MICHAEL VAN GERWEN continued his defence of the World Darts Championship with a hard fought victory over Gerwyn Price on Wednesday to move into the quarter-finals at London’s Alexandra Palace.
The world number one faced his toughest battle so far and admitted he didn’t perform near his best in a 4-2 success over the Welshman, who missed four darts take a 3-2 lead.
“I didn’t play well, simple,” said Van Gerwen, who will meet Dutch rival Raymond van Barneveld in the last eight on Friday.
“My game wasn’t 100 percent and I made it tough for myself but all credit to him – he kept fighting he never gives up.
“I have to play better against Raymond. This was probably 85 percent of how I can play, I’m sure I can play better against Raymond.”
Van Gerwen seemed to be continuing his dominant form as he claimed the opening two sets but Price took the third a fourth sets to level, before missing a huge opportunity to move ahead.
‘Mighty Mike’ punished his opponent and wrestled back the lead before going on to claim victory.
He added: “I don’t know what was wrong, maybe my focus wasn’t there. My game wasn’t 100 percent but all credit to him – he kept fighting, he never gives up but I knew that before.
“That’s what I like of his game, he never gives up, he plays his heart out and he shows his emotions.
“I made it tough for myself and I have to put that right for the next game. It’s a big game for everyone when I play Raymond.”