Michael van Gerwen included the first 9 dart leg in the Jack’s Casino World Series of Darts Finals, en route to claiming his 5th title in the competition after beating World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall 11-4 in the Final at the AFAS Live.
The Green Machine found double 18 to wrap up his perfect leg, before clinching an 11-10 victory in his Semi Final over World Number 6 Luke Humphries in Amsterdam.
The World Number 2 claimed 2 victories on the World Series stage earlier in the year, winning the US Darts Masters and the Poland Darts Masters with successes over Jeff Smith and Dimitri van den Bergh in the respective Final’s.
Van Gerwen found a 160 checkout in the 7th leg of his Final with Nathan Aspinall, further extending his dominance in the history of the World Series of Darts Finals, claiming 5 out of the 9 overall tournaments played.
“The most important thing for me is to win another title on stage. You always want to perform well, and to do it in front of your home crowd, it gives you such a good feeling.”
“I think the biggest challenge for me was the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd, but they have been absolutely fantastic this weekend.”
Michael began his campaign in his home country, with a 6-4 victory over fellow Winmau player William O’Connor, fighting back from 4-2 down to progress to the Quarter Finals. Mighty Mike included a 161 checkout on the bullseye to crucially break the Irishman in the 9th leg, before proceeding to hold in the next.
The former 3 Time World Champion included 9 180s and his first ton plus average in the competition of 103.91, to defeat former Matchplay Champion Dimitri van den Bergh 10-8 on Sunday afternoon. The Quarter Final battle included a whopping 17 maximums, with Van Gerwen also hitting a 123 finish in the 10th leg to level the match at 5-5.
The Dutchman hit 95 in 3 darts to secure his place in the Semi Finals, finding double 8 with his last dart in hand against the Dream Maker.
Luke Humphries would face the World Number 2 in the Semi Finals, after comfortably defeating tournament Number 1 Rob Cross 10-2 in the opening match on Sunday, hitting a 120 finish to enter a 6-0 lead against the former World Champion.
Van Gerwen went on to make history in the World Series of Darts, recording the first 9 darter in tournament at the AFAS Live with a 147 finish in the 2nd leg against the former UK Open finalist.
Cool Hand Luke played his part in what was an epic Semi Final in the Dutch capital, hitting a 164 checkout as well as 7 180s over the 21 legs played. The Englishman punished 3 missed darts from Michael at double to move 1 away from the Final, hitting double 8 to finish 25 in the 19th leg.
Van Gerwen however showed a never say attitude in front of his home crowd, finding a huge break of throw in the last leg decider after hitting double 10 with his final dart in hand to finish 97, securing a place in his 5th World Series of Darts Finals grand finale.
“Even Luke Humphries after our semi-final I said that the crowd were phenomenal, and you can only be proud of that.”
World Number 5 Nathan Aspinall reached the Final from the other half of the draw, defeating Peter Wright 11-9 in the Semi Finals, despite Snakebite including a 167 checkout in the 9th leg of the match.
The Final included a break of throw a piece in the first mini session, with Aspinall including an 86 finish to go in 3-2 behind on throw.
Van Gerwen began to put his foot down after the break, hitting a 160 checkout in the 7th leg to lead 5-2 before hitting double 11 for a break and a 7-3 advantage at the second interval.
The Winmau player broke again to lead 9-3 on double 6, before wrapping up his 5th Final win out of a possible 5 with a 63 checkout in 2 darts on double 12. The Dutchman will take home £70,000 in prize money, adding the World Series of Darts crown to his Premier League as his two TV tournament victories for the year.
Van Gerwen will return at the start of October for the defence of his World Grand Prix title, with the tournament starting on the 2nd of October from the Morningside Arena in Leicester live on Sky Sports.
By Harry Masterson
2023 Jack’s Casino World Series of Darts Finals: Results
Luke Humphries (8) 10-2 Rob Cross (1)
Michael van Gerwen (4) 10-8 Dimitri van den Bergh (5)
Nathan Aspinall (7) 10-5 Keegan Brown
Peter Wright (6) 10-6 Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen (4) 11-10 Luke Humphries (8)
Nathan Aspinall (7) 11-9 Peter Wright (6)
Michael van Gerwen (4) 11-4 Nathan Aspinall
Image courtesy of PDC