World Matchplay Darts: Michael van Gerwen fires warning to rivals

Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen is looking for a third World Matchplay title (Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

Michael van Gerwen has his sights set on ending his World Matchplay drought and picking up his third title next week in Milton Keynes.

The world number one has struggled at the Matchplay, by his immense standards, with two titles a relatively meagre return compared to some other major tournaments.

Mighty Mike has won the World Championship, Grand Prix, UK Open, Premier League, Grand Slam, Masters, European Championship and Players Championship on more occasions than the Matchplay, and he has really struggled in the last two years.

In 2018 MVG lost in the first round to Jeffrey de Zwaan and last year he fell to Glen Durrant in round two. It is four years since he lifted the trophy as he lost in the quarter-finals to Phil Taylor in 2017.

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However, the three-time world champion is looking in fine form since the return of competitive darts, picking up two of the five ProTour titles at the Summer Series last week and he is ready to reclaim the Matchplay title.

‘Destination Milton Keynes,’ Van Gerwen tweeted on Friday.

‘Ready and excited for the World Matchplay. It’s been far too long since I lifted this trophy.

‘Feeling great and can’t wait to play my first game.

Speaking to The Darts Show Podcast last month, MVG said that his spell without a title at the Matchplay only makes him more hungry for success.

‘I didn’t perform well in the last two years at the World Matchplay. I have got nothing to defend at all so I think I might be hungry for that title,’ said the world number one.

Van Gerwen takes on Brendan Dolan in the first round at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, the temporary new home of the Matchplay after its move from the Winter Gardens in Blackpool to the COVID-secure venue.

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