Darts results: Michael van Gerwen hits his third nine-dart finish of 2019 en route to winning European Darts Open

Michael van Gerwen won the European Darts Open (Picture: Sven Neuschafer/PDC Europe)

Michael van Gerwen hit his third nine-dart finish of 2019 en route to winning the European Darts Open - and they've all been hit via different routes.

The world champion's 21st perfect leg of his astonishing career came in the semi-finals against Mensur Suljovic when he was struggling at 4-3 down but three visits of 180, 174 and 147, which was made up of treble 19, bullseye, double 20, sent the Ostermann Arena crowd in Leverkusen wild.

He went on to complete a 7-5 victory over the popular Austrian to book his place in Sunday night's final against Rob Cross, who he defeated 8-6 in a thriller that he kicked off with a 170 checkout to complete a 12-darter.

The world number one averaged 104.79 against Voltage and also took out 82 via bullseye-double 16 for an 11-darter that put him 6-5 up as he went on to defend his title and pick up his fourth winners' cheque of 2019 and the 121st of his career.

Van Gerwen pinned eight of his 13 darts at doubles in a ruthless display of finishing but had to be at his best against the in-form Cross, who was appearing in his first European Tour final since twice finishing runner-up to the Dutchman in 2017.

The former world champion had averaged 100+ in all his four previous matches against Steve Beaton (101), Jonny Clayton (106), Justin Pipe (102) and Peter Wright (104) so it was little surprise to see him respond to that opening 170 checkout and falling 2-0 down to get level at 3-3 thanks to legs in 12 and 10 darts.

A high-quality final went back and forth until at 6-6, MVG's 13-darter edged him ahead before punishing the Hasting man's missed dart at double 18 in the next to seal an epic triumph.

"Everyone always thinks I am a robot but I'm not a robot and today was one of the days where I had to work really hard to win," said van Gerwen, who has now won 29 European Tour titles. "Rob played so well in this tournament, I knew I had to perform well if I wanted to beat him and it was really tough for me.

"He was a bit unlucky at the end but I hit the big shots at the right moments so I'm happy with my performance."

Cross said: "I feel brilliant at the moment, and I only feel that I'm going to get stronger. I really enjoyed that final too and it's nice to be playing well again in front of a great crowd.

"I'm going to push Michael every week, he's the best in the world for a reason but I'm not going to stop until I get a piece of him."

Van Gerwen, who is now one nine-darter behind Phil Taylor, has made three different perfect legs this season and the one against Suljovic was the first time ever he'd finished one on double tops.

The world number one came into the season-opening European Tour event in an uncharacteristic poor run of form, losing two and drawing one of his past four Premier League games, while he'd also fallen at his first hurdle at the UK Open earlier this month.

MVG, who won eight of the 13 European Tour events last year as well as hitting the tour's first ever nine-darter, looked much like his old self this weekend, which started by gaining a measure of revenge over Mervyn King on Saturday night for that shock UK Open defeat.

He then averaged 101 and converted six of his eight darts at doubles in a 6-0 thrashing of Jermaine Wattimena on Sunday afternoon before surviving match dart in a thrilling quarter-final with Gerwyn Price.

Both players averaged over 100, with MVG's mark of 104.57 being slightly superior to the Welshman's 103.55, although it looked as though the defending champion was heading out as Price defied checkouts of 132 and 127 plus an 11-darter to edge into a 5-4 lead.

With the Grand Slam of Darts champion waiting on tops in the 10th leg, MVG pinned double 10 for a 13-darter that forced a decider which he won in dramatic fashion thanks to a 118 checkout after Price spurned one attempt at tops.

He'd then produce his nine-dart heroics against Suljovic before backing it up with a trophy winning performance in the final.

Sunday's results


Afternoon Session
Third Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Jermaine Wattimena
  • Krzysztof Ratajski 4-6 Gerwyn Price
  • Mensur Suljovic 6-3 Joe Cullen
  • James Wade 6-1 Dave Chisnall
  • Justin Pipe 6-1 Darren Webster
  • Rob Cross 6-4 Jonny Clayton
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 0-6 Daryl Gurney
  • Peter Wright 6-3 Ross Smith

Evening Session
Quarter-Finals (Best of 11 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 6-5 Gerwyn Price
  • Mensur Suljovic 6-2 James Wade
  • Justin Pipe 2-6 Cross
  • Daryl Gurney 3-6 Peter Wright

Semi-Finals (Best of 13 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Mensur Suljovic (MVG HITS NINE-DARTER)
  • Rob Cross 7-5 Peter Wright

Final (Best of 15 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 8-6 Rob Cross

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