Michael van Gerwen has started his hunt for a fourth world title very well. The 31-year-old Vlijmenaar booked a victory on the tough Scot Ryan Murray on Saturday night at his first performance at the World Darts World Championships. Van Gerwen won in an empty Alexandra Palace with 3-1 in sets. His average of 108.98 was as usual.
In the past, Van Gerwen once did a feat against Murray. At a UK Open Qualifiers he threw two nine-darters in a game against the Scottish darter in 2017. Murray had won a second round at the World Cup thanks to a victory over Lourence Ilagan. Van Gerwen had a bye because of his protected status.
“ Im ready for the World Cup” said Van Gerwen in the run-up to the World Cup. The triple world champion seems to be in shape just on time, after going through a difficult period in the corona year in sporting matters. Thanks to the final victory at the Players Championship, the last tournament before the World Cup, he regained his confidence.
Big average Van Gerwen
Against Murray started Van Gerwen with conviction. With a net average of 100 points per three arrows he angled the first set via 3-0 in legs inside. In the second act, Van Gerwen raised the level slightly (105 on average). But because Murray just kept his own legs, he balanced the stand (1-1 in sets). And this while De Scot with three arrows in his hand threw more than fifteen points less than the Dutchman.
In the sequel of the party, the level difference between Van Gerwen and Murray turned out to be too big. Although the Scotsman remained surprisingly long in the track of the worlds number one. Yet the Brabander pushed to victory by keeping a cool head especially at the right moments. He did that in the third and fourth set via 3-1 and 3-2 in legs. Van Gerwen finally did not tap a final average of 110. His highest score at a world championship is 114,05, thrown in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup against Raymond van Barneveld. That is also the highest World Cup average ever.
Return after Christmas
Van Gerwen will only return to the oche after Christmas. He then finds the winner of the second round match between Ricky Evans and Mickey Mansell. Van Gerwens goal is clear, that is to retake the world title. At the last edition he was dethroned by Peter Wright. Van Gerwen was the best in the world in 2014, 2017 and 2019.