Michael Van Gerwen chalked up a hat-trick of European Championship victories with a thumping 11-1 win against Austria’s Mensur Suljovic at the Ethias Arena in Hasselt, Belgium on Sunday.
Taking just over 30 minutes to do the job, Van Gerwen’s 111.62 average was the highest in a televised final and a record in a European Championship decider.
Suljovic put on an impressive performance in his first televised final. Despite having seen off Peter Wright in the semi-finals as well as Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the quarter-finals, he was no match for a dominant MVG who took the £100,000 first prize as well as the ranking points he does not need.
Suljovic, on the other hand, moves up to seventh in the PDC Order of Merit after winning £40,000 in prize money, his best-ever scoop.
Van Gerwen vs Suljovic: as it happened
Mighty Mike opened with 174, taking the opening two legs before Suljovic claimed a solitary leg back, leaving the Dutchman to pull clear. He began to run away with the match after breaking Suljovic twice with 12-dart finishes, including two 180s in one leg, before striking a 157 checkout to lead 7-1.
He remained unchallenged, landing a further three 180s and missing just four darts at the double on the way to his record-breaking win. His victory here, his 22nd of the year, follows hot on the back of successes in the UK Open, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix.
Ladbrokes World Series Finals Schedule
This weekend will once more see Michael Van Gerwen defending a title, something he and we have become familiar with, as the World Series of Darts Finals take place at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow. Last time out, MVG defeated Peter Wright 11-10 in the inaugural staging of the tournament.
MVG, like the other top seeds, won’t begin playing until round two and will face the winner of the Gerwyn Price vs Steve Beaton tie.
Likewise, World Champion Gary Anderson will open against either Joe Cullen or Joe Murnan, while, interestingly, Phil Taylor could face off against his recent vanquisher Mensur Suljovic, should he bypass Robert Thornton.
Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis returns to action having missed out on last weekend’s European Championship and will meet Germany’s Max Hopp or Spain’s Cristo Reyes, while last year’s beaten finalist Peter Wright will meet either Josh Payne or Daryl Gurney.
The last three seeds given a bye into the second round are Dave Chisnall, who faces a tough draw against Dutchman Jelle Klaasen or Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts, Raymond van Barneveld who is most likely to meet Simon Whitlock if he makes his way past Brendan Dolan and James Wade who will step up against one of Benito van de Pas or Michael Smith.
World Series of Darts Betting Tips
We’re long past the point where the bookies need to run a favourite-free book eliminating MVG from the betting, such is his dominance.
I can’t find one, however, so let’s just say that Michael Van Gerwen is odds on everywhere. Him aside, we’ll look to the two Stoke players with a point to prove to, at the very least, make the final.
With Phil Taylor having been dumped out at the quarter-final stage last week by Mensur Suljovic (40/1 at SkyBet this week), The Power will be a man on a mission this weekend in Glasgow and is a decent 7/1 at SkyBet to do so.
Similarly, Adrian Lewis didn’t qualify for last weekend’s event so also returns with a point to prove and is a best price of 18/1 at Bet365. The only other potential winners will be either Gary Anderson and Peter Wright who, as a Scotsman, will have home advantage and the backing of a hostile crowd to boot.
The best you can get on Anderson is 7/1 at both Bet365 and SkyBet, while Wright can be backed at whopping 25/1, which may be worth considering given the bookmaker involved, SkyBet, are paying half the odds for a runner-up position.
If you are split on the two, then Betway are taking bets on the nationality of the winner with 9/2 on offer should a Scotsman emerge victorious in Glasgow.
The tournament will be broadcast live on ITV4.
2016 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals (Glasgow’s Braehead Arena)
Saturday November 5
First Round, Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm) Best of 11 legs
- Max Hopp v Cristo Reyes
- Benito van de Pas v Michael Smith
- Jelle Klaasen v Kim Huybrechts
- Brendan Dolan v Simon Whitlock
- Mensur Suljovic v Robert Thornton
- Joe Murnan v Joe Cullen
- Gerwyn Price v Steve Beaton
- Daryl Gurney v Josh Payne
Second Round, Evening Session (7pm-11pm) Best of 11 legs
- Adrian Lewis (5) v Hopp/Reyes
- James Wade (6) v van de Pas/Smith
- Dave Chisnall (4) v Klaasen/Huybrechts
- Raymond van Barneveld (8) v Dolan/Whitlock
- Phil Taylor (3) v Suljovic/Thornton
- Gary Anderson (2) v Murnan/Cullen
- Michael van Gerwen (1) v Price/Beaton
- Peter Wright (7) v Gurney/Payne
Sunday November 6
- Quarter-Finals: Best of 19 legs
- Semi-Finals: Best of 21 legs
- Final: Best of 21 legs