Van Gerwen Claims European Open Win
RED HOT VAN GERWEN CLAIMS EUROPEAN DARTS OPEN TITLE
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN continued his incredible run of success by claiming glory at the European Darts Open, defeating Simon Whitlock 6-2 in Sunday night's final at the Maritim Hotel in Dusseldorf.
Van Gerwen followed up Thursday's McCoy's Premier League Darts triumph by romping to the £20,000 first prize in the PDC European Tour event in Germany, winning six matches during the weekend to take the title - his eighth tournament win this year.
Having travelled from London to Dusseldorf on Friday, the Dutch ace overcame Germany's Andree Welge in the first round and then saw off Wayne Jones before claiming four victories on Sunday.
However, after defeating Terry Jenkins, Gary Anderson and Peter Wright to reach the final, van Gerwen saved his best display for the decided as he gained revenge over Whitlock for a defeat in a Speedy Services UK Open Qualifier final recently.
Van Gerwen kicked off the final with a 13-darter which included the first of three 180s, and though Whitlock took out 70 to level, van Gerwen won the next four legs without reply to move 5-1 up - hitting a 124 finish, an 11-darter and a 12-dart leg.
Whitlock fired in a 180 and hit double ten to keep his hopes alive, but van Gerwen was not to be denied as he landed a maximum and finished 64 for a 14-darter to take the title with an average of 106.68.
"It's been a brilliant few days," said van Gerwen, who takes home £20,000 following his first European Tour win.
"I'm a bit tired at the moment but winning is the most important thing, and I'm very glad I saved my best game for the final.
"Simon beat me the last time we played in a final and I knew I needed to play a proper game to beat him, and I think I showed my class with a very good performance tonight."
He added: "The crowd was amazing and even though they were cheering for Simon in the final, they were very nice.
"Darts is growing in Germany and the crowds are very good here. Every ticket's sold out and you want to see that."
Van Gerwen will now travel to Dubai on Monday for next week's inaugural Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, and he added: "I'm so happy with my game at the moment and I hope I can continue this form in Dubai as well because I want to do well there.
"I fly to Dubai on Monday and I'll have a couple of days off when I get over there but I'll be preparing for the Dubai Masters. I'm looking forward to it and it's very exciting."
Whitlock picks up £10,000 as runner-up, and had enjoyed a fine weekend as he won through to the final to delight the vociferous Dutch crowd, who cheered the Australian to the rafters.
Whitlock had overcome Tomas Seyler and Arron Monk to reach Sunday afternoon's third round, where he saw off world number four James Wade 6-3.
He then fired in eight 180s and a 170 checkout in a thrilling 6-2 quarter-final victory over Justin Pipe before ending Jamie Caven's hopes in the semis with a 6-4 win.
"I'm happy to make the final and I've done really well," said Whitlock. "I'd have loved to have won it, but Michael's the best player on the planet right now, and fair play to him, he played brilliant.
"He was absolutely awesome in the final. I beat Michael in the last two times I played him before this final and I expected to win, but the man is so good and he plays great darts.
"I had some tough games and I'm happy with my performance to make the final."
He added: "I also want to thank the crowd because they were great - it's the best crowd in the world for me. I don't get support like this anywhere else and I'm so grateful to have such a great crowd."
Whitlock will join van Gerwen, and the likes of Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld in heading to the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, and he added: "I'm looking forward to every tournament I play right now and hopefully I can win in Dubai."
Runs to the last four for Wright and Caven saw them claim £5,000 which could prove crucial in the qualifying race for World Matchplay and European Championship places this summer.
Caven defeated Mervyn King and Kim Huybrechts on Sunday as he progressed, while Wright saw off McCoy's Premier League stars Robert Thornton and Andy Hamilton as he reached the last four.
Huybrechts maintained his unbeaten record against Dutch star Raymond van Barneveld with a narrow 6-5 win as he reached the quarter-finals, while Gary Anderson's impressive run was only halted by van Gerwen.
World number ten Pipe had edged out Adrian Lewis 6-5 in a thrilling third round game as he won a last eight spot, while Hamilton had seen off Colin Osborne 6-1 in the last 16.
The next PDC European Tour event will be the Austrian Darts Open, to be held from May 31-June 2 at the Arena Nova in Wiener Neustadt. For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.net.
