Van Gerwen thrashes Anderson at the Auckland Darts Masters as Whitlock sees off Cross

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 4 Aug 2018
Van Gerwen sweeps aside Anderson (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen laid down an emphatic marker as he thrashed rival Gary Anderson 10-4 to reach the Semi-Finals of the Auckland Masters on Saturday, while Simon Whitlock overcame Rob Cross.

Van Gerwen, fuelled by his early exit at the recent World Matchplay, took advantage of a misfiring Anderson in the early stages and did not look back as he closed out a ruthless victory.

The world number one, who headed to Auckland unseeded after failing to win any of three World Series event so far this year, helped himself to the first five legs without reply, notably producing seven perfect darts in the opener.

Anderson took out 68 to get off the mark before producing a roof-raising 170 checkout in the following leg, but only for MVG to hit back with a 96 checkout and double 16 to make it 7-2.

Anderson replied with tops and a 104 checkout to get back within three again, but was punished for three missed darts at doubles as Van Gerwen finished 88 to get back on track.

Van Gerwen then took out 80 before landing a sixth 180 and double ten for a 14-darter in the proceeding leg to clinch victory.

"Gary and I know how to beat each other and I know there are some phenomenal players but Gary and I are the best in my opinion," said Van Gerwen.

"He didn't play his best game there but I know what Gary can do and I had to keep my performance up and not make any mistakes to make sure I beat him."

Whitlock won through to his first World Series Semi-Final for 12 months courtesy of a 10-7 defeat of World Champion Rob Cross.

The Australian ace produced a clinical display of finishing in a high quality contest, converting ten of his 18 attempts at doubles and averaging 99.43.

Cross established a 2-0 lead thanks to checkouts of 91 and 126 before Whitlock took out 74, 68 and tops to hit the front.

Cross then levelled before taking out 90 for an 11-darter, though Whitlock maintained his flawless finishing with successive checkouts of 80 and 130 to regain the upper-hand.

The duo traded legs ten and eleven before Cross took out 78 to restore parity, but Whitlock landed a 13-darter on double 16 to move 7-6 ahead.

An 86 finish on the bullseye from 'Voltage' was immediately countered by a stunning 126 on the bull from Whitlock - who then took out 64 to break and move within a leg of the winning line.

And the Australian duly sealed the deal in the following leg with a fourth 180 and tops.

"The crowd were amazing tonight, they supported me and were very fair," said Whitlock. "I just need to see that people believe in me and it pumps me up for a match.

"I'm tired of losing matches that I think I should win and I know Rob is the World Champion but I believe I am as good as him.

"I can't wait for tomorrow now, I’m really excited to see how I go."

Raymond van Barneveld coasted into Sunday's Semi-Finals after a 10-4 victory over Mark McGrath - the last remaining regional qualifier in the tournament.

Van Barneveld, who finished runner-up here in 2015, was rarely troubled throughout the contest and relied on his efficient finishing (62.5%) despite averaging just 89.5.

McGrath, who had knocked out Michael Smith in Round One, produced a high checkout of 115 but failed to hit the heights over the long format and was punished for eleven missed darts at doubles.

"Of course I'm happy with the win but this is probably the worst game of my career," admitted Van Barneveld. 

"I woke up at 3am and I couldn't sleep. 

"I was never happy in the game and I was lucky there." 

Third seed Peter Wright booked his place in the Last Four with a commanding 10-3 defeat of defending champion Kyle Anderson.

The colourful Scot opened up a 4-2 lead before Anderson replied with a 78 finish on the bullseye before the interval.

Wright, however, reeled off the next six consecutive legs with high finishes of 100 and 92 to brush aside the below-par Australian and set up a show-down with Van Gerwen on Sunday.

"I've been in a few semi-finals on the World Series this year so hopefully I can go a step further tomorrow," said Wright.

"Kyle didn't play his best game but neither did I and it’s me that’s in the next round so I’m happy.

"Michael was amazing against Gary today and is the best player in the world, I will try and drag him down to my level tomorrow night!" he added.

Auckland Darts Masters 2018 Results


Saturday August 4

Quarter-Finals

Rob Cross 7-10 Simon Whitlock
Mark McGrath 4-10 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 4-10 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 10-3 Kyle Anderson


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Van Gerwen thrashes Anderson at the Auckland Darts Masters as Whitlock sees off Cross

Michael van Gerwen laid down an emphatic marker as he thrashed rival Gary Anderson 10-4 to reach the Semi-Finals of the Auckland Masters on Saturday, while Simon Whitlock overcame Rob Cross.

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