MICHAEL VAN GERWEN claimed his first German Darts Open title with victory over Ian White in the final in Saarbrucken on Sunday.
Van Gerwen produced his fourth ton-plus average of the day to comfortably defeat White 8-3 and secure his 31st European Title at the Saarlandhalle.
The path to the final was not straightforward for the world number one, who came through three last-leg deciders and survived five match darts on his way to landing the £25,000 top prize.
A dramatic final day of action saw Van Gerwen produce a match-winning 114 finish to defeat Raymond van Barneveld 6-5, before surviving a match dart from Nathan Aspinall in the quarter-finals despite the Dutchman posting a 107.4 average.
In Van Gerwen’s 40th European Tour semi-final, Dave Chisnall missed four match darts as the reigning World Champion won a thriller 7-6 to extend his sensational run of last-leg decider wins to 23 matches.
Van Gerwen then saw off White to make it three wins from four European Tour events in 2019, and 31 European Tour titles from 62 events entered in his glittering career to date.
“I had to play well in this tournament because I was pushed against Nathan Aspinall and Dave Chisnall, and Ian came back quite well in the final too,” said Van Gerwen, who has won six of the ten tournaments he has played in 2019.
“But I always felt quite comfortable and I always believe in myself, you can never give up.
“I knew I had never won here before so I had to win it today and I think I played a phenomenal tournament. I feel great and I’m really happy to be the winner.”
The final of the £140,000 tournament began with a hold of throw each before Van Gerwen landed the first break with a superb 130 checkout to go 3-1 up.
The next four legs were all won by Van Gerwen in convincing fashion, as White struggled to match the Dutchman’s heavy scoring.
However, White broke throw for the first time with a 13-darter, which he followed with an 86 checkout to keep the contest alive, only for Van Gerwen to find double eight to end White’s hopes of a second European Tour title in his third final on the continent.
“I’m pleased to have reached the final because it’s so hard playing top players all the time in these events,” said White, who defeated Van Gerwen in their last two meetings in Saarbrucken.
“But when you get to the final you want to win it so I’m a bit disappointed with how that went but Michael is the best player in the world.
“I know I can beat him and I know other people can because as we saw today people had chances to beat him so we’ve just got to keep going.”
Departing Dutchman Van Barneveld starred in the final day of a European Tour event for the first time in over two years, while an unpredictable final in Saarbrucken saw all four quarter-final clashes go the distance.
Multiple-televised finalist Chisnall reached his first Euro Tour semi-final in almost two years with a thrilling 6-5 defeat of Mensur Suljovic, as former World Champion Rob Cross made it through to his second European Tour semi-final of the year with a 6-5 win over Gerwyn Price.
Van Gerwen will be among the Premier League stars in action on Thursday May 2 for Night 14 in Manchester as the race to make The O2 continues live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC’s broadcast partners, and through video.pdc.tv for Rest of the World Subscribers.
The European Tour returns with the Austrian Darts Open in Graz across the weekend of May 3-5, with all the action shown on video.pdc.tv
2019 German Darts Open
Sunday April 28
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Jamie Hughes
Rob Cross 6-3 Joe Cullen
Adrian Lewis 6-3 John Henderson
Ian White 6-2 Darren Webster
Dave Chisnall 6-1 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Rob Cross 6-5 Gerwyn Price
Ian White 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Ian White 7-5 Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen 7-6 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen 8-3 Ian White