Click here to see Michael van Gerwen video interview on the OfficialPDC YouTube page
Click here to see Simon Whitlock video on the OfficialPDC YouTube page
European Darts Open - European Tour Event Three
Sunday May 19
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 6-3 Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock 6-2 Justin Pipe
Kim Huybrechts 3-6 Jamie Caven
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Peter Wright
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Jamie Caven
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Click here to see Michael van Gerwen video interview on the OfficialPDC YouTube page
Click here to see Simon Whitlock video interview on the OfficialPDC YouTube page
Michael van Gerwen's charge towards his first European Tour title continued as he defeated Gary Anderson 6-3 in the opening quarter-final. The Dutch star took the opening leg against the throw, with Anderson's miss at double 11 allowing him back on double two before the Scot broke back on tops and then hit the same bed to lead 2-1. Van Gerwen, though, levelled in the fourth and broke with a superb 13-darter on double 12, before adding double four and double ten to lead 5-2. Anderson hit back with a 14-darter, but missed tops to win a fourth leg and van Gerwen wasted no time in sealing victory on double 18.
Peter Wright won through to his first European Tour semi-final with a 6-3 defeat of Andy Hamilton. Wright punished missed doubles from Hamilton as he won the game's opening two legs, hitting a 177 in the second, before both players hit top gear in a run of four successive 11-darters, with the first two coming from the Stoke ace as he levelled before the colourful Lowestoft thrower took two of his own to move 4-2 up. Wright then won the seventh leg to move to the brink of victory, with Hamilton defying a 180 from his opponent to hit double ten to stay alive at 5-3 only to suffer further misses in the next as double five put Wright into the semis.
Simon Whitlock powered his way into the European Darts Open semi-finals with a thrilling 6-2 win over Justin Pipe - delighting the Dusseldorf crowd with eight 180s and a 170 checkout! The Australian landed a 180 and a 116 finish as he took the game's opening leg, and despite a maximum from Pipe in the second, he doubled his lead with a brilliant maximum 170 finish. Pipe landed a 180 and double two as he got off the mark, but Whitlock regained his cushion by landing a 180 in an 11-darter before added another maximum and tops for a 4-1 lead. Whitlock then hit two 180s in the sixth leg, with Pipe adding one in reply but missing double 18 and nine to hit back as double five moved the European Champion to the brink of victory. He added a further 180 in the next, but missed the bull for the match as Pipe took out 100 to keep his hopes alive. Pipe then posted a 180 in the eighth leg, but Whitlock fired in two more maximums and double eight as he won through.
Jamie Caven completed the European Darts Open semi-final line-up with a 6-3 win over Kim Huybrechts. Caven made a fine start, landing a 180 and tops for a 13-darter in the opening leg before finishing 117 for a 12-darter to double his lead. He also punished four missed doubles from Huybrechts to win the third leg on tops, before the Belgian took out 83 and 82 to pull back to 3-2. Caven, though, landed a 180 and double four to move 4-2 up and posted a 171 and tops for a 13-darter as he moved to the brink of victory. The pair traded 180s in the next as Huybrechts kept his hopes alive, but Caven posted double five to secure his first European Tour semi-final spot.
Michael van Gerwen progressed to another final as he swept aside Peter Wright 6-3 in the European Darts Open. Wright kicked off the game with a 180 and added another maximum in taking the opening leg in 11 darts, before Whitlock took out 64 and 24 - for a 13-darter - to move 2-1 up. The pair exchanged further 13-darters before Wright finished 90 for a 12-darter to level at three-all, only for van Gerwen to find another gear. The Dutchman hit a 180 to leave 64 as he moved 4-3 up, finished 80 to break and sealed the win with another maximum in an 11-darter.
Simon Whitlock delighted the Maritim Hotel crowd with a 6-4 win over Jamie Caven as he reached the European Darts Open final. The Australian took the semi-final's opening three legs before Caven took out 80 to get on the scoreboard at 3-1. Whitlock defied a 180 from his opponent by hitting a 14-darter to win his fourth leg, before Caven, aided by a brace of 68 finishes and double four, took three successive legs to level at four-all. Whitlock, though, landed a maximum in a 13-darter as he moved 5-4 up, before he hit a 162 score and landed double five for the triumph.
Michael van Gerwen picked up the European Darts Open title with a thrilling 6-2 defeat of Simon Whitlock in the final - averaging almost 107 in a superb display. Van Gerwen kicked off the final with a 13-darter which included the first of three 180s, and though Whitlock took out 70 to level, van Gerwen won the next four legs without reply to move 5-1 up - hitting a 124 finish, an 11-darter and a 12-dart leg. Whitlock fired in a 180 and hit double ten to keep his hopes alive, but van Gerwen was not to be denied as he landed a maximum and finished 64 for a 14-darter to take the title with an average of 106.68.