Sunday witnessed three-time World Champion Van Gerwen stormed through to the World Championship semi-finals with a straight-sets demolition of Chris Dobey in a quick-fire tussle.
The Dutchman raced to victory in just over 33 minutes of play, averaging 102, landing five 180s and relinquishing just three legs en route to a crushing 5-0 win.
“I feel good. Chris didn’t play his game but I put him under pressure from the beginning,” said Van Gerwen, who posted his fourth consecutive ton-plus average at this year’s World Championship.
“If Michael van Gerwen turns up, he is going to win the game, but you need to make sure your preparation is right, your focus is good.
“You need to believe in your own opportunities and your own ability, and that’s what I do.
“I have learnt from my defeats in the last few years and I’ve come back stronger. I feel comfortable, my belief is back and I’m looking forward to the semi-finals.”
In Sunday’s opener, Van den Bergh moved through to the semi-finals for the first time in his career, running out a 5-3 winner in a test of endurance against Clayton.
The Belgian number one – starring in his third quarter-final – fought back from 3-2 down, winning three consecutive sets to break new ground in the capital.
Clayton’s clinical combination finishing proved decisive in the opening exchanges, but Van den Bergh’s superior scoring power catapulted him to victory, as he landed 13 maximums to triumph.
“I’m one step closer to make my dream come true of becoming a PDC World Champion,” said Van den Bergh, who becomes the first Belgian to reach the semi-finals of the sport’s flagship event.
“It was a battle up there today, I had a few moments when I felt comfortable but I missed my chances in the early stages.
“Jonny had chances too but thankfully he didn’t take them and I’m delighted to be through.
“It is special to finally pull through to the semi-finals but I still haven’t shown my best yet; I think I have the game to go all the way.”
The semi-finals will take place on a blockbuster Monday night, with German trailblazer Clemens up against fourth seed Smith for a place in Tuesday’s showpiece.
Van Gerwen will then continue his bid for a fourth World Championship crown against Van den Bergh, who is aiming to become the first Belgian player to lift the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy.
Click here for match stats & results
2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship
Sunday January 1
Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-3 Jonny Clayton (0-3, 3-0, 1-3, 3-0, 2-3, 3-2, 3-1, 3-2)
Michael Smith 5-3 Stephen Bunting (3-2, 0-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 0-3, 1-3, 3-1)
Gabriel Clemens 5-1 Gerwyn Price (0-3, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-0)
Michael van Gerwen 5-0 Chris Dobey (3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1)
Monday January 2 (1930 GMT)
Gabriel Clemens v Michael Smith
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Michael van Gerwen
Best of 11 sets
Tuesday January 3 (2000 GMT)
Clemens/Smith v Van den Bergh/Van Gerwen
Best of 13 sets
Images: Taylor Lanning / PDC
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