Michael van Gerwen remains the big favourite for the World Matchplay title, but currently he’s not showing the best form of his darting career.

The 31-year-old has not hit a ton plus average in his last eleven matches, what happened last in 2011. That doesn’t cause stress for Van Gerwen in the run-up to the World Matchplay. ”I don’t worry. Of course I know it’s not going really well, I need to play better”, the reigning world champion told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

You learn the most from disappointments

The season started well for Mighty Mike, with winning the world title on January 1 and victories at the Masters and in the Premier League Darts. In between he also celebrated wins during two Pro Tour tournaments and four European Tour events. Although the last weeks in the Premier League were not great either, the real form dip only came after the prestigious competition.

The Dutchman has not really an explanation for his slip of form. ”There is not really one reason. It’s not possible to perform well at every event, that’s the start. Maybe I became a bit less hungry. Just a little less focus, that has crept in.”

”But now I’m with my feets on the ground again. Especially when you lose 6-5 to Martin Schindler at the German Darts Masters after being 5-1 up. I was really pissed off after that match. But disappointments makes you stronger. When I just joined the PDC, I also had a slip of form for a long time. I ended up very well with that and that gives me confidence now.”

Motivation

In addition to the lack of hunger, Van Gerwen also misses his old rivals; Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and Anderson, with whom he often had some great matches.

”I do miss the people with who I can have a real battle. Phil has retired, Raymond moved down on the rankings and is going to retire, while Gary is not playing many tournaments anymore. Maybe I have to get used to that. That I have to get even more motivation out of myself to find that additional gear again.”

Michael van Gerwen claimed the World Matchplay title in 2015 and 2016

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Revanche

Van Gerwen won the World Matchplay in 2015 and 2016, but had disappointments during the last two editions in Blackpool. He lost to Phil Taylor two years ago in the quarter-finals, while Jeffrey de Zwaan beat him in the opening round in 2018.

”The last two years I have performed badly there”, the world number one admitted. I want to revanche myself. Do I complain about my difficult draw? Nah, that was also the case with the World Championship and I won that tournament.”

”Look, when I’m realy good, then almost nobody is going to beat me. I know that, and they know that as well. I just have to show it more often”, an inspired Van Gerwen said.

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Author: Pieter