'This means a lot' - Raymond van Barneveld opens up on 'special' win over world champ Michael Smith
Raymond van Barneveld defeated World Champion Michael Smith at the Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals on Saturday, as Keegan Brown dumped out Gerwyn Price on a thrilling night in Amsterdam.
Day Two of the £350,000 event saw the eight seeds enter the fray at AFAS Live, and world number one Smith and reigning champion Price were among the high-profile casualties in the Dutch capital.
However, it was Van Barneveld who stole the headlines on home soil, producing a vintage display to move through to the quarter-finals on his first televised appearance in the Netherlands since 2019.
Van Barneveld outscored Smith in the early stages – including an 11-dart break in leg three – although 130 and 100 checkouts from the St Helens star kept him in contention at 2-2.
The world number one began to find his range as he moved into a 4-3 lead, only for Van Barneveld to raise the roof with a trademark 156 finish to level the contest at four apiece.
The 56-year-old then punished two missed darts from Smith to move to the cusp of victory with a nerveless 105 outshot, before pinning double ten to seal a memorable win in front of a packed AFAS Live crowd.
“To beat the World Champion in front of the Orange Army, this is really special,” reflected the five-time World Champion, who now plays Peter Wright in an intriguing last eight tussle.
“I knew I would have to play my A-game. We all know what Michael is capable of. He’s a fantastic player, one of the best in the world.
“It was a quality game. There were fantastic finishes from both of us, and Michael was a real gentleman tonight. This means a lot to me.”