Peter Wright won the William Hill World Darts Championship for a second time as he defeated Michael Smith 7-5 in Monday’s final.
An Alexandra Palace thriller saw the lead change hands multiple times, before Wright finished strongly to lift the Sid Waddell trophy for a second time in three years, while Smith suffered a second World Championship final defeat.
Smith, seeking a first TV ranking title, was in control of the contest as he led 5-4 in sets and 2-0 in the tenth set, but Wright won nine of the next ten legs to join the list of two-time World Champions.
Smith was left distraught after losing his eighth televised final in nine attempts, as his wait for a first TV ranking title goes on. Despite his latest disappointment, the new world number five remains determined to break his duck in 2022.
Smith hit 24 180s in the match to take his tournament total up to a staggering 83, smashing the previous record of 71 set by Gary Anderson at the 2016/17 tournament. Two of those 180s came in the opening leg, though it proved to be a nervous start from both players with 23 missed double attempts between the pair in leg two.
Wright took both the opening two sets 3-1, before Smith established himself in the contest by winning the next two sets to level. Wright regained the lead by winning the set five decider, before Smith won six of the next seven legs to lead for the first time at 4-3.
After Wright levelled once again, Smith regained the advantage by winning the ninth set and looked on course for the title as he led 2-0 in the tenth. However, Wright came back to win the set with a tide-turning 84 finish before whitewashing Smith in the 11th set to go back in front.
The world number two continued his sprint to the finish line, with Smith powerless to stop Wright winning the 12th and final set 3-1 to seal victory.
2021/22 William Hill World Darts Championship
Monday January 3rd
Peter Wright 7-5 Michael Smith (3-1, 3-1, 1-3, 2-3, 3-2, 1-3, 0-3, 3-1, 2-3, 3-2, 3-0, 3-1)