MICHAEL VAN GERWEN produced a stunning performance to defeat Paul Nicholson in round one of the Unibet European Championship.
The four-time and defending champion responded to back-to-back 12-darters from an impressive Nicholson by reeling off six straight legs.
The world number one averaged over 110 and hit a 170 checkout as he moved into the second round, where he will meet Steve West.
“It wasn’t that easy,” said Van Gerwen, who is chasing a fifth successive European Championship title.
“At the beginning he put me under big pressure and I still played well. I was still feeling good and I had no other choice than to play like that.
“Paul played really well and put in a good performance. He kept me under pressure, it’s only a short format and anything can happen but he missed a few darts to go 3-2 up and I took great advantage of that.”