GARY ANDERSON has hailed his rivalry with Michael van Gerwen, following the pair's epic battle in the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters final on Thursday.
Anderson retained the Dubai title with an 11-7 win over the Dutchman in a historic contest, which was the first televised knockout match to see both players average 110.
The Scot also landed 12 maximums in a brilliant performance to overcame Van Gerwen - who had taken victory in three other televised finals between the pair inside the past eight months.
Anderson also defeated Phil Taylor and Peter Wright during a fine tournament in Dubai, and was delighted to overcome World Champion Van Gerwen.
"I've been fortunate enough to grace the stage with Phil Taylor, the greatest dart player in the world, but this man has taken over him," said Anderson.
"To me, Michael van Gerwen is the best dart player in the world, without a doubt, so to pinch anything off him is always a bonus. I was over the moon with the way [the darts] went."
Van Gerwen was equally complimentary after seeing Anderson deny him his fourth Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters win, and suggested that despite Wright's brilliant year so far in 2017, the world number two remains his greatest threat.
"At the moment there's only Gary who can do this," said Van Gerwen. "I know what he's capable of, and I tried anything that was in my possibility and it wasn't enough [on Thursday].
"Fair play to Gary, it was a great game. We always have great games and I can't be angry - I also think I played well, I had a great final and unfortunately I didn't win, but there's always next year."
"I've been fortunate enough to grace the stage with Phil Taylor, the greatest dart player in the world, but [Michael] has taken over him," Gary Anderson.
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson - Televised Finals
2015 Betway Premier League - Anderson won 11-7
2015 European Championship - Van Gerwen won 11-10
2016 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters - Anderson won 11-9
2016 Zipang Casino Tokyo Darts Masters - Anderson won 8-6
2016 Unibet World Grand Prix - Van Gerwen won 5-2
2017 William Hill World Darts Championship - Van Gerwen won 7-3
2017 Unibet Masters - Van Gerwen won 11-7
2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters - Anderson won 11-7