Michael van Gerwen
|Michael van Gerwen|
25 April 1989 |
|Playing darts since||2002|
|Darts||25g Michael van Gerwen XQ Max Darts|
|Walk-on music||Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|Current world ranking||1|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Last 32: 2007|
|World Masters||Winner: 2006|
|World Darts Trophy||Semi-finals: 2006|
|Int. Darts League||Quarter-finals: 2006|
|PDC premier events - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Winner: 2014|
|World Matchplay||Runner-up: 2014|
|World Grand Prix||Winner: 2012|
|Grand Slam||Runner-up: 2012|
|Premier League||Winner: 2013|
|Ch'ship League||Runner-up: 2013|
|European Ch'ship||Semi-finals: 2013|
|UK Open||Semi-finals: 2014|
|US Open/WSoD||Last 32: 2007|
|Players Ch'ship Finals||Winner: 2013|
|Other tournament wins|
European Tour Events
UK Open Regionals/Qualifiers
PDC Youth Tour
World Series of Darts Events
2006 Youngest ever winner of the Winmau World Masters
2013 PDC Young Player of the Year
2013 PDC Fans' Player of the Year 2013 PDPA Players’ Player of the Year
2013 In April is the world number two for the first time
2013 First player finishing the Premier League of Darts top of the table other than Phil Taylor
2013 First player to beat Phil Taylor more than once in a major final2014 Is world number one for the first time
|Updated on 1 January 2014.|
Michael van Gerwen (born 25 April 1989 in Boxtel, Netherlands) is a Dutch professional darts player, the current PDC World Champion and world number one. He has long been described as a darts prodigy. Van Gerwen began playing darts at the age of 13 and had won the World Masters and thrown a televised nine-dart finish within four years, becoming the youngest player to do either. However, after this initial burst onto the darting scene, van Gerwen struggled for consistent form until his breakthrough year in 2012. Going from world number 38 at the start of 2012 to number 4 at the beginning of 2013, the year included his first major PDC title at the Grand Prix and a final at the 2013 World Championship. In 2014, at the age of 24, Van Gerwen became the youngest winner of the PDC World Championship.
Van Gerwen reached the final of the Primus Masters Youth event at the age of just 14 in 2003. He then started to amass youth titles in 2005 including the German Open, German Gold Cup, Norway Open, Northern Ireland Open, Swedish Open and the Dutch National Youth Championship which he also defended in 2006. He also won the Men's events in the Norway and Northern Ireland Opens in the same year that he took the youth titles.
He picked up several Open titles and rose up the BDO/WDF World Rankings having climbed as high as third, even before he reached his 18th birthday.
Van Gerwen reached the semi-finals of the Bavaria World Darts Trophy in 2006. Despite losing to Martin Adams, the Dutch youngster came within one dart of the perfect nine dart finish, just missing double twelve. He did manage the highest possible checkout of 170 during the tournament.
He managed to eclipse that performance at the 2006 Winmau World Masters by becoming the youngest ever champion. Having trailed 1–4 and 2–5 to Adams, he came back to win the title and take Eric Bristow's record as the youngest ever winner at the age of 17 years 174 days.
His early career success led to inevitable speculation that he may join the other professional circuit of darts, the Professional Darts Corporation. However, during the 2006 World Darts Trophy, Van Gerwen held a press conference to make it clear that he wanted to stay with the BDO/WDF. He also finished top of the DDF (Dutch Darts Federation) Rankings – which would have secured him a place at the PDC World Championship if he chose to accept. He had already committed to playing at Lakeside, so the place went to Rico Vonck who finished second in the rankings.
Van Gerwen was the bookmakers pre-tournament favourite to win the 2007 Lakeside World title, but his hopes were ended in the first round by Gary Robson.
On the night of the 2007 BDO World Championship Final it was announced on Dutch television that Van Gerwen, along with Jelle Klaasen and Vincent van der Voort would be switching to the Professional Darts Corporation.
