'I'm the Andy Murray of darts!' – Smith revels in momentous maiden world title triumph

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Michael Smith considered himself darts' equivalent of Andy Murray after beating Michael van Gerwen to land his maiden world title triumph.

The 32-year-old claimed a 7-4 victory in Tuesday's thrilling PDC World Championship final at Alexandra Palace in London, which included a perfect nine-dart leg in the second set.

Smith, who had lost eight successive major finals before his breakthrough triumph at the Grand Slam of Darts in November, is now the world number one as a result of his victory.

He is just the 11th winner of the tournament in its 30-year history, with Phil Taylor having won it 14 times prior to his retirement in 2018.

And Smith believes there are parallels to tennis star Murray's memorable 2012 US Open final win against Novak Djokovic – his first of three grand slam triumphs after four final defeats.

"I'm like the Andy Murray of darts," Smith told Sky Sports. "He has come through with these three amazing players in [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal and Djokovic.

"He managed to get Queen's and then won the US Open, Wimbledon, and Wimbledon again, and he had to work hard for that.

"I know he got to world number one and then, unluckily for him, he had his injuries, although it didn't cost him his career as he's still playing now."

Five different players have now had their name on darts' biggest trophy in the past six years, with Peter Wright the only multiple winner in that period.

"Back in the day it was Phil Taylor and someone who pushed him," Smith said. "Barney [Raymond van Barneveld] was there, Adie [Adrian Lewis] pushed him for a bit as well.

"Then Michael [Van Gerwen] came along, then you've got Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Gez [Gerwyn Price].

"You've got really unbelievable players where anyone in the top 32 can win a TV title and it's not just Phil Taylor dominating the sport. The sport is wide open now, which is good."

Smith averaged 100.71 across the 11 sets, with that the highest in the World Championship final since Van Gerwen's 102.88 three years ago when losing to Wright (102.79).