John Henderson said he was “over the moon” after enjoying the biggest win of his career against Michael van Gerwen at the World Grand Prix on Sunday.
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Van Gerwen has claimed three of the last five titles at the Citywest Hotel in the double-start tournament, but suffered a first round exit for the first time since his debut in 2009 following a dramatic final-leg thriller with Henderson.
The Scot punished a slow start from the World Champion to open up a 2-0 lead in the opening set, and though Van Gerwen levelled it was Henderson who capitalised on six missed opening doubles from his rival to claim the set on double ten.
Van Gerwen raced through the second set to level the game, but was unable to find a break of throw as the third progressed to a deciding leg.
Henderson began with 120 and 140 to edge clear, and ‘The Highlander’ was first to a double when he pinned double top for a huge win.
“I’m obviously over the moon to beat Michael,” Henderson told Sky Sports. “He’s the best player in the World and to beat him on that big stage it’s fantastic.
“You’re playing Michael van Gerwen so it’s obviously my best win. I’m speechless at the moment.
“When I won the first set I expected Michael to come back. He batters that treble 20, but he was struggling on doubles bad. I had to try and capitalise and I did.
“If I’m being honest that wasn’t Michael’s best game. That was probably my A game and his C game but I’m happy to get through.
“I played really well in the Players Championships over the weekend so my form was good but against Michael you expect to be the underdog – he’s the main man at the minute.
“I knew there was going to be a big comeback from Michael but luckily for me I got there in the end. It’s been my night and I’m going to enjoy it – I’ve got to try and come down from this and hopefully I can progress.”
Henderson now faces a second round tie on Tuesday with Alan Norris, who came from a set down to defeat Justin Pipe as he reached the last 16 for a second successive World Grand Prix.
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