Michael van Gerwen retained his German Darts Masters title for a third year in succession after recording an emphatic 6-2 victory over his arch rival Jelle Klaasen at the Sparkassen Arena in Jena on Monday evening.
‘The Green Machine’ was in scintillating form throughout the weekend; averaging over 100 in all of his five matches and dropping just eleven legs during the entire tournament. The world number one maintained his fine form in the final; averaging 107.33, landing three maximums and converting 55% of his double attempts to clinch the title.
Nevertheless, it was also a fine weekend for Van Gerwen’s compatriot Jelle Klaasen, who reached his first PDC final since October’s German Darts Championship. ‘The Cobra’ has been plagued by a tendinitis injury in his wrist over recent months and is set to undergo surgery in May, but he performed impressively to scoop the £10,000 runner’s up prize.
Van Gerwen drew first blood in the final with a sublime 11-darter; courtesy of a clinical 93 outshot. ‘Mighty Mike’ then doubled his tally with a 70 kill, before pinning tops to establish a commanding 3-0 cushion. Klaasen opened his account with an excellent 80 checkout after missed doubles from MvG, but it didn’t spark a heroic fightback.
The next two legs were shared, before Van Gerwen dispatched a nerveless 100 checkout to move to the brink of victory. This ultimately proved decisive, as the 27-year-old landed his third maximum of the match to kick off the eighth leg, before landing tops to scoop the £25,000 prize fund.
The world champion was delighted to defend his title, proudly admitting: “Here I played fantastically. I averaged 110 in two games, 108 in another – you can’t really ask for any more. I love what I do, I love to perform for the great crowds like we have here in Germany and I can’t wait to get back up on the stage.”
After posting a stunning 110.12 average in his demolition of John Michael on Sunday, Van Gerwen averaged 110.78 as he reeled off five successive legs to recover from a 3-1 deficit against Spanish star Cristo Reyes. This set up a quarter-final clash with Raymond van Barneveld, who averaged over 102 in defeating Kim Huybrechts.
Van Gerwen made an electric start against the five-time world champion; registering finishes of 114 and 164 en route to establishing a 3-0 cushion. Barney opened his account with a 14-darter, before reducing the arrears to 3-2 after conjuring up a magnificent 160 outshot.
Nevertheless, ‘The Green Machine’ restored his two leg cushion with a sensational 11-dart leg, before winning two of the remaining three legs to record a 6-3 win. It was an imperious display from the Boxtel ace, who averaged 105.23 and boasted an incredible checkout success rate of 75%.
In the last four, Van Gerwen faced Simon Whitlock, who had defeated Stefan Siepmann and Michael Smith to reach the semi’s. ‘The Wizard’ didn’t miss a dart at double against the Dutchman, but it still wasn’t enough. MvG averaged 100.50, landed four maximums and converted a classy 130 checkout en route to reaching the final.
However, whilst Klaasen was denied a maiden European Tour title, it was still an encouraging weekend for the former Lakeside world champion. His Premier League campaign was derailed by his wrist problem, but he claimed a number of impressive scalps in Jena.
He kicked off proceedings with a brilliant win over comeback king Jeffrey de Graaf. De Graaf had recovered deficits of 5-1 and 5-2 to defeat Ricky Evans and Ian White in his previous matches, but the tables were turned on this occasion. Klaasen reeled off four straight legs from 5-2 down to edge out his compatriot in a deciding leg.
In the last eight, Klaasen faced Aussie ace Kyle Anderson, who had dismantled third seed Mensur Suljovic in round-three. However, Klaasen secured a hard-fought 6-4 win over ‘The Original’, before stunning an out-of-sorts James Wade in the semi-finals, after Wade had ended his eight-match losing streak against Peter Wright in the last eight.
The European Tour continues next weekend (April 28-30) with the HappyBet German Darts Open in Saarbrucken, with van Gerwen looking to retain his title once more. The full list of results from today’s action can be viewed below!
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
HappyBet German Darts Masters
Sparkassen-Arena, Jena, Germany
Monday April 17
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
Kyle Anderson 6-2 Mensur Suljovic
Jelle Klaasen 6-5 Jeffrey de Graaf
James Wade 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 6-1 Stephen Bunting
Simon Whitlock 6-1 Steffen Siepmann
Michael Smith 6-1 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Cristo Reyes
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Kyle Anderson
James Wade 6-3 Peter Wright
Simon Whitlock 6-4 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Jelle Klaasen 6-3 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Jelle Klaasen