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Article: Michael van Gerwen - A 6 Time Grand Prix Champion

Michael van Gerwen - A 6 Time Grand Prix Champion

Michael van Gerwen survived a late comeback from Nathan Aspinall to win his sixth Grand Prix title of his darting career, claiming a 5-3 victory in the Final at the Morningside Arena in Leicester. The Final included 15 maximums with the eventual runner up that resides in Stockport, hitting nine of them.

MvG was ruthless once more on the outer ring, checking out at 46.15% over the course of the Final, and found the highest checkout of either player in the first leg after hitting double eighteen to finish 116.

The Dutchman raced out of the gates early in the Final, breaking throw in the second leg before winning the first set without reply going into the first interval. The Asp earnt his maiden leg in what was his first Grand Prix Final, going 1-0 up in the second set on double twelve, despite missing the same target the visit before for what would have been a 144 finish.

The Dutch-man man crucially broke the throw in the deciding fifth leg of the second set on double tops, taking a 2-0 lead in the Final much to the dismay of Aspinall who was waiting on tops should van Gerwen have missed.

The Vlijmen ace held his initiative in the third set, knowing three holds were enough to go within two sets of another win in the Grand Prix, with his maiden title coming 10 years ago against Mervyn King in Dublin.

A 112 checkout opened his account in the third set before a crucial 56 finish gave the three-time World Champion the decisive fifth leg in the third set.

Nerves from both started to show in the fourth set and the third leg with both missing darts at double. The blow would come for the Englishman though, as MVG found double nine with his last dart to break the throw and have the darts in the fourth leg with a 2-1 lead, after the Asp saw four darts miss the outer segments.

Double ten for the Green Machine put him just one set away from the £120,000 winners prize and his third televised title of the year, already winning the World Matchplay and the Premier League so far in 2022.

However, the match would not be plain sailing for the Dutchman as Aspinall would go on to earn his first set of the Final, breaking in the third leg on double sixteen before finishing 56 to win the fifth set 3-1.

An 89 checkout gave Aspinall a 2-1 lead in the sixth set to hold throw and the Englishman followed up with a 52 finish to break van Gerwen in the fourth leg, winning the sixth set 3-1 and going within two of his opponent in what was materialising into a spirited comeback.

The World Number 16 broke twice in the seventh set, to go within one leg of a 4-3 deficit in the Final after van Gerwen also broke in the second leg. The Englishman under pressure after his opponent found a maximum to leave double fifteen, stepped up to the oche for double five hitting the target with his first dart in hand.

The comeback would not be completed though as the best player of 2022 showed just why he is winning events such as the Matchplay and the Grand Prix, hitting double six second dart to secure a 5-3 victory in Leicester and win £120,000 in prize money staying in the World Number 3 position.

The form the Dutchman has shown this year must put him as the man to beat for the upcoming World Championship at the Ally Pally, with neither World Number 1 Gerwyn Price or reigning World Champion Peter Wright winning so far in televised events since January.

By Harry Masterson

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