Gerwyn Price insists he will take the positives from his Betfred World Matchplay campaign after succumbing to Michael van Gerwen in a thrilling final last Sunday.
Price was beaten 18-14 by an inspired Van Gerwen in Blackpool, with the Dutchman landing fifteen 180s and converting five ton-plus finishes to clinch his third World Matchplay crown.
Price was bidding to become the first Welshman to lift the coveted Phil Taylor Trophy, and he made the perfect start, racing into an early 4-0 lead.
However, Van Gerwen fought back to complete a stunning comeback victory, and Price was full of praise for the three-time World Champion.
“I was fortunate to be 9-6 up. Michael is a fantastic player and when he gets on a roll like that, it’s hard to contain him,” admitted the 2021 World Champion.
“I did miss a couple of doubles but I think I played alright. I didn’t have a purple patch which I needed in that game. I think Michael had one throughout the whole game!
“Michael was fantastic, and a deserving winner. He is a great friend and a great player.”
Despite losing out in a thriller, Price’s Winter Gardens exploits saw him regain the world number one spot, with previous incumbent Peter Wright bowing out in the quarter-finals.
Price came into last week’s summer showpiece devoid of confidence, but a series of sublime displays catapulted him to the cusp of an eighth PDC televised title.
He also produced a sensational nine-darter in his semi-final win over Danny Noppert – the first nine-dart leg at this event since Gary Anderson struck perfection against Joe Cullen in 2018.
The 37-year-old has now registered a record-breaking four televised nine-darters in 2022 so far, and with the power to add over the coming months, the Welshman has vowed to learn from his Blackpool experience.
“I am definitely proud of myself, especially with the way I’ve been playing over the last couple of months,” added the world number one.
“I played really well at this tournament, but it just didn’t happen for me on Sunday.
“It’s just frustrating that I came to the final and I couldn’t produce, but it’s always a learning curve.
“I’m learning every day, and I will definitely learn from this tournament, especially the final.
“I really wanted to win it, but next year I’ll be back.”
Price also paid tribute to the fans in attendance at this year’s World Matchplay, after he received terrific support from a large Welsh contingent at the Empress Ballroom.
“The fans all week were absolutely brilliant,” continued Price, who pocketed £100,000 following wins over Martin Schindler, Dave Chisnall, Jose De Sousa and Danny Noppert in Blackpool.
“It’s something I don’t get very often, so they are moments I can cherish, because I don’t know how long it will keep happening.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. I’m thankful to the crowd for being on my side.
“I managed to repay them with a nine-darter on Saturday, but unfortunately not in the final!”