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Michael Smith beats defending champion Gerwyn Price to book semi-final spot

Smith won 5-4 against Price to set up a semi-final date with James Wade.

Image: PA

MICHAEL SMITH IS through to the semi-finals after defeating defending champion Gerwyn Price in a nine-set thriller at Alexandra Palace.

Defending champion Price had hit a nine dart finish in the second leg of set four, which was a third of the tournament overall and a record in any one World Championship – but Smith then took out 130 to level the match at 2-2.

The Iceman kept his cool to secure the fifth set with an impressive 108 finish and move ahead once again, only for Smith to respond once more as he claimed the sixth 3-0.

Smith, runner up to Michael Van Gerwen in 2019, looked to have the momentum, only to miss a chance to close out the seventh, which Price did on double top to move within a set of victory.

As tension mounted, Price paused mid throw during the fourth leg of the eighth set to ask for a heckler to be removed. Once play resumed, the Welshman had two match darts, but failed to land either as Smith forced a decider.

An early break of throw and then a 126 check-out on the bullseye put β€˜The Bully Boy’ on the brink before he clinched the set 3-1 to deliver a hard-earned victory over the world number one.

β€œIt is up there as one of the best nights of my career,” said Smith afterwards to Sky Sports.

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β€œI got there in the end. I kept saying to myself, just focus on the job.

β€œI came over a 10-loss streak against Gez.

β€œI knew by the last set that if I could stay in control, I would be okay.

β€œThis is my chance. I am living out my dream.”

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