Gary Anderson won his first European Tour title in a decade after beating Ross Smith 8-6 in a thrilling final in Germany.

The action returned once again for the fourth of thirteen PDC European Tour events this year for the European Grand Prix. Following the success of newly crowned German number 1 Martin Schindler at the International Darts Open there was hope for the home crowd once more as Gabriel Clemens made the final day of an European tour event for a second successive weekend.

In a real battle the Flying Scotsman had to fight back from 2-0 down in the final against Ross Smtih to ensure his first title in Europe in 10 years. The key leg was the 13th one when Anderson took out 121 for that crucial break and throw for the match. Ross Smith will himself be disappointed not to have forced a last leg shootout having missed doubles in the 14th leg to take it to the decider. At one stage in the last leg Smith was over 200 points ahead but still managed to let Gary back in and clinch the title. Whilst the averages weren’t the highest we’d seen in the day it added to the drama and the 19 darts missed at double by Smith will haunt him and leave him asking what if.

Rob Cross who arrived at the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen as the defending champion must’ve thought he’d be in with a chance to defend his title having brushed aside Danny Noppert in the last 16 and the world number 1 Luke Humphries in the quarter-final 6-1 and 6-2 respectively only to come up short against eventual champion Gary Anderson 7-5 in the semi final.

Anderson made life hard for himself getting to the final requiring a break of throw to ensure a last leg shootout against Josh Rock before seeing Rob Cross miss 11 darts at the double to let the Scotsman secure his first European final since 2015.

Ross Smith on the other hand can count himself very lucky to be in the final having seen Michael van Gerwen miss 10 match darts as he was edged out 7-6 by Smith. In a very unlike MVG performance the Dutch superstar managed to bust his score twice in crucial legs and Smith was more than happy to step in and take the win.

Ross Smith eased into round two
Ross Smith missed 19 darts at the double in the final

Earlier in the evening Anderson beat Josh Rock in a last leg shootout to book his place in the semi final, whilst Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen had it slightly easier in their last 8 matches Cross defeating Humphries whilst van Gerwen brought an end to the home hopes as he beat Gabriel Clemens 6-3.

Afternoon Session Highlights

In an afternoon of high quality darts Josh Rock, Luke Humphries and Ross Smith needed a last leg decider to get past Michael Smith, Stephen Bunting and Ritchie Edhouse respectively with the world number 1 and world champion Luke Humphries hitting the highest average of the session with an average of 105.86 with the Bullet himself registering a ton plus average in defeat.

Stephen Bunting playing at the 2024 UK Open
2 180’s and over 100 average wasn’t enough for Bunting against Luke Humphries. Credit: PDC

Elsewhere Rob Cross recorded the biggest win of the afternoon in defeating Danny Noppert despite the Englishman only averaging 91.14 – three points less than his Dutch opponent.

And there was something for the home crowd to cheer in the last of the afternoon’s matches as the German number 2 Gabriel Clemens got the better of Dave Chisnall to book his place in Sunday evening’s action with a 101.43 average.

Sunday April 21

Afternoon Session

Third Round

Josh Rock 6|5 Michael Smith
Gary Anderson 6|4 Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross 6|1 Danny Noppert
Luke Humphries 6|5 Stephen Bunting
Ross Smith 6|5 Ritchie Edhouse
Damon Heta 6|2 Scott Williams
Michael van Gerwen 6|4 Jonny Clayton
Gabriel Clemens 6|3 Dave Chisnall

Evening Session

Gary Anderson 6|5 Josh Rock
Rob Cross 6|2 Luke Humphries
Ross Smith 6|5 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 6|3 Gabriel Clemens

Gary Anderson 7|5 Rob Cross
Ross Smith 7|6 Michael van Gerwen

Gary Anderson 8|6 Ross Smith