THE PDC ProTour weekend at Wigan's Robin Park Tennis Centre begins on Saturday with Players Championship Nine.
Play will commence at 12pm, with PDCTV-HD Subscribers worldwide able to watch live coverage, with streams available from two boards simultaneously throughout the event.
Players Championship Nine Entries
Saturday April 28, Robin Park Tennis Centre, Wigan
Martin Atkins (Wigan)
Jeffrey de Graaf
Jeffrey de Zwaan
Davy Van Baelen
Benito van de Pas
Dimitri Van den Bergh
Vincent van der Voort
Dirk van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN clinched his ninth ranking victory of the year with a 6-4 win over Scott Taylor in the final of Players Championship Nine at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on Saturday.
The world number one has now won four of the five Players Championship events he has played in this year but was made to work hard for the title against Taylor, who enjoyed a sensational run in Wigan.
Van Gerwen recorded wins over Jamie Lewis, Darren Johnson, Jermaine Wattimena, Simon Whitlock, Jonny Clayton and James Wade en route to clinching the £10,000 top prize.
“Overall I did a good job and I think I was a worthy champion today,” said Van Gerwen, whose average exceeded 100 over the course of the day.
“At the start of the day I played quite well although after that it got a bit sloppy, but a win is a win and it doesn’t matter how you win.
“Sometimes you need to survive a day like this and it was about doing the right things at the right moments.
“Scott did really well today so I want to say well done to him. It’s tough playing here, you have to play well every game.
“I want to add to my nine titles so far this year starting tomorrow.”
Van Gerwen took the opening leg of the contest, finding double ten to hold throw before Taylor signalled his intent with an impressive 11-dart leg to level at 1-1.
The Dutch ace hit 36 to go 2-1 in front before Taylor restored parity, hitting double nine after Van Gerwen piled the pressure on with the fourth 180 of the match in as many legs.
The pair continued to exchange holds of throw in the next four legs to leave the tie hanging in the balance at 4-4.
Van Gerwen then fired in a 13-darter to pile the pressure on Taylor as he went within one leg of victory at 5-4.
The first and only break of throw in the match came in the tenth leg as Van Gerwen’s opening score of 177 was backed up by an impressive 132 finish on the bull to win his 25th Players Championship title.
Dropping just 17 legs all day, Van Gerwen was at his clinical best at the Robin Park Tennis Centre.
The winner of 63 ProTour career events brushed aside World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis in his opening game of the day.
Van Gerwen followed this with a comfortable 6-1 win over Darren Johnson before seeing off fellow-Dutchman Wattimena 6-3.
The two-time World Champion then saw off fellow-Premier League star Simon Whitlock 6-1 and beat Austrian Darts Open winner Jonny Clayton 6-3 to book his place in the semi-finals.
His last four clash with James Wade was nip and tuck in the early stages before Van Gerwen pulled away to seal a 6-4 win to reach the final.
Taylor, playing in the first ever ProTour final of his career, produced a series of stunning displays to shock the field in Wigan.
He started the day with a 6-4 win over Belgian Davy Van Baelen before brushing aside Wayne Jones with a convincing 6-1 victory.
Growing in confidence, Taylor then overcame veteran Steve Beaton 6-4 and booked his place in the quarter-finals with a 6-1 triumph over Steve West.
The Bolton thrower, who had previously won just one game in eight attempts at Players Championship events, then claimed his biggest scalp of the day as he stunned Gary Anderson with a 6-4 win.
Taylor then defeated Jason Lowe, another surprise package on the day, 6-3 to reach the final.
Lowe, who reached the semi-finals of UK Open Qualifier Four in February, claimed the scalps of James Wilson, Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis on his way to the last four.
Fellow-semi-finalist Wade continued his strong run in ProTour events in 2018, having already reached the last eight on three occasions so far this year.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day for Rob Cross who lost to Ryan Joyce in the third round.
Daryl Gurney, who still has hopes of reaching the Unibet Premier League Play-Offs, was defeated by Wade in the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic lost to Keegan Brown in Round Three, Players Championship Seven winner Michael Smith went down 6-5 to Jan Dekker in the second round and Welsh star Gerwyn Price was eliminated by Wade in Round Three.
Van Gerwen will be looking to add to his 25 Players Championship wins tomorrow as the action continues on Sunday in Wigan with Players Championship Ten, streamed live throughout the day on PDCTV-HD.