’s 5/7 doubles helped him take an imposing lead. From there, the damage was done.

Price threatened to come back winning three straight innings to bring him down to 7-4, but Wade broke straight into the target to establish an 8-4 advantage.

From there he worked his way to an 11-6 triumph.

Cool Hand Luke Stuns MVG

Luke Humphries delivered one of his life’s semifinal performances, scoring 109 in an 11-5 win over Michael van Gerwen. This was despite the average MVG of 106 in a high quality display.

The former youth world champion set the tone from the start, opening with starts of 112 and 132 as he took a 4-0 lead.

“The Green Machine” kept coming back, but Humphries had the answers time and time again. The Dutchman brought it down to 4-2, but the Englishman went on to win three unanswered innings.

A superb 128 out gave Humphries a 10-5 advantage, and he pinned D6 against the pitch to reach the final.

Humphries had beaten Dave Chisnall earlier in the afternoon, after the quarterfinal went to a final leg decider.

Results

Quarter-finals
James Wade 10-8 Simon Whitlock
Gerwyn Price 10-9 Devon Petersen
Luke Humphries 10-9 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Krzysztof Ratajski

Semi finals
James Wade 11-6 Gerwyn Award
Luke Humphries 11-5 Michael van Gerwen

Final
James Wade 11-5 Luke Humphries

Watch live coverage of the Premier League 2021 at Sky Sports – the action kicks off Monday April 5 with five consecutive nights of action from Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

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