Michael van Gerwen wins his first ranking title of the year at Players Championship 7

World number three Van Gerwen started the ProTour double-header in Germany by winning the £12,000 top prize for a first Players Championship win since April last year.

The success saw Van Gerwen – the winner of three Cazoo Premier League nights so far in 2023 – claim his first ranking triumph of the year in style.

Runner-up at the UK Open two weeks ago, Van Gerwen’s performance in Hall 39 was his best off-camera performance as he swept through the field before beating World Youth Champion Rock in the decider.

“I had to work very hard,” admitted Van Gerwen. “I have six gears, but I won today in fourth gear.


“I didn’t play well for most of the day, but the games I had to play well in – to beat Dirk in the quarterfinals I played really well there, and against Josh in the final – I did it.

“It gives you confidence and makes you happy, but I wasn’t great today. Of course I want to play better, but I did it whenever I had to, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Unlike the UK Open, Van Gerwen hadn’t won beyond the quarter-finals in any ranking event this year but was pleased with his overall performance of seven wins on Sunday.

“These are long days, very long days,” added the 33-year-old. “At this stage in my life, I want to win every tournament I enter and it’s getting harder and harder.

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“If you look at the floor tournaments these days, there are no easy games anymore, so I have to fight for every game, but overall I’m happy with my win and that’s really important.

“A lot has changed – anyone can play a 100+ average and that’s how good the tour is at the moment so you have to focus.”

Van Gerwen sped past Jacques Labre, Keegan Brown, Martin Lukeman and Boris Krcmar to drop just seven legs to secure his place in the Quarters.

There he posted his highest average of the day at 104.95 in a superb 6-4 win over Dutch rival Dirk van Duijvenbode before beating former World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks by two legs in the semi-finals.

In the final, Van Gerwen faced the reigning World Youth Champion in Rock, who won the first leg before the Dutchman won five of the next six to take a 5-2 lead.

Rock closed the gap to 5-4, but legs of 11 and 12 darts for Van Gerwen pushed him away 7-4 before ending the title.

Rock, from Northern Ireland, also had his best run at a ranking event that year, reaching the final as he attempted to replicate his 2022 Players Championship 28 win.

The youngster averaged more than three tons that day – against Luke Woodhouse, Brendan Dolan and Mario Vandenbogaerde – and edged out Premier League star Dimitri Van den Bergh and Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski in the closing stages.

Ratajski reached a semifinal for the first time since last August, averaging a trio of more than a tonne in his five wins on the day.

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Former rising star Brooks won his first ProTour semi-final in an impressive run that saw him defeat Devon Petersen, Chris Dobey, Gary Anderson, Callan Rydz and Dave Chisnall – and he led Van Gerwen 4-2 before the Dutchman won five of those to win the last six legs.

Sunday’s action also included a nine-darter from Northern Ireland star Dolan in his second-round win over Richard Veenstra.

Other notable performances included a 113.18 average from Dave Chisnall in his third-round win over Daryl Gurney, matching the average of Stephen Bunting (111.29) and Luke Humphries (110.30) in their victories in the second round surpassed.

The Players Championship double-header in Hildesheim concludes on Tuesday with the PC8 starting at 1pm local time (12pm GMT), streamed worldwide via PDCTV and bookmakers’ websites.

2023 Players Championship 7 results

From the last 16

last 16

  • Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Luke Humphries
  • Josh Rock 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde
  • Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Cam Crabtree
  • Mickey Mansell 6-5 Ross Montgomery
  • Dave Chisnall 6-3 Stephen Bunting
  • Bradley Brooks 6-4 Callan Rydz
  • Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Jeffrey Sparidaans
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Boris Krcmar

quarter finals

  • Josh Rock 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Mickey Mansell
  • Bradley Brooks 6-4 Dave Chisnall
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode


  • Josh Rock 7-3 Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Bradley Brooks


  • Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Josh Rock

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