'I want to take over the sport' – Smith world champion after hitting nine-darter in epic final with Van Gerwen

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Michael Smith wants to "take over the sport" after becoming world champion for the first time with a stunning 7-4 victory over Michael van Gerwen in an epic final on Tuesday.

Smith is a two-time runner-up at Alexandra Palace, having been beaten in the 2019 and 2022 finals by Van Gerwen and Peter Wright respectively, but he finally got over the line with a stunning display in which he hit a nine-dart finish - only the second time that has been done in a PDC World Championship final.

After Van Gerwen won the opening set, they took a leg each in the second before an extraordinary third leg, with the Dutchman missing double 12 for a nine-dart finish, only for Smith to step up to the oche and take out 141 for the nine-darter himself and send the crowd into ecstasy.

The match continued to be a topsy-turvy affair, with Van Gerwen looking to have seized control by taking a three sets to one lead, only for Smith to roar back and win four sets on the spin to open up a 6-3 advantage.

Van Gerwen pulled it back to 6-4, but Smith sunk in double-eight with the 11th set tied at two apiece to win the title, as well as become world number one.

Asked how being described as a world champion sounded, Smith told Sky Sports: "[It] sounds amazing. I don't want to start getting into the crying and emotions.

"Michael let me off there, and for once I finally took a chance I didn't deserve. I want to apologise to Michael, I've been in that position.

"It's 1-1 now in the worlds. I took my chances, but he knows and I do that it won't be the last world final between us. He is the best player in darts, I've said it for years, and you have to take your chances and I finally did that.

"I want to do what this man has [Van Gerwen] done, I want to take over the sport."

Smith says the crowd spurred him on to hit the incredible nine-dart finish, explaining: "I didn't hit a nine-darter in practice today but I keep going 180, 180, miss, so I thought, 'Do one now, give the crowd what they deserve.'

Van Gerwen was humble in defeat after missing out on the opportunity to become a four-time world champion, stating: "He played really well. I had my chances, we all know that.

"When you don't hit them, he'll throw everything at you. You can only blame yourself, but it doesn’t take anything away [from Smith] because he played brilliantly all the way through.

"I wasn't what I wanted to be, but that’s part of the game and you have to take it on the chin.

"It's part of the job unfortunately. When we celebrate it's a nice job, and when we lose games it's hard. We all know that."