Van Gerwen started at 88 in the PDC World Rankings. Although he was a BDO player he was eligible for certain PDC events in his home country even before he switched to the PDC. This included the Open Holland in 2006, in which he took the title.
He made his PDC debut on 20 January at the non-televised Stan James Players Championships in Gibraltar and beat Andy Hamilton before losing in the last 16 to fellow countryman Roland Scholten. In the second Players Championship the following day, he beat Raymond van Barneveld in the early rounds only to lose to Alan Warriner-Little in the quarter finals.
He followed up his victory over Van Barneveld by beating 13 times World Champion Phil Taylor by 3 sets to 0 on the opening night of the Masters of Darts tournament. All three sets went to a deciding leg which Van Gerwen clinched with 14, 12 and 12 darts. He went on to reach the semi-final of the tournament and achieved a perfect nine dart finish against Van Barneveld, but lost the match.
His televised PDC debut came at the 2007 UK Open, where he lost in the last 32 to Colin Osborne. He failed to qualify for the 2007 Las Vegas Desert Classic and was defeated in round two of the World Matchplay in Blackpool by Ronnie Baxter 12–14, having been one leg from victory at 12–10. His first PDC World Championship saw him paired with Phil Taylor in 2008's first round; notably he had one dart at double 12 to win the match and knock out the 13 time world champion. It would have ended Taylor's phenomenal record of reaching every PDC World Championship Final. Wayne Mardle did end Taylor's run in that year's Quarter Finals.
Van Gerwen ended his long wait for a tournament victory by beating his Dutch compatriot Vincent van der Voort 6–3 in the final of the Players Championship in Taunton on 11 April 2009 and earned him £6,000 towards the Order of Merit.
He made it to the last 16 of the PDC World Championship for the first time in the 2012 edition by beating Colin Osborne and Mervyn King. Van Gerwen lost nine out of the first ten legs in his last 16 game to trail 0–3 to Simon Whitlock, but produced an incredible comeback to level the match at 3–3. He couldn't maintain his form, however, as he lost all three legs in the deciding set to exit the tournament 3–4.
Van Gerwen was named Young Player of the Year at the PDC annual awards ceremony on 3 January 2012, for winning four PDC Unicorn Youth Tour events during 2011 and his World Championship run.
In 2012, he won the second UK Open qualifier of the season, defeating Dave Chisnall in the final 6–1. In the UK Open itself he lost in the last 16 to Terry Jenkins. Van Gerwen won the eighth Players Championship event in June after beating Simon Whitlock 6–1 in the final. At the World Matchplay he won 5 legs in a row to record a 10–6 victory over Simon Whitlock in the first round, and then faced a last 16 encounter with Steve Beaton, which he won 13–9 whilst throwing the fourth nine-dart finish in the tournament's history in the tenth leg. Van Gerwen was 5–11 down in his quarter-final against James Wade, but produced a fightback to only trail 11–12 and then missed one dart to level the game. He went on to lose 13–16. Van Gerwen's third title of the year came at the 11th Players Championship, where he defeated Ian White 6–1 in the final with a 107.85 average. Van Gerwen was involved in an exceptional match in the last 16 of the European Championship as he was defeated by compatriot Raymond van Barneveld 9–10, despite averaging 104. Another Players Championship success followed with a thrilling 6–5 victory over Robert Thornton.
In October, Van Gerwen won his first PDC major title at the World Grand Prix. He came from behind to knock out Colin Lloyd 2–1 in the first round, and then beat an out of sorts Adrian Lewis 3–1 in the second. In the quarter-final against Andy Hamilton, he missed four darts to win 3–1, only for Hamilton to take out a 160 finish to force a decider. Van Gerwen maintained his composure and took the final set 3–2 and then heavily out-scored Wes Newton in the semi-finals in a 5–1 win. He played Mervyn King in the final, defeating him 6–4, after being 0–3 and 1–4 down. Van Gerwen afterwards described the win as the best day in his life and in claiming the £100,000 prize he rose to world number eight, overtaking Raymond van Barneveld as the highest placed Dutchman. He did not have to wait long for his sixth title of the year, as he won the following week's Players Championship averaging 113 against Jamie Caven in the semi-finals, before beating Nick Fullwell 6–3 in the final. In a Championship League game, Van Gerwen averaged an incredible 121.86 whilst defeating Steve Beaton 6–0. He won six of his seven league matches to finish top of the table, but then lost 5–6 to the same opponent in the semi-finals. He soon returned to winning ways by taking another Players Championship title, coming back from 0–4 in the final against Ian White to triumph 6–5.
