World Matchplay: Tournament debutant Dimitri van den Bergh reaches final

Van den Bergh is a two-time PDC World Youth Champion

World Matchplay debutant Dimitri van den Bergh will face Gary Anderson in Sunday’s final after his superb week continued in Milton Keynes.

The 26-year-old Belgian, whose performances at the event will see him climb into the world’s top 16, beat the world number 15 Glen Durrant 17-15.

Anderson, the 2018 champion, beat Michael Smith on a tie-break 18-16.

The Scot led 8-3 and 14-9 but Smith fought back to go 15-14 up before Anderson held his nerve to win.

Van den Bergh, the first debutant to win through to the final since James Wade in 2006, said the tournament had been life-changing for him.

“I’ve always been working hard and everything I am accomplishing here is well deserved,” he said.

“I’m so proud to be in the final but I want to win it now. I’m in the final for a reason, and if I manage to win it will not be an upset.”

But he will go in as an outsider against Anderson who admitted he needed to work hard to beat Smith, last year’s runner-up.

“To win it would be fantastic – to get my name on that trophy again would be special,” said Anderson.

“I got a good lead and let him in. Michael will be gutted – his scoring wasn’t quite up there and he was struggling a little bit.

“It was great up to a point for me and I felt like I had it done and dusted but then it went wrong – I was struggling to get my darts up but I plodded on and pinched it at the end.

“I want to get my game back to where I know it should be and I’m expecting to play like I used to but it’s not happening for me at the moment. I’m playing nowhere near what I should be.”

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