Michael van Gerwen has stoked the tension ahead of his World Matchplay semi-final against Adrian Lewis, by claiming that the two-time world champion ‘cannot reach his level’.
Van Gerwen eased past an under-par Dave Chisnall 16-9 in Thursday’s quarter-final, to remain on course to defend his Matchplay crown. It wasn’t a vintage performance from the Dutchman, but he still averaged 98.72 and registered nine maximums, to inflict a fourth consecutive quarter-final defeat on Chizzy at the Winter Gardens.
Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis came through a nail-biting affair against fifth seed Peter Wright to secure his spot in the last four. Lewis prevailed 16-14, averaging 97.33 and hitting nine maximums. Wright posted an incredible 12 maximums, but his checkout conversion rate of 32% proved costly.
In MvG’s post-match interview, when asked whether he wants to be tested, ‘The Green Machine’ replied: “It doesn’t really matter. I just need to turn up for my next game. If anyone will test me there, they will probably get a response from me. I don’t normally make many mistakes, and I hope I don’t in the next game. If I hit my level, Adrian can’t hit my level.”
Van Gerwen has dropped just 12 legs in the entire tournament and he was always in command against the St Helen’s star. Chisnall’s infamous snatch resurfaced in the early stages of the contest, as MvG stormed into a 10-2 advantage.
To his credit, Chisnall fought valiantly and added some respectability to the scoreline, with a much improved performance in the latter half of the contest. He took out two ton-plus finishes and hit five maximums in total, but the Dutch sensation hit finishes of 130, 72 and 76 in the final three legs, to seal a comfortable win.
However, Lewis’ progression was far less serene, as he edged past Snakebite in a pulsating battle. Both men began tentatively, but Lewis reeled off five straight legs to establish a 13-10 cushion.
Wright continued to battle and broke back after Lewis spurned four match darts in the 29th leg. However, the Scot’s relief was short-lived. Lewis fired in his ninth 180 and converted a brilliant 81 finish on D13 for a 12-darter, to clinch victory.
Jackpot appears to be relishing the prospect of a showdown with ‘The Green Machine’. “I played him a couple of years ago in the semi’s here. It was a fantastic match and luckily enough for me, I got the win. I think if I can play like I did in the latter half of this match, I think it will be a great game. I’ll turn up and do my job. If it isn’t to be, it isn’t to be, but I’m up there to win it.”
BetVictor World Matchplay
Thursday July 21
Peter Wright 14-16 Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen 16-9 Dave Chisnall
Friday July 22 (7pm-11pm)
Mervyn King v Phil Taylor
Gary Anderson v Steve Beaton