Van Gerwen won all three of his group games at the Grand Slam of Darts to top Group B and face Phil Taylor in the last 16, in a match billed as a clash between the current best two players in the world. There Van Gerwen ended a five-year, 15 game losing streak against Taylor to defeat him 10–5 with a 108.38 average in a performance he described as the best of his career. He played Scott Waites in the quarter-finals, who himself had already beaten Taylor in the tournament, and produced another superb display as he hit two 170 finishes and an average of 106.63 in a 16–12 win. He then averaged over 100 once more to defeat Dean Winstanley 16–8 in the semi-finals, to set up a clash in the final against compatriot and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld. Van Gerwen was never ahead in the final and couldn't quite match the heavy scoring and clinical finishing he had produced earlier in the tournament as he was beaten 14–16. His eighth tournament win of 2012 came at the 20th and final Players Championship, where he beat Taylor for the first time in a final and also beat reigning world champion Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals. He was 4–5 down to Taylor, but produced back to back finishes of 164 and 124 to win and in doing so finished third on the ProTour Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals. Van Gerwen went out of the Finals in the second round 8–10 to Hamilton despite winning the first four legs of the match.
After his exceptional year in 2012, Van Gerwen entered the 2013 World Championship as the second favourite behind Phil Taylor. He saw off Paul Lim 3–0 in the first round to play Peter Wright in the second round, who described Van Gerwen as "not good enough" before the match. Van Gerwen was 0–2 down but stormed back by winning 12 of the next 14 legs to advance with a 4–2 win and then beat Colin Lloyd 4–1 in the third round to face reigning two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in the quarter-finals. The match was a classic as both players averaged over 100, with Lewis coming back from a set down four times to level the match at 4–4. In the deciding set Lewis missed two darts at double top for the match, as Van Gerwen stepped in to finish 83, 108 and double four in successive legs to seal the win and progress to the semi-final. At 3–1 up in his semi-final match against James Wade, Van Gerwen hit a nine-dart finish. He almost repeated the feat in the very next leg, after hitting eight perfect darts before missing one dart at double 12 that would have seen him become the first player ever to hit back to back perfect legs. However, he lost the set and the next as Wade levelled the match, but Van Gerwen's superior scoring power eventually told as he won the match 6–4. In his first World Championship final he played fifteen-time winner Phil Taylor and led 2–0 and 4–2, but crucially missed two darts to lead 5–2. Taylor then rallied to win five successive sets to take the title 7–4. Van Gerwen's run in the tournament saw him climb to number four on the Order of Merit, which guaranteed his place in the Premier League for the first time.
At the PDC awards dinner in January 2013, Van Gerwen won three awards; Young Player of the Year, PDPA Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year. In his first World Cup of Darts he partnered Raymond van Barneveld and the Dutch pair suffered a shock in the last 16 when they were beaten 3–5 by the Finnish duo of Jani Haavisto and Jarkko Komula. Van Gerwen won his first tournament of 2013 at the first UK Open Qualifier of the year with a 6–2 victory over Dave Chisnall in the final. He completed a weekend double a day later by defeating Brendan Dolan also by a 6–2 scoreline in the second Qualifier. The win saw Van Gerwen replace Wade as the world number three. His run continued by taking the third event with a 6–2 win against Michael Smith. Van Gerwen's first defeat on the 2013 Pro Tour came a day later when Robert Thornton beat him 4–6 in the semi-finals of the fourth Qualifier. His unbeaten run stood at 29 matches until this defeat. Despite losing in the semi-finals of the European Darts Trophy to Paul Nicholson in April, Van Gerwen replaced Adrian Lewis as the world number two. He reached another final at the fifth UK Open Qualifier, beating Phil Taylor 6–2 along the way, but lost 1–6 to Simon Whitlock. Van Gerwen bounced back a day later to win the sixth event which included a 112.67 average in a 6–1 win over Michael Smith in the semi-finals and a 6–5 defeat of Kim Huybrechts in the final. He also won the final event with a 6–0 ten minute thrashing of Mervyn King in the final, meaning he had won five of the eight Qualifiers. His sixth title of the year came a week later at the second Players Championship by beating Stuart Kellett 6–1 in the final.
In the Premier League, Van Gerwen became the first player other than Phil Taylor to finish top of the league after Taylor had done it in all eight previous stagings of the event. He won 11, drew two and lost three of his 16 games, averaging over 100 in nine of them. He beat James Wade 8–4 in the semi finals to face Taylor in the final. Van Gerwen was 2–5 down but then won five unanswered legs before Taylor stopped the rot by taking out a finish of 65. In the next leg Van Gerwen declined a dart at the bull when on a finish of 87 to set up 32, but Taylor stepped in to finish 160 to level the match at 7–7. However, Van Gerwen began the 15th leg with a 180 and won two consecutive legs to move within one game of the title. He missed two darts at double eight to win 10–7, but with Taylor leaving 40 after 12 darts in the next, Van Gerwen finished 132 on the bull to become only the fourth player to win the Premier League.
Van Gerwen's sensational play continued as he won the European Darts Open in Düsseldorf, Germany, saving his best performance for the final where he beat Simon Whitlock 6–2 with an average of 106.68. Another title followed less than a week later as he won the non-ranking Dubai Darts Masters, taking out finishes of 170 and 164 during an 11–7 triumph over Raymond van Barneveld in the final. His 10th tournament win came in June at the Austrian Darts Open by beating Mervyn King 6–3 in the final. It was Van Gerwen's fifth title in a row and he was on a run of 24 unbeaten games. He was the number one seed for the UK Open having earned £35,600 in the eight qualifying events, just over £25,000 ahead of Robert Thornton in second place. Van Gerwen stretched his unbeaten streak to 27 games before he met Taylor in the quarter-finals. Van Gerwen did not quite produce his best game as he was beaten 7–10.  Two weeks later he won the sixth Players Championship by defeating Andy Hamilton 6–1 in the final. At the Gibraltar Darts Trophy his unbeaten run of 15 matches in European Tour events was ended as he lost to Adrian Lewis 5–6 in the quarter-finals. At the European Championship Van Gerwen beat Mervyn King and Jelle Klaasen both with 104 averages, but was defeated 8–11 by Lewis in the semi-finals. Lewis was also the victor when the two met at the same stage of the World Matchplay, beating Van Gerwen 17–15. Van Gerwen overcame Lewis in the semi-finals of the Sydney Darts Masters 10–7, but was then defeated 10–3 in the final by Taylor. In the defence of his World Grand Prix title, Van Gerwen swept past John Part 2–0 and Van Barneveld 3–0 in 21 minutes to play Dave Chisnall in the quarter-finals. Van Gerwen came from 2–0 down to level the match but Chisnall halted his momentum by winning the final set by three legs to one. He qualified from Group 5 of the Championship League having lost in the final of two previous groups which included a nine-dart finish in a 6–5 loss to Terry Jenkins in Group 4. In the Winners Group Van Gerwen was the only player to beat Taylor and he finished second in the table by winning five of his seven games. In the semi-finals he saw off Richie Burnett 6–2 to face Taylor in the final. Van Gerwen fell 5–0 down before winning three successive legs but had left himself too much to do and lost 6–3. He finished the year as the top seed for the Players Championship Finals having amassed £125,350 during the year in ProTour events, over £50,000 ahead of Chisnall in second place. He produced two superb comebacks in the event, the first coming in the second round when he took six legs in a row to see off Lewis 9–6. He produced the second in the final as from 6–3 down he hit a seven leg burst against Taylor and secured his second major title of the year with an 11–7 victory.
In the 2014 World Championship, Van Gerwen began with victories over qualifier Zoran Lerchbacher and Kevin McDine. He trailed Gary Anderson 3–1 in the third round, but came back to win 4–3. He then faced former BDO World Champion Mark Webster, who he beat 5–3, to set up a semi-final meeting against Adrian Lewis. Van Gerwen won with a 6–0 whitewash and an average of 103.02, having punished Lewis for a multitude of missed doubles during the match. In his second successive World Championship final, he faced Peter Wright and stormed into a 4–0 lead, before Wright took the next two sets. Van Gerwen made it 6–2, needing one set to win but his scoring and finishing then faltered, as Wright took the next two sets to make it 6–4. Van Gerwen took advantage of two missed darts from Wright in the deciding leg of the next set to win 7–4. He became the sixth different winner of the event and, at the age of 24, the youngest as well as jumping above Phil Taylor to become the new world number one. Later in the month he won the ProTour Player of the Year, Fans' Player of the Year and PDC Player of the Year at the Annual Awards.
On the opening night of the Premier League, Van Gerwen registered the first ever whitewash over Taylor in the tournament's history by thrashing him 7–0 in 13 minutes with an average of 109.59. He enjoyed a title success in his home country at the Dutch Darts Masters by beating Mervyn King in a high quality final where both players averaged over 107. A week later Van Gerwen won the final UK Open Qualifier with a 6–0 whitewash over Michael Smith. At the UK Open he was beaten 10–8 in the semi-finals by Terry Jenkins. Van Gerwen won his 20th title on the PDC tour in claiming the second Players Championship by beating Dean Winstanley 6–1. In April, Taylor won their reverse fixture in the Premier League 7–4 and was also the victor when the two met in the final of the German Darts Masters. He finished top of the Premier League table for the second year in a row, winning 11 of his 16 games, and then edged past Gary Anderson 8–7 in the semi-finals. From 5–5 in the final, Raymond van Barneveld took four successive legs and ended Van Gerwen's Premier League reign with a 10–6 win. Van Gerwen defended his Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters title by seeing off Wright 11–7. At the World Cup of Darts, Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld produced a sensational 117.88 average in their doubles decider against Northern Ireland to whitewash them 4–0 and meet England's Taylor and Lewis in the final. Van Gerwen defeated Taylor 4–0 and Van Barneveld recorded the same scoreline against Lewis. Van Gerwen went into his singles match versus Lewis knowing a win would earn the Dutch pair the title and he did so with a 4–2 success.
Van Gerwen played in his first World Matchplay final this year but couldn't match Taylor's fast start to the match as he trailed 7–1 and 13–2 and, despite a rally to pull back to 14–8, he was beaten 18–9. The loss left Van Gerwen in tears on the stage afterwards. He returned to claim the inaugural Singapore Darts Masters with an 11–8 victory over Simon Whitlock. A week later he averaged an incredible 118.21 in beating Paul Nicholson 8–3 in the quarter-finals of the Perth Darts Masters and went on to reach the final where Taylor beat him 11–9. Van Gerwen also won the 14th Players Championship with a 6–4 victory over Michael Smith.
Van Gerwen throws at a very fast pace and scores extremely heavily meaning he is able to build up momentum over his opponents in a matter of seconds. His weakness on occasion can be missing doubles, but his power scoring usually gives him ample time to afford this. When Van Gerwen does make a mistake he is seemingly able to confine it to history and refocus on the next leg. His playing style is instinctive and natural. Van Gerwen is known to hit purple patches during matches, where he can instantly elevate his game to exceptionally high levels. He did so in winning the first three PDC major titles of his career, firstly in the 2012 Grand Prix final he came back from 1–4 down in sets to triumph 6–4 and in the 2013 Premier League final he came from 2–5 down to win five successive legs and eventually won 10–8. Thirdly, he won seven consecutive legs against Phil Taylor in claiming the 2013 Players Championship Finals title.
He is also capable of taking out big checkouts to win matches when his opponent is well placed. The most striking examples of his ability to date include winning a 2012 Championship League match against Steve Beaton 6–0 in eight minutes with an average of 121.86, and being a double 12 away from hitting back to back nine dart finishes in the 2013 World Championship semi-finals. Five-time World Champion Eric Bristow has described him as fearless, and Van Gerwen has stated himself that he is not scared of any player. He celebrates important visits to the board with sudden short-range headbutts and a bouncing double fist-pump. Such exuberant celebrations have created negative reactions among some of his fellow players, with 2004 World Masters winner Mervyn King calling it disrespectful. It has been suggested that consistency could be the only thing that will stop Van Gerwen from dominating the sport for years to come.
BDO major finals: 1 (1 title)
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score||Ref.|
|Winner||1.||2006||Winmau World Masters||Martin Adams||7–5 (s)|||
PDC premier event finals: 9 (4 titles, 5 runner-ups)
|World Championship (1–1)|
|World Matchplay (0–1)|
|World Grand Prix (1–0)|
|Grand Slam (0–1)|
|Premier League (1–1)|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score||Ref.|
|Winner||1.||2012||World Grand Prix||Mervyn King||6–4 (s)|||
|Runner-up||1.||2012||Grand Slam of Darts||Raymond van Barneveld||14–16 (l)|||
|Runner-up||2.||2013||World Darts Championship||Phil Taylor||4–7 (s)|||
|Winner||2.||2013||Premier League Darts||Phil Taylor||10–8 (l)|||
|Runner-up||3.||2013||Championship League Darts||Phil Taylor||3–6 (l)|||
|Winner||3.||2013||Players Championship Finals||Phil Taylor||11–7 (l)|||
|Winner||4.||2014||World Darts Championship||Peter Wright||7–4 (s)|||
|Runner-up||4.||2014||Premier League Darts||Raymond van Barneveld||6–10 (l)|||
|Runner-up||5.||2014||World Matchplay||Phil Taylor||9–18 (l)|||
World Championship results
- 2007: First round (lost to Gary Robson 2–3)
- 2008: First round (lost to Phil Taylor 2–3)
- 2009: Second round (lost to Phil Taylor 0–4)
- 2010: Second round (lost to James Wade 2–4)
- 2011: First round (lost to Mensur Suljović 1–3)
- 2012: Third round (lost to Simon Whitlock 3–4)
- 2013: Runner-up (lost to Phil Taylor 4–7)
- 2014: Winner (beat Peter Wright 7–4)
|PDC World Championship||Not PDC member||1R||2R||2R||1R||3R||RU||W|
|Premier League Darts||Did not play||W||RU|
|European Championship||Not held||DNQ||2R||2R||1R||2R||SF|
|World Grand Prix||Non-PDC||DNQ||1R||DNQ||W||QF|
|Championship League||Not held||DNQ||RR||RR||DNQ||RR||RU|
|Grand Slam of Darts||Not held||RR||RR||DNQ||RR||2R||RU||2R|
|Players Championship Finals||Not held||1R||2R||1R||2R||W|
|US Open||Not held||4R||3R||DNP||Not held|
|BDO World Championship||DNP||1R||Not BDO member|
|World Masters||2R||W||Not BDO member|
|Performance timeline legend|
|DNP||Did not play in the event||#R||lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(RR = Round robin)
|QF||lost in the quarter-finals|
|SF||lost in the semi-finals||RU||lost in the final||W||won the tournament|
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- Michael van Gerwen's official website
- Michael van Gerwen's profile and stats on Darts Database
- Management website