ITV was Michael van Gerwen’s lucky charm for a long time.

The world number one confined his defeats to Sky, PDC TV or the BBC for a long time. ITV saw almost four years of unfettered dominance by the Dutchman. But Michael van Gerwen’s incredible 77-game winning streak on ITV4 is now over. Mighty Mike was felled by fellow Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan at the UK Open. It was a shock result for all concerned. But most of all for the terrestrial heavyweights.

The last time van Gerwen lost was at the 2014 Players Championship Finals. Terry Jenkins prevailed 10-7 in Minehead, moving on to the quarter-finals. The likes of Andy Smith, Dean Winstanley and Ronnie Baxter featured. Jenkins met his end in the last eight, with Wes Newton coming out on top. Gary Anderson won the tournament. He would be the next person to win before the ITV cameras who is not Michael van Gerwen.

In that time, the Dutch ace won 16 major titles. He picked up the Players Championship top prize in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The same goes for the World Series of Darts Finals and the European Championship Finals. Mighty Mike also took the UK Open crown in 2015 and 2016. His best streak came in the Masters. Four consecutive wins, culminating in his 2018 success against Raymond van Barneveld, were all caught on ITV cameras. The World Series events shown on ITV4 also counted towards his winning streak. Now it must start again.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Edward McCosh