Michael van Gerwen made it two for two since his return to live darts by following up last week’s win in his native Holland with a win in Germany.
Following a month off, he claimed his second tournament win in a row when he took down the German Darts Grand Prix final in Mannheim on Sunday night. It was his fifth European Tour title of 2017 and 14th tournament of the year, this time coming at the expense of Rob Cross, a 6-3 loser in the final.
Van Gerwen started the week in blistering form, whitewashing Richard North with an average of 111 in the second round. From there, he moved on to his next victim Welshman Gerwyn Price, who duly succumbed to a 6-2 defeat.
In the quarter-finals, van Gerwen was paired with fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen, who lost 6-1 to his senior countryman with an average of 102.56. Simon Whitlock was next up in the semis, and was made to pay for his 11 missed double shots as MVG posted his second whitewash of the weekend with another 111 average.
For the final, Van Gerwen opened with a 180, which was followed with a 12-darter. And despite dropping a few early legs, Van Gerwen still managed to land a maximum. The World Champion was in uncharacteristically generous form, falling behind to rising star Cross, who avoided punishment for five missed doubles to lead 3-2. Cross threatened to break the Dutchman but missed the bull shot to let MVG off the hook.
From there, van Gerwen secured the break to take the lead and never looked back. Another 180 followed soon after, which he followed with 11 and 12 darters before a 110 checkout banked yet another victory for the world number one.
Champions League of Darts betting
This week the action returns to the UK with the 2017 Champions League of Darts taking place in Cardiff, Wales on September 16 through 17 at the Motorpoint Arena. For Welsh darts fans, the occasion will be their last opportunity to see Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in action before retirement in January.
The event, which will be broadcast on the BBC, will take the top eight world-ranked players and split them into two groups. The top two players from each group will then progress into Sunday’s semi-finals and final, played in round-robin format. After the groups stage, the winner of Group A will play the runner-up of Group B, and vice versa in the semis.
Taylor claimed victory in the inaugural tournament here last year, beating van Gerwen in the group stage as well as the final. This time around, Mighty Mike is again the odds-on favourite, which was also the case at the Matchplay a month ago when Taylor ran out the tournament winner.
Since Taylor’s victory, van Gerwen has won each of the two European Tour events held over the past fortnight, recording an unbeaten run of ten games in the process. The two have been seeded into the same group meaning we will see the pair square off again, this time for the first time since Taylor branded van Gerwen an idiot in Blackpool last month.
Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld — who is making his Cardiff debut — round out the rest of Group A. Taylor is 3/1 to take the group ahead of Lewis and van Barneveld at 8’s and 9’s respectively. Oh, and the best price on van Gerwen is 8/15 at Betway and Bet365.
Group B sees world numbers 2 and 3, Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson and Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, joined by two more Champions League debutants Dave Chisnall and Mensur Suljovic. Suljovic is considered the outsider of the group at 8/1 just behind Chisnall at 6/1. The top Scottish pair of Anderson and Wright are expected to progress into Sunday with Anderson 6/5 to win the group and Peter Wright at 6/4.
As for outright prices, MVG is 5/6 at both Bet365 and Betway, while the latter of the two sportsbooks place Gary Anderson as the 5/1 second favourite. For the last six players, Bet365 and Betway are in agreement in the betting prices, with Peter Wright at 6/1 and Phil Taylor at 6/1. From here it’s hard to see a winner from outside this quartet. The betting quite rightly begins to drift out for the likes of Adrian Lewis (25/1), Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall (28/1), Raymond van Barneveld (28/1) and Mensur Suljovic
Unibet Champions League of Darts line-up
Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld