World Matchplay Darts: Michael van Gerwen says he’s ready to conquer Adrian Lewis and Blackpool | Darts News

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Michael van Gerwen is back from arm surgery and ready to reclaim the World Matchplay crown but he has Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis to contend with first; Watch every session at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool until Sunday, July 24 – live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 16/07/22 6:01pm

Michael van Gerwen is determined to reclaim the World Matchplay title after a six-year drought

Michael van Gerwen is determined to reclaim the World Matchplay title after a six-year drought

Michael van Gerwen has jetted into the Las Vegas of the north ready to conquer his first-round opponent Adrian Lewis and reclaim the World Matchplay title after a six-year drought.

We last saw the Dutchman on Sky Sports celebrating victory in a first PDC Premier event for over 18 months as he sealed his sixth Premier League title.

Van Gerwen was forced to miss the World Cup of Darts, though, as he returned to the Netherlands for surgery to fix carpal tunnel syndrome in his throwing arm to avoid suffering permanent nerve damage.

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July 17, 2022, 1:00pm

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“Lewis is a phenomenal player but if you ask me the question if he did enough with his talent? I’d say no”

MVG on Lewis’ underachievements despite his World titles

With doctors recommending at least six to eight weeks rest, Van Gerwen returned to action much sooner at the Dutch Darts Masters in Amsterdam where he suffered a early defeat to Danny Noppert.

But having spent time relaxing on holiday in Las Vegas and Ibiza, ‘The Green Machine’ is back in competition mode with his sole focus on bringing down 2013 runner-up Lewis in a blockbuster clash on Sunday evening.

“Throwing-wise, I’m 100 per cent fine,” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports. “I can’t really complain, but if you do something stupid then of course you’re not going to be 100 per cent.

“I’ve been practising the last week really good, really focused and it went well, which for me is really important. I also needed to do it because I’m playing Adrian Lewis and we all know what he’s capable of. He doesn’t always turn up, but when he does [you know] it’s going to be a tough game.”

Take a look back at the classic semi-final between Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis at the World Matchplay in 2013

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Take a look back at the classic semi-final between Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis at the World Matchplay in 2013

Take a look back at the classic semi-final between Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis at the World Matchplay in 2013

Asked whether Van Gerwen expects any gamesmanship on the Winter Gardens stage, he smiled: “We all know what Adrian Lewis is like. He’s full of tricks, everyone knows his game. You have to prepare yourself for this because he stands, he talks and people know that.

“I always tell him that anyway, but it’s just a bit of banter between us so it’s all good.

“When you’re on the stage playing each other, you have to beat each other. Whatever it takes and that’s how they think as well.

“If you look at my draws at the World Matchplay over the last couple of years, I’ve had some tough draws anyway, but it also makes you a stronger player. You know exactly what you have to do and there’s no easy draws anymore.”

We take a look back at the first time Van Gerwen claimed World Matchplay glory in 2015

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We take a look back at the first time Van Gerwen claimed World Matchplay glory in 2015

We take a look back at the first time Van Gerwen claimed World Matchplay glory in 2015

Talking about his rivalry with Lewis, Van Gerwen added: “Lewis is a phenomenal player but if you ask me the question if he did enough with his talent? I’d say no.

“Adrian has had a bit of bad luck over the last few years, but that’s how it is. He’s trying to find his way back to the top and I have to stop him. That’s my focus now.”

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July 17, 2022, 7:30pm

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Take a look at MVG's nine-dart finish against Steve Beaton in the second round of the World Matchplay in 2012

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Take a look at MVG’s nine-dart finish against Steve Beaton in the second round of the World Matchplay in 2012

Take a look at MVG’s nine-dart finish against Steve Beaton in the second round of the World Matchplay in 2012

Joe Cullen vs Damon Heta

James Wade vs Martin Lukeman

Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis

Luke Humphries vs Nathan Aspinall

Van Gerwen is aiming to land his first title in Blackpool since 2016 and his first major ranking tournament since 2020.

“I have to do the same as what I did in the Premier League and that is to do the right things at the right moment. Just enjoy yourself and do the things you like, which is playing darts in front of a lot of people at the highest level,” said Van Gerwen, who is seeded fourth for the showpiece event of the darting summer.

“If you look at Jonny Clayton for example, he won four tournaments last year and they were all non-ranked. Unfortunately, you cannot pick and choose.

“Every tournament I’m competing in, I want to win, and that’s the only thing I’m looking at. If it’s ranked, then it’s a bonus.

“If I want to get higher up in the rankings then I have to make sure I do well in tournaments like the Grand Prix, the World Matchplay and the Grand Slam of Darts.”

Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. You can watch the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool – live on Sky Sports over the next nine days.



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