Michael van Gerwen won his second Players Championship title within a week with a superb comeback to defeat Peter Wright 8-4 in Saturday’s final in Barnsley.
Van Gerwen had taken victory in Niedernhausen last Sunday, and claimed another £12,000 title at Players Championship 10 with some resilient displays.
The Dutchman reeled off four successive legs in the semi-finals against Jose de Sousa, and bettered that in a stunning comeback from 4-0 down against world number one Wright in the final.
He had also found himself 5-3 down to Ryan Meikle in round two before hitting back to win 6-5 after surviving two missed match darts, and defeated Brett Clayton, Madars Razma, Brendan Dolan and Adrian Lewis on his way to Saturday’s title.
“It was a tough day, I had to work really hard but eventually it paid out and when I got going I think I played some good darts,” said Van Gerwen, who also won a European Tour event last month.
“I know Peter, and when he’s throwing relaxed he’s a phenomenal player and we all know that, but when you put him under pressure and you get your chances, you have to take them.
“That’s what I did. I think I can do more but this was enough.
“In the final and the semi-final I had to wake up a few times! You want to make it a little bit easier for yourself but to win is the most important thing.
“You have to survive game by game – there are so many good darts players here on the tour and you have to beat them all. It’s not easy, but I managed to do it today.
“This is a third title of this year – I’ve won more tournaments already than I did all last year altogether, so that’s a good thing.”
World Champion Wright opened the final with a superb four-leg burst, denying Van Gerwen a dart at a double with legs of 14, 11, 14 and 13 darts.
Van Gerwen took leg five to kick-start his challenge, and won the next four without Wright this time getting a dart at a double as the Dutchman moved into a 5-4 lead.
Wright’s missed bull for a 170 finish in leg ten allowed Van Gerwen to complete a key 11-darter to deny his rival a chance to level.
He then finished 66 to move 7-4 up and punished Wright’s two missed doubles in the next to close out victory with a 64 checkout.
Wright was appearing in his second Players Championship final of the year, having won PC2 in February, and produced some exceptional darts throughout the day.
He averaged 111.46 in a third round defeat of Mervyn King – landing two ten-dart legs, an 11-darter and a pair of 12-dart finishes in the contest – before averaging over 108 as he reeled off six straight legs in a 7-3 semi-final win over Damon Heta.
Australia’s Heta was denied his second title of the year by Wright’s semi-final comeback, having averaged over 103 in four of his five wins on the day.
Jose de Sousa won five successive games in a deciding leg as he reached his first ProTour semi-final of 2022, only to lose 7-6 to Van Gerwen in the last four.
Lewis joined Nathan Aspinall, Luke Humphries and Jeff Smith in the last eight on the second day of the weekend’s treble-header in Barnsley.
Play concludes with a third £100,000 Players Championship on Sunday, with play commencing from 1200 BST and featuring live streaming from two boards simultaneously throughout the day via PDCTV and bookmakers’ websites worldwide.
2022 Players Championship Ten
Saturday April 2, Barnsley Metrodome
Jeff Smith 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
Damon Heta 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Peter Wright 6-4 Keegan Brown
Nathan Aspinall 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Brendan Dolan
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Ross Smith
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Luke Humphries 6-3 Joe Cullen
Damon Heta 6-3 Jeff Smith
Peter Wright 6-5 Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Luke Humphries
Peter Wright 7-3 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 7-6 Jose de Sousa
Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Peter Wright
Image: Steve Paston PDC
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