The Masters 2018 comes to a dramatic close on Sunday evening, with four pretenders to the crown.

Michael van Gerwen has made the title his own in recent years. But former runners-up Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld are up for the fight. Mensur Suljovic, in his first Masters semi-final, can never be ruled out.

Semi-finals (best of 19 legs)

Raymond van Barneveld vs Mensur Suljovic

Most people expected Rob Cross and Peter Wright to contest the evening’s first semi-final. But both fell in the last eight. Their conquerors meet with eyes fixed firmly on the prize. Van Barneveld was imperious in a 10-2 mauling of Snakebite. His steady, metronomic action is a real joy to watch when in full flow. The way he has played in this tournament, victory is never out of the question. But as Gary Anderson went to great lengths to point out, Mensur Suljovic is a dark horse whenever he plays. The Austrian was not exceptional against Cross, but he was clinical. The Dutchman has the edge in the scoring department. Should he keep his consistency there and on the doubles, he will be the favourite to go through.

Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson

“If you can’t beat a man with a bad back, you should get back to the practice board,” Gary Anderson said after beating Gerwyn Price 10-6. The issue for Anderson is that Michael van Gerwen can beat any man, woman, child, or animal, should they ever be taught to throw a dart. The world number one’s blistering demolition of James Wade was a timely reminder of why he has won the last three Masters titles. Anderson’s own worst enemy may be his back, which has hampered him on the Milton Keynes stage. As ever, it is hard to see past van Gerwen. When the Green Machine does falter, it is his own doing. Only Michael van Gerwen knows for sure how this one will go.

Final (best of 21 legs)

Raymond van Barneveld/Mensur Suljovic vs Michael van Gerwen/Gary Anderson


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Author: Ed McCosh