MICHAEL VAN GERWEN earned victories over Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld on consecutive nights in Rotterdam to return to the top of the Premier League table.
Van Gerwen defeated Wright 7-1 on Wednesday before prevailing over fellow Dutchman van Barneveld by the same winning margin on Thursday in front of 14,000 fans – before paying tribute to his retiring opponent.
“Of course it was difficult playing that match, I had a poor performance against Raymond here last year so to win 7-1 is phenomenal,” said Van Gerwen.
“What Raymond did for the sport is great, but when I saw him crying at the start of the match I made sure I kept my focus on getting the job done.
“He has been a phenomenal player, he’s put the sport on the map in the Netherlands and I hope I can take it even further.
“To perform in front of this crowd means everything to me, and if it wasn’t for Raymond then none of this would be possible.”