A week on from his loss to fellow Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld at London’s O2 in the tournament’s decider, the World Champion is hoping to return straight to the winner’s circle.
World number one van Gerwen faces seven-time major winner James Wade in the Dubai Darts Masters on Thursday evening, with a potential re-match against ‘Barney’ providing extra motivation for the defending champion.
“Obviously I was very disappointed last Thursday night,” admitted van Gerwen, who won the inaugural World Series event 12 months ago.
“I had a good season, finished top of the league and worked hard to get to the final but Raymond was better than me and he deserved it.
“I didn’t play my best game in the final and he did. That hurt me but on Friday morning I knew I had to move on and look to the next tournament.
“Not even Phil Taylor can win everything and I have been focusing on Dubai all week. I’m ready for a tough battle with James Wade on Thursday and if I get through that I play Raymond or Adrian (Lewis) in the semi-final so it will not be easy but I am determined to defend my title.”
By Chris Murphy