Michael van Gerwen's relentless continued as he defeated Jermaine Wattimena 8-4 to claim the opening Players Championship event of the 2019 season.
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The world champion, who won a fifth successive Masters last weekend before opening the Premier League campaign with victory over Ally Pally runner-up Michael Smith, made it 18 match wins on the trot thanks to this run at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan.
Van Gerwen averaged 109.5 against his compatriot in the final but that wasn't even his highest of the day, with Dutchman managing 110.1 in a 6-1 thumping of Jonny Clayton in the quarter-finals - although the Ferret managed 103.9 himself!
MVG also averaged 108.8 in an opening 6-2 win over Luke Woodhouse and 105.1 against Mickey Mansell (6-2) on a day where he also saw off Mark Dudbridge (6-3), Gary Wastwood (6-1) en route to a hard-fought semi-final with debutant Scott Baker.
The 'Mod', who won his maiden PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School last month, defied an average of 100 from former world champion Rob Cross to run out a 6-4 winner in the second round before triumphs over Darius Labanauskus (6-1), Stephen Burton (6-0) and Kyle Anderson (6-3) continued his dream debut.
He then gave the world number one his toughest match of the day and was level at 5-5 before MVG claimed the last two legs to book his place in the final.
Wattimena, fresh from thrashing Peter Wright 7-2 in the last four, took the opening leg with a checkout of 105 to complete a 15-darter and although van Gerwen quickly restored parity with a finish from 106, the Machine Gun edged ahead again.
After MVG took the next leg to make it 2-2, the match saw three 11 darters in a row although it was the world number one who managed two of them to move 4-3 up.
Three more legs followed for the 29-year-old as he took full control of the contest and while Wattimena, who averaged 98.8, did pull one back, van Gerwen completed the job with a sloppy 21-darter that brought his average down below 110.
"I am proud of how I played today, especially in the final," van Gerwen told www.pdc.tv. "It's always a big achievement to win a ProTour because there are 127 players who all want to beat me, there is a huge target on my back.
"I had to work really hard to win this today, you have to be at your best against these players and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow."
Wattimena had previously beaten Ross Smith (6-3), Barrie Bates (6-4), Ritchie Edhouse (6-2), Ian White (6-5), debutant Harry Ward (6-3) and Wright to reach his first Pro Tour final but found MVG too hot to handle.
Glen Durrant suffered a disappointing start to life on the PDC Tour as he lost 6-5 to Alan Tabern in round one, while Mark McGeeney, Gerwyn Price, Daryl Gurney, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld were among the bigger names who failed to reach the last 16.
Meanwhile one of the matches of the tournament was Peter Wright's 6-5 quarter-final win over Michael Smith, who averaged 112 compared to Snakebite's 110.
The Players Championship Two event will take place on Sunday.
Players Championship One Results (Last 16 onwards)
- Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Mark Dudbridge
- Jonny Clayton 6-4 Jeffrey de Zwaan
- Kyle Anderson 6-4 Andrew Gilding
- Scott Bake 6-0 Stephen Burton
- Jermaine Wattimena 6-5 Ian White
- Harry Ward 6-3 Diogo Portela
- Michael Smith 6-0 Joe Cullen
- Peter Wright 6-2 Mick Todd
- Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Jonny Clayton
- Scott Baker 6-3 Kyle Anderson
- Jermaine Wattimena 6-3 Harry Ward
- Peter Wright 6-5 Michael Smith
- Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Scott Baker
- Jermaine Wattimena 7-2 Peter Wright
- Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Jermaine Wattimena