By his incredibly high standards, it has been a lean couple of years for Michael van Gerwen.
The three-time world champion hasn’t won the Alexandra Palace showpiece since 2019 and claimed just one ranking title in 2021. But he has roared back to his imperious best with four titles already in 2022, and he will take some stopping as he looks to reclaim the Premier League crown, which he also last won three years ago.
A lot has changed in Van Gerwen’s life in recent years, with the Dutchman now having a young family to provide for. Juggling home life with the relentless schedule of darts is a challenge for players.
Darts icon Phil Taylor knows all about that, having spent the majority of his top-line career away from home as he dominated the sport, collecting an unprecedented 16 world titles.
The Power was asked late last year if Van Gerwen could get back to his dominant best, and said it wouldn’t be easy for him to balance family life and the pressures of his hectic career.
“It’ll be difficult. He can, of course he can [get back to his best], he’s a hell of a player. But it’ll be difficult for him because he’s got a young family now, he’s got other things on his mind,” Taylor told Online Darts TV. “If he’s away from home 40 weekends a year and you’ve got two young kids at home, missing them, it’s very difficult if your mind’s not 100 per cent focused on the dartboard.”
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But Van Gerwen is certainly coping so far and at the weekend picked up his latest title of the year, winning the Austrian Open after beating compatriot Danny Noppert 8-5 in the final in Graz. It was his 34th European Tour crown.
Afterwards, the Green Machine warned he will never get tired of winning and is already looking forward to Thursday, when Glasgow hosts the next round of Premier League action, with Van Gerwen facing Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals.
He tweeted: “A phenomenal tournament in Graz @PDCEurope and to win my 34th Euro Tour title is a special feeling. Winning is a feeling I will never get tired of, but winning without the fans wasn’t the same. I will enjoy this tonight but then it is time to focus on the next one.”
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