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Players Championship Finals 2021 Day Three preview and order of play | Final eight collide in Minehead

Van Gerwen blasts “ridiculous” playing conditions in Minehead

Jamie Shaw in Players Championship Finals 28 Nov 2021
Van Gerwen did not hold back in his TV interview (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen has branded the playing conditions at the Players Championship Finals as “ridiculous” as he battles the freezing temperatures in Minehead.

Reigning and six-time Players Championship Finals winner Van Gerwen continued the defence of his title by booking his place in the Quarter-Finals on Saturday, but slammed the playing conditions inside the main arena.

The UK has been hit by strong winds and icy temperatures in recent days, and the seaside resort of Minehead has been no exception, with the vast tent-style arena proving a tough environment for the players to perform in.

Van Gerwen began the day by defeating former World Cup winning teammate Raymond van Barneveld 6-3 in the Second Round and ended it with a 10-6 win over rival Gary Anderson in the Last 16, averaging 95 in both matches.

The world number three then let rip in his post-match television interview, fuming: “At the end of the day it’s a good win, but the conditions we’re playing in at the moment are absolutely ridiculous.

“If you look at the performances of the top players, no one is hitting their A game because the conditions for us as players are not very good.

“It’s quite cold, there is a lot of wind and that doesn’t do you any favours. It doesn’t make you a better player.

“Then you’re trying too hard, you want to do better and you make it really difficult for yourself.

“It’s not about testing myself, it’s trying to compete against the conditions.

“The standard of this tournament has not been good enough and that’s to do with the conditions we have to play in here.

“No one is allowed to say anything, no one has the balls to say anything, but I say it.”

Van Gerwen, whose most recent major ranking title came in this event in Coventry 12 months ago, will now face rival Peter Wright in the Quarter-Finals on Sunday afternoon.

The Dutchman vented his frustration at not being able to perform to his optimum as a result of the baltic conditions.

He added: “It’s not about me winning the game. I didn’t feel comfortable, Gary didn’t feel comfortable and a lot of the other players are not feeling comfortable. That’s not what you want.

“You have to deal with the circumstances, I know it makes it difficult, but on the other side when you winning games that’s the most important thing.

“But still, it makes you a little bit angry and I don’t like things like that.

“It’s a big tent, they can put 20 heaters in here.

“The weather is quite bad over here so it’s quite windy, you can’t do anything against that and venues like this aren’t really prepared for that.

“They keep playing here in winter time, we play here in March when the weather’s normally bad as well and now at the end of November.

“Let us play here in the summer or something, then it’s a bit different.

“I know it’s the same for everyone, but you want to show the crowd your best performance and when you’re not able to, you can blame yourself but this is nothing to do with myself, it’s to do with the circumstances.”

WATCH THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

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