Van Gerwen insists ‘no fear’ ahead of Anderson Semi-Final show-down

Van Gerwen celebrates against Anderson in the 2017 final (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen has shrugged off any suggestion of a fear factor against rival Gary Anderson, insisting his standard is “higher than everyone else”.

The two most decorated stars of the season collide in a dream William Hill World Championship Semi-Final on Sunday as they meet at this stage of the sport's show-piece event for the second time, while also having contested the final two years ago.

Despite a plethora of big names tumbling in the bottom half of the draw, MVG and Anderson have staved off any threat of an upset to set up the show-down everyone was talking about before a dart was thrown a fortnight ago.

Van Gerwen, World Champion in 2014, and 2017, has dropped just one set in each of his four wins en route to this stage with a tournament average of 103, and admits it will take a special performance for the Scot to deny him.

"I've think I've shown a good performance in my last nearly 20 games here, not averaging below 100, so he knows he has to play well but I know I have to play well also," said Van Gerwen.

"It's going to be a special game for myself but also for Gary, it's good for darts - everyone wants to see this game.

"If you want to win this tournament, you have to beat anyone, of course Gary is my main rival but most of the time I have beaten him so I also need to make sure I'm going to beat him this time. 

"I've not had my best year but I've still won as many televised tournaments as him and he's had a good year, but my level is a little bit higher than everyone else.

"People expect more from me than anyone else and I just accept that but I don't mind being in that position."

Seeded number one and four respectively, this will be the eleventh meeting between the box office duo in 2018, with MVG having won seven of those encounters, including Semi-Finals at The Masters and Players Championship Finals.

It was Anderson, though, who came out on top 16-12 in an epic Grand Slam Semi-Final last month, as well as edging a pulsating 10-9 win in the Champions League of Darts en route to the title in September.

Van Gerwen admits their latest encounter would have made for a fitting final, but says he has no fear of facing the Flying Scotsman and will take encouragement from his superior head-to-head record.

"I know everyone wanted this to be the final but it's a Semi-Final so I have to get it out of the way," he added.

"If I should fear him, I wouldn't have beaten him in more games than he's beaten me.

"He's a phenomenal player and everyone knows that, we have a great rivalry between us, but just look back at the last five years - who won on the most important times?

"Gary says every week his back is sore, he's getting old and his back his sore, he tells me every week!"


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Van Gerwen insists ‘no fear’ ahead of Anderson Semi-Final show-down

Michael van Gerwen has shrugged off any suggestion of a fear factor against rival Gary Anderson, insisting his standard is “higher than everyone else”.

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