Defending UK Open champion Van Gerwen begins title defence by surviving scare against Mitchell

Michael van Gerwen is up and running in his title defence at the 2021 UK Open after edging past Scott Mitchell and potentially averting a real scare.

Van Gerwen was 8-7 down and was a hold from Mitchell away from potentially being on the brink but produced when it mattered to see off the former Lakeside champion.

This was with a 99 average, six 180's and 50% on the doubles as he sets up his place in the Last 32.

Van Gerwen was frustrated in the early going due to the pace and brilliance of Mitchell as he should have gone 3-0 up.

This included a stunning 117 checkout to break for Mitchell but he was broke back after having the opportunity to hold.

Despite that though, he was 3-2 up at the break with a 102 checkout.

But Van Gerwen had a mid match kick and back up an 11-darter with a 12-dart break to enter a 4-3 lead.

Some poor visits saw Van Gerwen steal the throw again and leave 68 after 12 darts. He made it four legs on the spin to make it 6-3.

It was Van Gerwen's time to have an off leg and it was at the wrong time as a 76 checkout saw Mitchell break and head into the break only 6-4 behind.

Mitchell missed double 20 for a 120 checkout but Van Gerwen could muster only pressure in a 180 and the former made it 5/9 to consolidate the break with a hold.

He was ahead on Van Gerwen's throw but missed two darts to break which weren't punished by Mighty Mike.

Mitchell returned for double two to level and break at 6-6. But a 177 left 44 for Van Gerwen but two more darts were missed to break back.

'Scotty Dog' returned as a result for a 7-6 lead. MVG left double 20 after 12 darts and pinned it for parity.

A superb 101 checkout saw a roar of emotion from Mitchell with MVG sat on 32 to break as he went 8-7 up.

But this proved to be the potential downfall for Mitchell as he went off the boil on his throw with back-to-back 60's and Van Gerwen broke with a brilliant 174 setup shot to make it 9-8 and go one away.

Mitchell was given an opportunity at 102 but couldn't get a dart and Van Gerwen got through second time around.

Fourth Round Schedule - 2021 UK Open

Main Stage

Gary Anderson (93.7) 9-10 (101.0) Dirk van Duijvenbode

Michael van Gerwen (99.06) 10-8 (95.05) Scott Mitchell

Gerwyn Price v Peter Hudson

Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall

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