Michael van Gerwen in the mood to add to his World Grand Prix title at the busiest time of the darting year
"I am a trophy man, I don’t care about anything else, I love trophies."
By Paul Prenderville at the Citywest Hotel
Last Updated: 14/10/19 6:28am
Michael van Gerwen produced at the big moments to retain his World Grand Prix title and declared himself on the look-out for more trophies.
One of Michael van Gerwen's favourite things to say is 'do the right things at the right time' - and it was never more evident than in the week that saw him claim his fifth Grand Prix title in eight years with a 5-2 victory over Dave Chisnall.
The world No 1 has, by his own admission, had other things on his mind this year. With baby Van Gerwen number two on the way, a slightly scaled back schedule has meant just the 12 titles this year, six down on where he was this time last year.
It seems preposterous given those numbers, and a 125th PDC title at senior level on Saturday night, that many were questioning the Dutchman coming into this week at the Citywest Hotel.
He responded in style and responded when he needed to most, digging deep to produce a 13-dart leg, a 100+ finish or just a trademark burst of brilliance. His delight was obvious when talking to the media moments after lifting yet another trophy.
"I have a big trophy cabinet and it's not full yet," he told The Darts Show podcast in the media room after a warm embrace with Chisnall.
"I love what I do and I want to keep going."
Make no mistake, MVG was tested this week, his 135 finish against Jamie Hughes stopped him from falling one leg away from tumbling out in the first round. Mervyn King forced him to produce his very best in one of the finest matches the Citywest stage has seen, while Chris Dobey led 2-1 in the second and third sets of a 4-0 defeat.
And on Saturday, Chisnall was the best he could be, outscoring MVG in the maximum stakes, matching him with an average a shade under 95 and taking five of the seven sets to a fifth leg decider.
"Michael has performed constantly under pressure in this event and that will please him greatly," Wayne Mardle told 365beat体育 Darts.
"A few months ago after the Matchplay, there was a suggestion that Michael might have been a bit flaky under pressure, but there was no flakiness this week and he has got over that period from the end of the Premier League to now where he didn't perform greatly.
"That has gone now and he is being tested and he is performing under scrutiny - that is what champions do."
Afterwards, a rejuvenated Chizzy could look back on an impressive week's work in a year that has kickstarted his career, but for Van Gerwen the focus was on the next few months and a run of tournaments that bring the biggest prizes in the game.
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Michael will go away delighted to win, but always knowing that he got tested and was good enough to come through it. He will feel good about it and take a lot of satisfaction that he was able to answer questions about him.
"Sometimes I don't know - maybe I am just good at the game," he said with a mischievous smile after a chorus of 'Oh Happy Day.'
"I am very happy as it's a difficult tournament to win but everything has gone well this week. My management, my wife, my friends have been here too, everything has been there for me.
"You always need top perform to 100 per cent because if you give people a finger they will bit your hand."
"Dave played really well and had a phenomenal tournament, he deserved to be in the final but I needed to produce something special I was able to, but there can only be one winner."
Ultimately, the Dutchman has his sights set on beating Raymond van Barneveld's haul of five world titles, and at Alexandra Palace in December he will look to retain the Sid Waddell Trophy for the first time, just as he did here this week.
To use his own words again, it's a phenomenal standard, but then again this is Van Gerwen and when he plays well he wins, as he proved again in Ireland this week.
Darts is back on your 365beat体育 screens next month with the Grand Slam of Darts, nine days of coverage from the Aldersley Leisure Village gets underway on Saturday, November 9.