Michael van Gerwen just missed the title at the UK Open on Sunday. The three-time world champion missed a match dart in the final and was surprised 10-11 by Englishman Andrew Gilding in a thriller.
The 33-year-old Van Gerwen is 38 places higher than Gilding on the world ranking, but he had a hard time with ‘Goldfinger’ in the final battle. With a finish of 135, the Brabant player did make the first break, but then fell behind 2-4.
Van Gerwen was not upset and took a 6-4 lead thanks to a finish of 130. Gilding, who was in the final of a major tournament for the first time, did not give up and came back to level at 9-9.
In the nineteenth leg Van Gerwen led 10-9 thanks to an impressive finish of 170 and looked set to claim his first title of the year. But Gilding fought back and forced a decisive leg.
Van Gerwen got a match dart, but he missed the double sixteen. The 52-year-old Gilding then hit double twenty and booked the best victory of his career.
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Van Gerwen won the UK Open three times before
Van Gerwen averaged 96.74 per three darts and hit 32.26 percent of his doubles. Gilding set an average of 95.46 and a double percentage of 40.74.
Van Gerwen did win the UK Open in 2014, 2017 and 2019. In 2013 and 2020 he was also in the final battle of the tournament in Minehead, England, but then he lost, just like on Sunday.
In the past two weeks, Van Gerwen has been the strongest in the Premier League rounds in Dublin and Exeter, but he is still waiting for his first title in 2023. At the beginning of this year, ‘Mighty Mike’ reached the World Cup final, in which he defeated Michael Smith lost.