Gerwyn Price missed out on the Masters final after losing a deciding leg to 20th seed Mervyn King.
Price, 35, from Markham, fell to a 11-10 defeat after failing to hit the doubles at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes, on Sunday evening.
It is the first time the Iceman has lost in nine matches and the first since he became World Champion, with his previous loss coming last November.
The Iceman started strongly and found himself 2-0 to the good after finishing both legs on his favourite double – tops.
‘Gezzy’ found himself 3-2 up after 5 legs and boasted a 100% checkout percentage.
The Welshman won three of the next five legs to put himself 6-4 up, in a game of missed doubles and missed opportunities.
King bounced back by winning the next three legs to put himself in the lead for the first time in the game.
Both players were frustrated – quality darts were thrown but the doubles were consistently missed.
The Iceman bounced back by winning the next leg after hitting double-two to even the game up with seven legs each.
The players then took it in turn to take the legs, with King starting the trend.
The standout leg came when the game was at 9-9. ‘The King’ hit a maximum, followed by a Price maximum. King took the leg by securing a 121 checkout.
The Iceman was able to pinch the next leg to force a decider, but the Englishman’s 127 checkout booked him a place in the final.
Price finished with an average of 99, two more than King’s 97, showing that on a day where the world number one hits the doubles – it could have been a different conclusion.
Price’s loss meant there was no all-Welsh final in the televised tournament with Llanelli’s Jonny Clayton, who who won the 2020 PDC World Cup of Darts with last year.
Clayton, who was priced at 150-1 for the Masters title, won his first individual televised title, beating King 11–8 in the final.