MICHAEL VAN GERWEN began his bid for a third William Hill World Darts Championship title with a 3-1 win over Alan Tabern on Saturday.
Van Gerwen produced an excellent display, averaging over 102, despite an incident before the walk-on, which caused a short delay to his entrance.
Van Gerwen had to dry off and change his shirt after being soaked by a fan’s drink but it didn’t dampen his spirit as he stormed to victory.
“These things happen in life but it was difficult to deal with,” said, Van Gerwen, who praised the PDC, security, his opponent and the crowd for how the issue was dealt with – the spectator who threw the drink was removed immediately and banned from attending darts events.
Thank you too all fans and for nice messages tonight, sad that one silly person cause a problem for all good fans, thank you to @OfficialPDC security for quick thinking 👍, sorry to Alan for having to wait.
— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) December 16, 2018
“I’m glad I didn’t let it affect my performance but I would never make an excuse anyway. I think a few players could learn from me in that department. It is your responsibility how you throw the darts.
“I didn’t underestimate Alan because I know what he can produce and I will keep that attitude throughout this tournament.”
Van Gerwen will return on Saturday December 22 to take on German number one Max Hopp.