On the fifth day of the World Darts World Cup, Michael van Gerwen finally comes into action. The great asset of the Netherlands opens his hunt for a fourth world title against the Scottish Ryan Murray.
Van Gerwen was dethroned by the Scot Peter Wright, who defeated 3-7 in sets in the final edition. This year ‘Mighty Mike’ is going through a difficult year, but still managed to win two majors. Particularly because he won the Players Championship Finals, the last tournament before the World Cup, Van Gerwen seems to be in shape right on time.
In the first round, Van Gerwen had a bye because of his protected status, just like all other players from the top-32. His opponent Murray defeated Lourence Ilagan in the first round. Van Gerwen keeps good memories of a previous game against the Scotsman. For example, at a floor tournament in the UK Open Qualifiers in 2017, he threw two nine-darts against Murray. An absolute rarity.
See below the images of the nine-darters, the first perfect leg can be seen from 13.50 and the second from 20.16.
By the way, Van Gerwen was also close to two nine-darts at a World Cup. In the semi-final of the 2013 edition, he threw 17 perfect arrows in a row in the semi-finals against James Wade. However, number 18 ended up just next to the double 12. Van Gerwen should not normally have problems with Murray in the format of best of five sets. The 31-year-old Vlijmenaar must perform better than Wright at the World Cup, otherwise after seven years he will lose his first position on the world rankings.
King versus Hopp
In the afternoon session there is a nice poster on the program. Mervyn King will compete with Max Hopp in the second round. King recently won the final battle of the Players Championship Finals, but went down against Van Gerwen. In Germany, for years there has been fervently hoped for wonderful achievements from their compatriot Hopp. He did not go further than the last 32 to this day.
Saturday 19 December – afternoon session from 13.00
Steve Lennon – Daniel Larsson (R1)
Scott Waites – Matt Campbell (R1)
Kim Huybrechts – Di Zhuang (R1)
Mervyn King – Max Hopp (R2)
Saturday 19 December – evening session from 19:00
Andy Hamilton – Nico Kurz (R1)
Andy Boulton – Deta Hedman (R1)
Damon Heta – Danny Baggish (R1)
Michael van Gerwen – Ryan Murray (R2)
See also the results and the complete schedule of the World Darts World Cup.