Michael Van Gerwen has set his sights on more world titles after winning his third PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
The world number one put in a dominant display to beat Michael Smith 7-3 and add to his 2014 and 2017 crowns, moving clear of Adrian Lewis, John Part and Gary Anderson in the list of PDC world champions.
The title consolidates his position at the top of the men’s game and while he might struggle to match the phenomenal numbers of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, Van Gerwen looks set to reign supreme for a good while yet.
And the Dutchman, who won a £500,000 prize, might give the rest of the PDC field a fright by vowing to work harder in his pursuit for domination.
“I would like to have a little more than three world titles,” he said. “So I will have to practice more, train harder and I need to win more tournaments.
“I am doing well so far but maybe I should have already won this tournament more than three times.
“I have to work harder, there are players who like to play well against me. It’s getting harder and harder.
“I always put pressure on myself, this is the most important tournament of the year. It was difficult but I am glad.
“They all mean something special, they are all different and really important. I can’t say this one was better than the others.”
It was not a vintage performance from Van Gerwen, whose healthy winning margin was more down to Smith’s wayward finishing than his brilliant throwing.
He surged into a 4-0 lead, but was pegged back to 4-2 and then won a crucial leg at 5-2 as experience told.
“I think I played well, I didn’t play phenomenal but the way I played with my experience really helped me,” Van Gerwen, who averaged 102.21, added.
“I knew he was nervous and I used that against him. I did the right things at the right moments and he didn’t.
“The 4-0 lead was a massive thing for myself, after that I knew I had a big chance.”
Smith dreamed of having the sizeable trophy on his table at his wedding on Saturday, but has vowed to return stronger.
He will have gone to bed with regrets having missed a host of doubles to make the match closer than it ended up being.
“I was a double 10 away and a double 12 away and a double top away from making it closer, but that’s not his fault, it’s my fault I missed them,” he said.
“There’s not many positives I can take away from this, I just know in my head there’s an extra hour I can put in and I am going to make sure I come back a lot stronger for the next one.
“I am just looking forward to the wedding now, that is the one thing that kept my mind off this tournament and that’s why I played so well.
“I kept looking at the trophy at the side of me and I kept going ‘You’re coming home with me’.
“That is where I knackered up really, I kept looking at it and then kept missing and missing. In four days time I get married and in eight days time I am going on holiday and I can’t wait.
“I know I will get my hands on the trophy one day.”News Now - Sport News