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Adrian Lewis storms to fourth major title
9:14am Monday 10th March 2014 in Sport
ADRIAN LEWIS claimed the fourth major title of his career with a sensational 11-1 victory over Terry Jenkins in the Coral UK Open final at the Butlins Minehead Resort on Sunday night.
Lewis followed up his back-to-back World Championship triumphs in 2011 and 2012 and last year's European Championship win with another major title as he took the £50,000 first prize by winning through the 138-player field in the UK Open.
The Stoke ace had defeated Raymond van Barneveld with a brilliant performance in Saturday's Fifth Round and continued that form against Mensur Suljovic and Mervyn King on Sunday as he powered into the final with 10-3 and 10-6 victories.
However, he saved his best performance for the decider as he stormed to the title - averaging around 110 for the majority of a heavy-scoring clash, hitting six 180s and three 177 scores.
He also took out a 121 finish and reeled off nine successive legs as he secured victory, with a pair of 14-dart finishes in the final two legs seeing him average 109.13 in completing the heaviest win in a UK Open final.
"I'm so happy right now and it means a lot to me to win this," said Lewis. "It's my first major of the year but I feel like I can go on to win a lot more now.
"This is the first time I've got past the quarter-finals in this tournament, so to go on and win it is a massive achievement for me.
"It's been a really tough weekend but I've dug in deep and took my chances, and I'm delighted with how I played in the final. I've been playing like that in the floor tournaments in the last few months and I wanted to take it onto the stage.
"Terry's been playing some awesome darts too and he's taken the form of the last few months into this final, and I had to hit him straight away and I knew I'd have to play that well - but if he keeps this going he could win a major this year."
Lewis hit tops to break throw in the final's opening leg before following a 180 by posting the same double to move two legs up, before Jenkins got off the mark in the game's third leg, after his opponent missed two darts to continue his charge.
The pair traded 180s in the fourth leg as Lewis hit tops to deny his opponent a chance to level, before a superb 121 checkout moved him 4-1 up.
Lewis posted a 177 and a 97 finish in an 11-darter to win a third successive leg, hit tops to win the next and traded 180s once again with Jenkins in the eighth, as double ten moved him 7-1 ahead.
Lewis then hit two 180s to Jenkins' one as he took out 81 for a 12-darter to lead by seven legs, and when the Ledbury ace missed tops for a 116 finish in the next a double eight checkout pushed the Stoke ace into a 9-1 advantage.
The 29-year-old then secured the title in style with back-to-back 14-dart legs, taking out 87 to complete one of the finest displays in the tournament's history.
Jenkins, appearing in his eighth televised final, was left to again rue his luck as major honours eluded him once more, although he took home £25,000 as runner-up and enjoyed an outstanding 10-8 win over World Champion Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals.
"Adrian was brilliant there in the final and he never gave me a chance," admitted Jenkins, who also qualifies for November's Grand Slam of Darts by reaching the decider.
"He was relentless and he whacked everything in there, and I couldn't keep up with him.
"I was leaving a double after 12 darts in some legs and not getting a look-in! Fair play to him because he deserved the title with a performance like that, but I'm proud of what I've done this weekend to reach the final.
"I've been playing well for the last few months and the small changes I've made to my darts are paying off.
"I hope I can win a major title eventually - I'd always said I'd retire when I got to 50 and that would have been six months ago, so this is a bonus! I'll always keep plugging away and hopefully it will happen for me next time."
Jenkins' semi-final win over Michael van Gerwen denied the Dutchman a third successive major ranking title, following last year's Players Championship Finals triumph in Minehead and his World Championship win on New Year's Day.
The world number one had enjoyed a 10-8 quarter-final victory over Ian White earlier on Sunday, and though he fought back from 5-1 down against Jenkins in the last four to level, he was forced to settle for £12,500 prize money.
King also took home £12,500 as he reached his first UK Open semi-final, with his run over the weekend seeing him complete the notable achievement of having reached the quarter-finals of every major tournament in the sport.
King defied the pain of an ongoing battle to recover from a bout of sciatica in his back in winning through to the semi-finals in Minehead, and said: "I've been working really hard and it's paying off.
"Nobody likes losing and we all play to win, but I was adamant that Adrian wouldn't walk all over me. He started off like that but I was determined to fight all the way and I'm not downbeat at all.
"I'm a work in progress and I feel miles better than I did 18 months ago. I've put such a lot of work in and it's starting to work, and I'm seeing that in my performance."
The tournament had moved to the Butlins Minehead Resort following a decade in Bolton, with 4,500 fans packing the Somerset venue throughout the weekend alongside the field of professional stars and Rileys Amateur Qualifiers.