Template - Date: German Darts Grand Prix
The World Champion followed up last weekend’s Dutch Darts Masters victory on his return from a month’s break by claiming the £25,000 title at the Maimarkhalle in Mannheim with an imperious display.
Van Gerwen had opened the weekend with a ruthless whitewash of Richard North as he averaged 111 in Saturday’s second round, before seeing off Gerwyn Price 6-2 to book his spot in the quarter-finals. He then averaged 102.56 in a 6-1 quarter-final defeat of fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen before punishing 11 missed doubles from Simon Whitlock to record another whitewash as he booked his spot in the decider, where he again averaged 111.
After Van Gerwen opened the final with a 180, both players missed the bull before Cross returned on double eight to hold throw. Van Gerwen levelled in style by taking out 127 for a 12-darter, with Cross finishing 111 to hold in the third after the Dutchman missed double 14 to check out 145.
The World Champion landed a maximum and tops for a 13-darter to square the game in the fourth, but was unable to finish 104 in the fifth as Cross escaped from five missed doubles by landing double five to lead 3-2. A missed bull for a 127 finish in the sixth from Cross allowed Van Gerwen to avoid a possible break as double 16 saw the world number one square the game once more.
Van Gerwen then secured the crucial break himself to move 4-3 up, opening leg seven with a 180 before taking out 76 for an 11-darter to lead for the first time. The Dutchman then backed that up with a superb 12-darter, opening once more with a maximum before taking out 101 on double 16 for a 5-3, lead before a 110 checkout sealed a brilliant win.
“When you play well and win it’s a fantastic feeling,” said Van Gerwen, who lost only six legs during the event. “I think I deserved the win and I’m really happy. “I started off with a 111 average and finished with a 111 average so that’s not too bad!
“Rob was the player who gave me the biggest game and it was difficult to break his throw, but my scoring power was there and my will to win was there, and that makes me the champion today.
“I’m sure I’m going to have more good clashes against Rob, he’s broken through this year and he’s doing really well. He’s going to be one of the big superstars.”
Cross’ remarkable rise in 2017, which has included two Players Championship titles, continued as he won through to his first European Tour final with a series of outstanding performances in Mannheim. He followed up Saturday’s 103.81 average in a 6-3 second round win over Jan Dekker with a stunning 109.10 average as he stormed past Mensur Suljovic 6-2 in Sunday afternoon’s third round.
He then overcame Ian White 6-2 with the aid of a 105.89 average in the quarter-finals and averaged 102.87 in a 6-3 semi-final defeat of Benito van de Pas.
“I played well this week and I really enjoyed it,” said Cross. “I lost my way a bit in the last four legs, but I can’t take anything away from Michael. “That’s why he’s there and the experience he’s got is vast, but it won’t be long before I catch him up there. I’m going to be there.”
The next PDC European Tour event will be the HappyBet International Darts Open in Riesa from September 22-24, with £135,000 in prize money on offer in the year’s 11th tournament. For tickets, visit www.pdc-europe.tv
HappyBet German Darts Grand Prix
Sunday September 10th
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm BST)
92.39 Mensur Suljovic 2-6 Rob Cross 109.10
92.41 Daryl Gurney 5-6 Ian White 94.61
92.46 Darren Webster 2-6 Benito van de Pas 94.81
86.33 Ronny Huybrechts 0-6 Vincent van der Voort 96.97
96.09 Simon Whitlock 6-3 Nathan Aspinall 91.71
89.46 Michael Smith 6-1 Joe Cullen 86.04
88.09 Kyle Anderson 1-6 Jelle Klaasen 92.58
98.68 Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Gerwyn Price 93.40
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm BST)
105.89 Rob Cross 6-2 Ian White 96.14
84.78 Benito van de Pas 6-5 Vincent van der Voort 90.24
85.66 Simon Whitlock 6-1 Michael Smith 90.46
92.82 Jelle Klaasen 1-6 Michael van Gerwen 102.56
102.87 Rob Cross 6-3 Benito van de Pas 95.85
92.10 Simon Whitlock 0-6 Michael van Gerwen 100.20
93.38 Rob Cross 3-6 Michael van Gerwen 111.00
Full Results & Schedule of Play
Friday September 8th
83.70 Paul Rowley 3-6 Tony Martinez 93.04
86.37 Jamie Caven 6-4 Max Hopp 81.19
87.04 Jan Dekker 6-3 Mickey Mansell 92.14
84.21 Michael Plooy 4-6 Jermaine Wattimena 87.49
86.21 Mick Todd 3-6 Richard North 86.00
97.20 Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Bernd Roith 94.63
101.13 Darren Webster 6-5 Ryan Meikle 96.14
91.38 Ronny Huybrechts 6-3 Zoran Lerchbacher 89.56
78.77 Michael Hurtz 1-6 Daniel Larsson 87.30
94.89 Jamie Lewis 6-5 Andy Boulton 95.60
87.55 James Richardson 2-6 Keegan Brown 88.16
95.64 Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Robert Owen 103.23
90.63 Jamie Bain 6-4 Steve Beaton 89.42
88.62 Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Andrew Gilding 84.88
100.85 Dirk van Duijvenbode 4-6 Kyle Anderson 101.44
94.69 Martin Schindler 3-6 Mick McGowan 94.85
Saturday September 9th
95.42 Ian White 6-4 Jermaine Wattimena 96.70
108.30 Joe Cullen 6-3 Tony Martinez 93.00
97.94 Benito van de Pas 6-2 Jamie Caven 92.72
103.81 Rob Cross 6-3 Jan Dekker 97.98
97.74 Dave Chisnall 2-6 Nathan Aspinall 89.20
99.54 Mervyn King 5-6 Vincent van der Voort 101.07
91.46 Gerwyn Price 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski 89.89
84.54 Jelle Klaasen 6-4 Jamie Bain 93.58
75.45 Alan Norris 3-6 Darren Webster 83.35
96.45 Kim Huybrechts 4-6 Kyle Anderson 102.17
87.52 Mensur Suljovic 6-1 Mick McGowan 79.53
96.74 Peter Wright 2-6 Ronny Huybrechts 96.40
111.33 Michael van Gerwen 6-0 Richard North 79.50
97.96 Daryl Gurney 6-1 Keegan Brown 88.70
90.26 Michael Smith 6-5 Jamie Lewis 99.57
80.87 Simon Whitlock 6-2 Daniel Larsson 68.15