Ten Of The Best For Van Gerwen!
VAN GERWEN CLAIMS TENTH 2013 TITLE WITH AUSTRIAN DARTS OPEN TRIUMPH
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN continued his incredible run of success as he claimed his tenth tournament victory of 2013 with a superb defeat of Mervyn King in the Austrian Darts Open final on Sunday night.
The Dutch superstar began June as he ended May - in winning form - as he followed up his recent McCoy's Premier League Darts, European Darts Open and Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters triumphs with a second successive £20,000 European Tour title.
Van Gerwen has now won five successive events, and is unbeaten in 24 games stretching back over four weeks as his unstoppable form saw him power through the field at the Arena Nova in Wiener Neustadt.
The 24-year-old had dropped only two legs in his early wins over Alan Tabern and Wayne Jones, and began Sunday's final stages with a 6-3 defeat of Ronnie Baxter before defeating Brendan Dolan by the same scoreline in the quarter-finals.
He then saw off Colin Lloyd 6-2 in the semi-finals, hitting seven perfect darts for a second time in the day, before claiming a 6-3 win over King in the final - taking out finishes of 146 and 110 in picking up the £20,000 first prize.
"I'm very happy to have won this," said van Gerwen. "It was a very difficult win because although I played well during the tournament, I didn't play as well as I can.
"Sometimes that's good as well because you know you can win when you're not at your best, like I did in the final but it's great to win another title.
"We both expected a great game because we had great semi-finals, but it didn't happy in the final."
The win sends van Gerwen into next weekend's Speedy Services UK Open televised finals in Bolton as the tournament favourite, but he rejected suggestions from some pundits that he's currently 'unstoppable'.
"Unstoppable is a big word, but I know that even if I'm behind in a game I'm still confident enough to win it," he added. "I like the format of the UK Open and I think this year I can do some damage there - I want to!
"I've not been brilliant in the UK Open but before the European Darts Open in Dusseldorf I didn't have a great record in European Tour events either and I'm doing well in them now."
King suffered defeat for a second time this year to van Gerwen in a final - following up a loss to the Dutchman in the eighth Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier in April - but took home £10,000 as runner-up.
He was pushed all the way by world number nine Dave Chisnall in his third round fixture on Sunday afternoon, but he whitewashed Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals before edging out Steve Beaton 6-5 in the semis.
"It's been a great tournament but Michael was too strong for me in the final," said King, who moves up to 13th in the PDC Order of Merit. "It's a hard day because there's four games on Sunday and Michael coped with it better than me.
"I started off really well today but each game got harder and harder, and with me getting older it took its toll. But I'm pleased to reach the final and I played some good stuff to get here, so I'm very happy.
"Michael's on top of his game at the moment and he's an awesome player. I enjoyed the tournament, which was fantastic, and the crowd were great too."
Both Beaton and Lloyd improved their chances of qualifying for next month's PartyPoker.net European Championship and BetVictor World Matchplay events by claiming £5,000 for reaching their first semi-finals of the year.
Lloyd followed up Saturday's second round whitewash of Andy Hamilton with another 6-0 scoreline against Dennis Smith in the quarter-finals, and he also defeated world number seven Wes Newton on Sunday.
Beaton, meanwhile, was in fine form as he dropped only three legs against Kevin McDine and Jelle Klaasen, but paid the price for missing four match darts at double 16 in the deciding leg of his semi-final with King.
Klaasen's run to the last eight followed his Players Championship final appearance in Wigan a week ago, as he continued his push to qualify for the summer's majors, knocking out James Wade 6-5 in a dramatic third round game on Sunday.
A quarter-final appearance for Dolan, and the £3,000 prize money it brings, sees him edge closer towards a place in the world's top 16, while Cullen and Smith have put themselves in the frame to qualify for the World Matchplay by reaching the same stage.
The PDC's next European Tour event will be the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, to be held from June 28-30. For tickets, visit www.pdc.tv/tickets.
Highlights from selected matches are available in www.LIVEPDC.TV.
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Austrian Darts Open
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Dennis Smith 0-6 Colin Lloyd
Jelle Klaasen 2-6 Steve Beaton
Joe Cullen 0-6 Mervyn King
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Colin Lloyd
Steve Beaton 5-6 Mervyn King
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mervyn King
All games are the best of 11 legs.
