Tuesday, December 31, 2019
The decision in the second semifinals at the Darts World Cup has been made: The Dutchman Michael “Mighty Mike” van Gerwen prevails at the Alexandra Palace in London. On New Year’s Day, Scotsman Peter Wright will meet a well-known fear opponent.
Darts fans can look forward to a classic after the turn of the year: last year’s winner Michael van Gerwen reaches for his fourth world title at the Darts World Championship in London. The 30-year-old Dutchman (“Mighty Mike”) made it 6-2 against Nathan Aspinall (England) for the second consecutive final. On New Year’s Day, the world’s number one in the new edition of the 2014 final will meet Peter Wright from Scotland at Alexandra Palace.
“I feel phenomenal. I’m not happy with my performance, but I won. I’m in the final, so that’s what it was about,” said van Gerwen of Sky Sports. For the upcoming duel with Wright, he added: “I have to play a good match to get through there.”
Wright had in the first semifinals of the evening made the leap into the World Cup final for the second time in his career. The 49-year-old won 6: 3 against the Welsh Gerwyn Price. In the final six years ago, Wright lost 4-7 to van Gerwen.
The New Year’s Endgame (from 9 p.m. on Dazn and Sport1) is carried out in the format best-of-13 sets. The two top players van Gerwen and Wright, who are almost 20 years older, know each other very well: “Mighty Mike” and “Snakebite” competed against each other at the World Championships in 2010, 2013 and in the 2014 World Cup final – in each case the Dutch team Triple world champion who has been at the top of the rankings for six years. There were a total of 78 duels between the two darts sizes, of which van Gerwen won 59 and lost 17. Only two ended in a draw.
Naked nerves in the arena
“Snakebite” and “The Iceman” Price had a high-class and emotional duel to start the evening in the sold out Alexandra Palace in north London. After just two sentences, the two professionals almost got into each other because Price cheered provocatively with a curved fist in Wright’s direction. After the game, the mandatory handshake failed to materialize.
For the Scots it’s the second World Cup final after 2014, Price was for the first time in the semifinals at the most important darts tournament in the world. The duel between Champion van Gerwen and the aspiring Englishman Aspinall also did not drop off qualitatively. The 28-year-old, who had defeated Scotland’s Gary Anderson and the Belgian Dimitri van den Bergh in the course of the tournament, demanded everything from “Mighty Mike” and shortened it again to 3: 4 with the seventh set.
Van Gerwen then got dressed and secured the third World Cup final in four years. “I think the others have to worry more about me than I do about myself,” he had previously confidently announced. He is a clear favorite in the final.