It’s been almost a five-year wait, but last week James Wade won his latest major PDC televised title when he beat Simon Whitlock in the European Championship final. Playing at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, The Machine claimed his eighth career major after a 11-8 victory, his first since he won The Masters in 2014.
His opponent on Sunday night, Australia’s Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock, was himself looking to end a barren spell having last smelled victory in this very tournament back in 2012. Whitlock, who earlier saw off Peter Wright, was playing in his seventh major final and first since the 2017 World Grand Prix.
A recap of the European Championship final
The Wizard initially showed good form in the early stages where he found himself 3-1 up after four legs. However, 35-year-old Wade bounced back to level the game at 3-3. Things remained even all the way through to the ninth leg from where a breakthrough was finally staged as Wade reeled off three in a row thanks to a pair of 13-darters to claim his long-awaited victory.
Hampshire’s Jasmes Wade averaged 91.44 compared to Whitlock’s 88.81, hitting the most 180s through the match, landing five to Whitlock’s three. Both players came into the final fresh on the backs of their own remarkable comebacks against Max Hopp, who knocked out Rob Cross in the previous round, and Joe Cullen.
In Simon Whitlock’s case, he came back from the jaws of defeat to clinch a last-minute victory against Cullen, winning 11-10. The Machine, on the other hand, trailed 7-3 and 10-8 to Hopp before winning three legs on the trot to book his place in the final.
It was The Machine’s fourth major TV final appearance of 2018 having previously disappointed at this year’s UK Open, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix. It seems like a long time since the 2007 – 2010 days when The Machine won the World Matchplay, Premier League and two World Grand Prix’s and the first of his two UK Open wins.
Wade will now turn attention to regaining his place in the Premier League line-up for 2019, starting with showing good form in the upcoming World Championships in December for which he is currently an outright price of 40/1 at Betway.
Already on the back of their run to the final last weekend, James Wade and Simon Whitlock have become the latest players to seal their spots at the Grand Slam of Darts, which takes place in November at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton. Other players have a final chance to win automatic qualification for the event in this weekend’s World Series of Darts Finals in Vienna.
2018 World Series of Darts Finals betting tips
The World Series of Darts Finals will get underway on Friday at the Multiversum, Schwechat in Vienna. Michael van Gerwen is the unsurprising favourite at 4/5, while Peter Wright — who will face either Gerwyn Price (50/1) or Hong Kong’s Royden Lam (250/1) in the second round — is third in the betting at 7/1, just behind Gary Anderson’s 11/2. Rob Cross can be picked up at 10/1 while the popular outside choice is again Mensur Suljovic, who will also be both the home favourite and my pick for victory while he’s currently worth 16/1 with Betway.
Following his run to the final a week ago, Simon Whitlock is available at 40’s and could potentially face either Steve Beaton (100/1) or Daryl Gurney, also priced at 40/1. James Wade, fresh from victory in Germany, moves in at 33/1, while Dave Chisnall is there for those that want him valued at 40/1, one out in the betting from Michael Smith’s 25/1. All prices are provided by Betway.