Michael van Gerwen did not win the World Matchplay for a fourth consecutive year. The Dutchman won this tournament for the last time in 2016, after winning this event in 2015 as well.

The world number one surprisingly lost 11-4 to Simon Whitlock in the second round of the World Matchplay. Van Gerwen was miles away from his best form, averaging only 90.8, which was his lowest average in a ranked major (World Grand Prix excluded) since December 2013.

According to Dutch darts analyst Co Stompé, the hegemony of the 31-year-old is slowly broken. “At the moment, I don’t really feel like he’s doing everything he can to remain the best. The new is also a bit off for him”, the former tram driver told Algemeen Dagblad.

Stompé also had to deal with this during his career. “I also noticed that I practiced ten hours a day in my early years, but that I could not afford that later in my career. You also get new priorities with a family and other matters, especially if you have already proven yourself.”

In defense of Van Gerwen, The Matchstick points to the fact that the world top has become wider. “Years ago, the difference between the sub-top and the world top was enormous. In recent years, many subtoppers have been added, who are increasingly approaching the level of the world top. That benefits the sport, it is no longer certain that big names will progress to the final. Michael has proven that”, Stompé added.

PDC

Photo: PDC

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Author: Pieter Verbeek