We caught up with Dutch superstar Michael van Gerwen to find out about the match of his life.
Pinpointing one specific match in the illustrious career of a sporting great is no easy task.
Van Gerwen is a three-time champion of the world, he’s won the Premier League seven times, the World Grand Prix six times and the World Matchplay on three occasions.
To Win Outright
As well as winning everything there is to win, he’s also hit nine televised nine-darters and pretty much rewritten the rule book on darts averages.
His career is so packed with immense achievements, that even van Gerwen could only whittle it down to three matches.
“It has to be one of my world championship titles,” said the three-time winner.
“I’ve done some nice things, I had the highest average against Michael Smith in the Premier League, I had 17 perfect darts against James Wade and missed Double 18 for the second nine-darter in a row.
“But nine-darters and a Premier League night doesn’t change your life, World Championships do change your life and that’s why they are important.
“It is an incredible feeling that only people who have won it can describe.”
Despite becoming the youngest world champion at the age of 24 in 2014, in the first PDC final without an English player, van Gerwen had to bide his time on the world stage.
After losing in the first round in his only BDO World Championship outing, the Dutch star failed to get past the second round in his first four PDC World Championship appearances.
He fared better in 2012, losing in a third round clash with Simon Whitlock, before a superb run the following year saw him reach the final, before losing to Phil Taylor.
He got his hands on the trophy when he defeated Peter Wright 7-4 in the 2014 final, and further successes followed against Gary Anderson in 2017 and Michael Smith in 2019.
Van Gerwen believes the first win made future successes more achievable, and he’s become accustomed to the added pressure that goes with his achievements.
“I’ve been doing for it 10 years so I’m getting used to it. I have got a big back with a big target on it.
“By having a lot of defeats, you’re going to enjoy winning more and when the pressure comes to you it feels more natural.
“Of course its not easy, I can talk about it quite easy but you have to work really hard.
“Everything comes with pressure but it's not a sprint it’s a marathon, and in the end you need to make sure you’ve done well for yourself.”
Four world championships have come and gone since van Gerwen last lifted the trophy, but the desire to win has never left him.
With over 40 major PDC titles under his belt, van Gerwen is still as hungry as he has ever been, but he says that sometimes he has to make sure he doesn’t become too hungry for more success.
“The hunger drives you on for more success but sometimes it is my biggest enemy.
“I am someone who always puts the pressure on myself, sometimes it has to be more natural.
“Sometimes you can go to a game and say I am ready for it, but in the back of your mind if you’re not ready for it, then you need to make sure you’re a bit sharper.
“Everything at home has to be right, the practice room has to be right, and of course the focus and mindset has to be perfect.
“If you have all of those combined then you can be a really good Darts player.”