Michael van Gerwen was pushed all the way as he began his title defence on the opening night of action at the 2020 PDC World Championship with victory over Jelle Klaasen.
Van Gerwen had to produce some classy darts including a timely 170 and 130 in two requisite sets which snatched the initiative away from ‘The Cobra’ after he went a set behind initially.
The latter has previously gone out with a whimper against MVG but this time he produced some of his best darts in a while to really test the World Number One.
Klaasen produced a stunning turnaround in the opening set; coming from 2-0 down to win the first set 3-2 with a 116 checkout; with Van Gerwen averaging in the mid 80’s in the early going.
Van Gerwen continued to be in real danger in the requisite set; as he went 1-0 up, only for Klaasen to go on the verge of being two sets up at 2-1 up as he took another break but a timely break from MVG saw him have the throw for the set.
In typical fashion, Van Gerwen took the set in stunning fashion smashing in a 170 checkout in a quick fire combination; as he went off the stage at 1-1 and seemingly taking a foothold for the first time.
Klaasen led in the next set as he attempted to dispel the rise again of Mighty Mike. Despite that, he fluffed his line on a 65 checkout when going for a break of throw and this allowed Van Gerwen to hold.
A 130 checkout out of nowhere saw Van Gerwen snatch a timely break again. This proved to be the catalyst needed; as he went 2-1 up in sets with the throw.
They both held throw to begin the next set; as it was last chance saloon for Klaasen. Despite that, Van Gerwen went one away; then hit an 88 checkout on the bull to seal the deal and already bookend his place in the third round.
Click here for more information on the PDC World Championship which takes place at the Alexandra Palace between December 13 and January 1.
PDC World Darts Championship 2020 schedule
Friday 13 December
Jelle Klaasen (96.02) 3-1 (92.41) Kevin Burness (R1)
Kim Huybrechts (89.94) 3-2 (87.03) Geert Nentjes (R1)
Devon Petersen (92.6) 1-3 (91.05) Luke Humphries (R1)
Michael van Gerwen  (96.28) 3-1 (95.06) Jelle Klaasen (R2)
Tags: Michael van Gerwen
VAN GERWEN SURVIVES A SCARE!
Michael van Gerwen secures his place in the third round after a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Jelle Klaasen! pic.twitter.com/mbwQlBL1SO
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 13, 2019
Author: Samuel Gill