Michael van Gerwen admitted he was “gutted” to suffer another early exit at the World Matchplay after crashing out at the hands of red hot debutant Glen Durrant in Round Two on Tuesday.
Van Gerwen, who was beaten in Round One by Jeffrey De Zwaan last year, saw his poor run of results continue as an inspired Durrant put him to the sword by the seaside.
The Dutch star entered the ‘battle of the World Champions’ on the back of eight consecutive individual averages of below 100 for the first time since 2011, and though he averaged a solid 98.6, he was left to rue crucial missed chances as ‘Duzza’ edged over the line 13-11 in a classic.
Van Gerwen has now exited his last four tournaments prior to the Quarter-Final stage but admitted he only had himself to blame for not finishing off the Middlesbrough marksman.
“I started off not how I could have done, I was a little bit poor and he took advantage of that,” said the world number one.
“I missed a few chances and he always takes advantage, that’s what he does, he’s a good player and everyone respects him in the PDC.
“I shouldn’t put myself in this position, I missed too many chances and if I put myself in a good position I need to finish it off and for some reason I was unable to do that.
“Fair play to him, but I only can blame myself for this.”
Durrant, buoyed by a vocal Blackpool crowd including a large Teesside contingent, settled quickly to establish leads of 6-4 and 8-5, before MVG turned the match on its head to move 10-9 up.
However, the two-time World Matchplay champion failed to close out the win as ‘Duzza’ dug deep to battle back and compete a memorable tie break triumph.
Van Gerwen, whose last tournament win came in the Premier League two months ago, added: “It’s been a tough few weeks.”
“It wasn’t 100 per cent again and you always need to play 100 per cent if you want to win a game.
“I’m gutted for this, I’m a winner and I don’t like to lose, simple.
“I’m absolutely annoyed with myself.
“It’s one of the biggest tournaments of the year and you always want to perform as well as you can but I was a little bit short today.
“I need to get back to the practice board and make sure I’m stronger next time.”
Durrant is now joint 9/2 second favourite for the title with tournament sponsors Betfred
, with Rob Cross installed as 4/1 favourite for a maiden Blackpool crown.