Michael Van Gerwen set for final against Michael Smith

Michael Van Gerwen swept to a 6-1 PDC World Darts Championship semi-final win over Gary Anderson before targeting victory against Michael Smith in the final on New Year’s Day. 

Anderson was unable to find his best form but, even if he had, he would have been hard pushed to make a game of it against Van Gerwen in this mood.

The two-time winner looked set for only the fourth semi-final whitewash at Alexandra Palace when he opened up a 5-0 lead, with Anderson barely able to win a leg, but the Scot at least got on the board, even if it ultimately meant nothing.

Van Gerwen told Sky Sports: ‘I think I played really well, especially early doors. Gary couldn’t find his form in the beginning and I took advantage of that.

‘I didn’t give him any time to breathe in this game. After the 5-0 I was getting confident.’

Ahead of his clash with Smith on Tuesday, Van Gerwen said: ‘It’s going to be a phenomenal game but I’m going to be a bit different to Nathan Aspinall.

‘This means the world to me. I do a lot to come to this stage but the work is not done yet, I have to do more.’ 

Van Gerwen averaged 104.76, threw 11 180s and had a checkout percentage of 50 in a sensational display.

The Dutchman will now face Smith, who ended the run of Nathan Aspinall to reach his first final.

Both men were playing in the last four for the first time, but 10th seed Smith had the pedigree against debutant Aspinall and made it count to win 6-3.

Smith made a tremendous start and took a 2-0 lead, but Aspinall fought back to level at 2-2 and then again for 3-3.

But Smith was relentless in his scoring and clinched victory at the first attempt with a 121 checkout.

Smith averaged 105.22, hit 17 180s – an individual record in a World Championship semi-final – and had a checkout percentage of 51.11.

An emotional Smith said on Sky Sports: ‘I’ve never felt like that ever. I’m so happy, I don’t know what to say. I just took my chances when they came.

‘I nearly made a mess of myself tonight, it felt like I was going to give birth to an ostrich egg or something. I was so nervous but I’m so happy I held it together. I’m one step away from living my dream.’

Aspinall had no regrets at the end of his brilliant run.

He said: ‘I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it. I never thought I’d get to the semi-final.

‘It wasn’t my night but I’m so happy to be involved in a quality game. I wish Michael all the luck in the world because he deserves to win this.’ 

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