Michael van Gerwen's bid to win a second successive European Tour title continued with a 6-3 victory over Brendan Dolan in the opening quarter-final. Dolan started well, hitting a 180 in the first leg but being punished for missed doubles as van Gerwen took the opening leg, before the Northern Irish ace levelled with a 61 finish and took the third leg with a break of throw to move 2-1 up. Van Gerwen, though, took the next three legs with a 15-dart finish followed by a brace of 14-darters, and landed double 18 to move 5-2 up. Three missed match darts allowed Dolan to keep his hopes alive on double nine, but van Gerwen hit three 140s as he sealed victory with a 14-dart finish on tops.
Colin Lloyd enjoyed his second whitewash win of the Austrian Darts Open as he swept past Dennis Smith to reach the semi-finals. Lloyd stamped his authority on the game by taking out 157 in the opening leg, before punishing Smith for missing his chance to level by landing double five in leg two. Lloyd then posted 180s as he took the next two legs on double four and tops respectively, before replying to a 180 from Smith in leg five by powering in a 148 checkout, and he went on to seal the victory on double 18.
Colin Lloyd: "Dennis, like Andy Hamilton who I beat 6-0 yesterday, is a class player and he can play a lot better than that, as he showed when he put Robert Thornton to bed earlier, so it was a case of me getting up there and doing a job, which I did well. I'll have to take all my opportunities too against Michael van Gerwen in the semis. He's a breath of fresh air for darts, a fantastic player who plays brilliant darts, and I know I've got a tough game - but I'd love to beat him!"
Steve Beaton won the battle of former World Champions with Jelle Klaasen 6-2 to reach his first European Tour semi-final. Beaton took the opening leg on double eight after Klaasen missed tops, and added a 180 and double four to move 2-0 up before winning a third leg on double ten. Klaasen got off the mark, but missed further doubles in the next as Beaton cleaned up double 16 to move 4-1 up. Another 14-darter from Klaasen won him a second leg, but Beaton held his nerve with a third-dart double top in the seventh leg before adding a 180 and double eight - again after misses from the Dutchman - to seal the win.
Steve Beaton: "It's been a long time coming but it's great to be in the semi-finals. I took the chances which Jelle gave me and I'll look forward to the semis."
Mervyn King produced a sublime performance to whitewash Joe Cullen 6-0 and reach the Austrian Darts Open semi-finals. After edging the opening leg on tops, King hit a 180 and double 15 for a 13-darter in the second and landed another maximum before taking leg three with a 124 finish. He then landed tops for a 4-0 lead, hit a 180 in a 14-darter to lead by five legs before adding another 14 darter to close out victory with a 103.66 average.
Mervyn King: "I had to play like that because Joe could have steamrollered me - as you saw against Stuart Kellett and Raymond van Barneveld. I had to take it to him from the word go, and I did that."
Michael van Gerwen took just over 12 minutes to defeat Colin Lloyd 6-2 and reach the Austrian Darts Open final. After Lloyd took the opening leg on double 19, van Gerwen levelled by hitting a 174 in a 12-darter before breaking on double ten in leg three and firing in a superb 11-darter for a 3-1 lead. Lloyd stepped in on double nine to take leg five, but van Gerwen - for the second time in the day - hit seven perfect darts in the next leg, missing the treble 19 for a possible nine-dart finish. He went on to win the leg on double two, hit a fourth 180 of the game in a 12-darter for a 5-2 lead before landing a 174 and tops to seal his place in a second successive European Tour final.
Mervyn King punished Steve Beaton for missing four match darts in the deciding leg of their semi-final as he progressed to the Austrian Darts Open decider. King held a 3-2 lead after hitting legs of 14, 12 and 11 darts, with Beaton replying with a 138 checkout and tops before finishing 70 in leg six to level at three-all. The next two legs were shared before another 14-darter from King edged him 5-4 up, only for Beaton to finish double two for a 15-dart leg to send the game into a decider. Beaton was first to a double in the final leg, but missed double 16 for a 102 finish and three further darts at the bed to allow King in to snatch victory on double ten.
Michael van Gerwen claimed his second successive European Tour title with a fine 6-3 win over Mervyn King in Sunday's final. The Dutch star, last month's European Darts Open winner, took the final's first leg on tops before King levelled by hitting the same bed, but finishes of double seven and 68, for a 14-darter, saw the world number two move 3-1 up. King Broke back on double 16 in the fifth leg, but van Gerwen powered in a 146 checkout to regain his advantage and then posted double eight for a 5-2 lead. He missed two match darts in the next as King hit tops to keep his hopes alive, but van Gerwen would not be denied his tenth title of the year, which he sealed in the next leg with a 110 checkout.
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