Reigning World Champion Michael van Gerwen powered into the last eight of the World Grand Prix of Darts last night with a dazzling performance against Jeffrey de Zwaan in Dublin on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old showed his championship class as he blew away his fellow countryman, dropping just two legs on his way to a 3-0 victory
He’s among just three remaining seeds in the tournament. We asked him if the unique double-start format made the competition a bit of a lottery, but he was having none of it.
“It’s not a lottery, no, no, no! You see most of the favourites won in the first round, so that means the format is long enough. If you have a bit of a bad start you can get yourself back in, you just cannot play bad too long though or it’ll be game over.”
The three-time World Champion found his best form against De Zwaan, but it wasn’t so easy in the opener.
“I didn’t expect such a tough game in the first round against Jamie Hughes, but I made it incredibly difficult for myself, especially after missing five darts for the first set.”
And though he came through, the Dutch master expects higher standards from himself.
“I shouldn’t be putting myself in that position – I know better than that and that I need to take advantage of any chance straight away and make sure I keep on top, putting them under pressure.”
“The weird thing was when I needed a big finish, I was hitting it. Sometimes darts is a weird game.”
“I’d love to defend the Grand Prix title this year. The stats say I’ve to skip it – I’ve won it 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, but I don’t plan on skipping it that’s for sure.”
Champions League of Darts
We asked him about the one major he is yet to win too, the Champions League of Darts which Paddy Power is sponsoring again this year, MVG is confident he’ll break his duck in the tournament, sooner or later.
“It’s one of the biggest tournaments and I haven’t won it. It’d be great to win this year because It’s a good tournament, with the group stages and the weekend format. It’s everything I’d prefer in competitions, I just haven’t done well enough to win it yet.”
“But I’m sure the day will come.”
Asked if he needed to do anything different to take home the Champions League title in 2019, he told Paddy Power News:
“A tournament’s a tournament, if it’s one of the majors you’ll prepare the same, nothing would change that. The Grand Prix has the double-start, and you need to do more on doubles, but other than that I approach majors the same way.”
“And I like to play the top players in the world. I’m more focused, normally, when I play against them, though I haven’t won the tournament yet so I have to calm down when I talk about playing them in Champions League!”
Though, with over 30 major title wins under his belt, we think Mighty Mike is entitled to feel a bit cocky.