Van Gerwen continues resurgence to deny Schindler a first Pro Tour title

Michael van Gerwen continued his resurgence to secure a second ranking title of 2022 in Sunday’s Players Championship 8, defeating Martin Schindler to deny the German a first Pro Tour triumph.

Van Gerwen prevailed at the German Darts Championship title a fortnight ago, and he claimed another title on German soil by recording an 8-4 victory over Schindler to scoop the £12,000 top prize in Niedernhausen.

The Dutchman currently occupies top spot in the Premier League following back-to-back night wins in Exeter and Brighton, and fresh from his recent European Tour exploits, he dominated proceedings to clinch his first Players Championship crown of the season.

The three-time world champion eased through to round three with consecutive 6-1 wins over Radek Szaganski and Jim Moston, before denying Belgium’s Geert de Vos in his board final.

Van Gerwen booked his place in the last eight after recording a 6-3 success against UK Open champion Danny Noppert, before posting a third 101 average of the afternoon to overcome Brendan Dolan, who produced his best performance of the new campaign.

The opening ten legs of his semi-final showdown against Luke Humphries went with throw, but successive 15-darters propelled ‘Mighty Mike’ to a 7-5 success and a meeting against an in-form Schindler.

Van Gerwen made a blistering start to establish leads of 3-0, 5-1 and 6-2, but Schindler responded magnificently, firing in three 180s in two legs to reduce the arrears with legs of 14 and 11 darts.

However, the world No 4 restored his three-leg buffer with a majestic 126 checkout for a 12-darter, before he sealed the deal with a 13-darter moments later.

“I think I did the right things at the right and that makes you win finals like this,” reflected Van Gerwen. “I didn’t play phenomenal but I think I did okay today.

“You want to keep pushing and keep performing well and that takes a lot of energy out of you, but I’m not here to play a few rounds, I want to win these tournaments. It gives you more confidence and more energy.

“The only medicine for getting back on track is winning games and winning tournaments. That’s the only thing you can do.

“I was hanging in there and I never gave up, and I think today my focus was there and absolute will to win was there, and that’s the only thing that matters.”

Schindler was denied a first senior PDC ranking title by the irrepressible Dutchman, but he continued his fine form on home soil, posting a stunning 108.42 average in his second-round victory over Luc Peters.

‘The Wall’ also whitewashed Rowby-John Rodriguez and recorded 6-2 wins over the trio of Steve Beaton, Jamie Hughes and Daryl Gurney, before dispatching two-time world champion Adrian Lewis 7-2 in the semi-finals.

It was a positive day for ‘Jackpot’ however, who enjoyed his best run on the Pro Tour since October to strengthen his bid for a World Matchplay return, featuring impressive victories over Damon Heta and Stephen Bunting.

Lewis was joined in the last four by Humphries, who registered a quarter-final win over James Wade in a repeat of last year’s UK Open final, only for Van Gerwen to derail his bid for a second Players Championship title of the year.

Bunting, Wade, Dolan and Gurney completed the quarter-final line-up in Niedernhausen, while Jamie Hughes knocked out Saturday’s Players Championship 7 winner Gerwyn Price on his way to the last 16, despite ‘The Iceman’ firing in a 110.95 average during his second round defeat of Lukas Wenig.

The Players Championship action continues next weekend, as the Barnsley Metrodome hosts a triple-header from April 1-3, with £300,000 in prize money on offer across the three days.

Image Credit: Kelly Deckers/PDC

2022 Players Championship 8
Sunday March 27, H+ Hotel, Niedernhausen
Last 16

Martin Schindler 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski
Stephen Bunting 6-3 Rob Cross
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Danny Noppert
Brendan Dolan 6-4 Danny Jansen
James Wade 6-3 Keane Barry
Luke Humphries 6-3 Jermaine Wattimena

Quarter-Finals
Martin Schindler 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Adrian Lewis 6-4 Stephen Bunting 
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Luke Humphries 6-5 James Wade

Semi-Finals
Martin Schindler 7-2 Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Luke Humphries

Final
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Martin Schindler

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