Michael van Gerwen is back from arm surgery and ready to reclaim the World Matchplay crown, but he has to face Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis first; Watch every session at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens until Sunday July 24 – live on Sky Sports
By Raz Mirza
Last update: 07/17/22 11:05
Michael van Gerwen flew north from Las Vegas ready to conquer first-round opponent Adrian Lewis and reclaim the Matchplay World title after a six-year drought.
We last saw the Dutchman on sky sports celebrating victory in a first PDC Premier event in over 18 months as they sealed their sixth Premier League title.
Van Gerwen was forced to miss the World Cup of Darts, however, as he returned to the Netherlands for surgery to repair carpal tunnel syndrome in his throwing arm to avoid permanent nerve damage.
World Matchplay Darts Live
July 17, 2022, 1:00 p.m.
“Lewis is a phenomenal player but if you ask me if he has done enough with his talent? I would say no”
MVG on Lewis’ underperformance despite his world titles
With doctors recommending at least six to eight weeks off, Van Gerwen returned to action much sooner at the Dutch Darts Masters in Amsterdam where he suffered an early loss to Danny Noppert.
But after spending time relaxing on vacation in Las Vegas and Ibiza, ‘The Green Machine’ is back in competitive mode with the sole aim of taking down 2013 runner-up Lewis in a blockbuster showdown on Sunday. evening.
“As far as throwing goes, I’m 100 per cent fine,” Van Gerwen said. sky sports. “I can’t really complain, but if you do something stupid, of course you won’t be 100%.
“I trained very well last week, very focused and it went well, which for me is really important. I also needed to do it because I play Adrian Lewis and we all know what he’s about. is capable He doesn’t always show up, but when he does [you know] it’s going to be a tough game.”
A look back at the classic semi-final between Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis during the World Matchplay in 2013
Asked if Van Gerwen expected a spirit of play on the Winter Gardens stage, he smiled: “We all know what Adrian Lewis looks like. He’s full of tricks, everyone knows his game. You have to be prepared for that because he stands up, he talks and people know that.
“I always tell him that anyway, but it’s just a bit of a joke between us so it’s fine.
“When you’re on stage playing against each other, you have to fight. No matter what it takes and that’s also how they think.
“If you look at my draws at World Matchplay over the last couple of years, I’ve had tough draws anyway, but it also makes you a stronger player. You know exactly what you have to do and it doesn’t hurt. there are more easy draws.”
A look back at when Van Gerwen first claimed World Matchplay glory in 2015
Speaking about his rivalry with Lewis, Van Gerwen added: “Lewis is a phenomenal player but if you ask me if he has done enough with his talent? I would say no.
“Adrian has had a bit of bad luck the past few years, but that’s how it is. He’s trying to find his way back to the top and I have to stop him. That’s my goal now.”
World Matchplay Darts Live
July 17, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Take a look at MVG’s nine-dart finish against Steve Beaton in the second round of World Matchplay in 2012
Joe Cullen vs. Damon Heta
James Wade vs. Martin Lukeman
Michael van Gerwen vs. Adrian Lewis
Luke Humphries vs. Nathan Aspinall
Van Gerwen is aiming to clinch his first Blackpool title since 2016 and his first major ranking tournament since 2020.
“I have to do the same thing I did in the Premier League and that’s do the right things at the right time. Just have fun and do the things you love, which is to play the darts in front of a lot of people at the highest level,” said Van Gerwen, who is ranked fourth for the summer’s flagship event.
“If you look at Jonny Clayton for example, he won four tournaments last year and they were all unranked. Unfortunately you can’t choose.
“Every tournament I go to, I want to win, and that’s the only thing I watch. If it’s ranked, then that’s a bonus.
“If I want to climb higher in the rankings, I have to make sure I do well in tournaments like the Grand Prix, World Matchplay and Grand Slam of Darts.”
Check out daily darts news at skysports.com/darts, our mobile app and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. You can watch World Matchplay at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens – live on Sky Sports over the next nine days.