Sunday 26 May 2019

Van Gerwen has third World title in his sights


Van Gerwen is hoping to win his third title. Photo credit: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Van Gerwen is hoping to win his third title. Photo credit: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Michael Van Gerwen is determined to make sure the hard work he has put in to reach his fourth PDC World Darts Championship final ends with a third world title.

The 29-year-old set up a decider with Michael Smith by thrashing Gary Anderson 6-1 in his semi-final after Smith booked his first final appearance with a 6-3 win over Nathan Aspinall at Alexandra Palace.

Van Gerwen is hoping to win his third title and - after missing out on reaching the final 12 months ago - he has put the hours in to make sure he starts 2019 by lifting the Sid Waddell trophy.

"It's to be a phenomenal game with Michael (Smith)," said Van Gerwen. "I'm to be a different player to Nathan Aspinall who had a phenomenal tournament.

"I have a phenomenal record against Michael and I'm looking forward to playing him.

"This (tournament) means the world to me. I'm working my nuts off every week, week after week. I do a lot to come to the stage and I'm really glad I'm in the final. The work is not done yet and I have to do more."

The winner of tonight's final takes home a cheque for £500,000.

Smith admits he had to overcome nerves in the early stages of his semi-final win over Aspinall.

"It sounds so good (to be in the final)," Smith said. "I'm one step away from fulfilling my dream. The first two sets I was cruising and he (Aspinall) started to come back and I was like, 'oh, I've got to start doing something now'.

"I think the seventh set was the crucial moment because I felt I was going to win after I went 4-3 up."

"I was so nervous and I nearly made a mess of it, but I'm so glad I held it together and got the job done."

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