Michael van Gerwen insists there is ‘more to come’ after defeating Luke Littler for the second time in two weeks. The Dutchman’s nail-biting win over Littler on night two of the Premier League in Berlin banked him a £10,000 weekly winner bonus as he held his nerve to convert in the deciding leg.
The first professional meeting between the pair – in the final of the Bahrain Darts Masters last month – went the way of Littler. Van Gerwen has seemingly taken it upon himself to knock the 17-year-old off his perch ever since, toppling him in the Dutch Darts Masters final and in the Premier League on Thursday.
Littler beat Rob Cross and Luke Humphries to make it to the night’s showpiece final at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where he and Van Gerwen went the distance in front of a revved-up crowd.
‘Mighty Mike’ ultimately came out on top in a 6-5 victory worth £10k, and potentially much more once the final Premier League standings are determined, to follow Michael Smith’s win in Cardiff last week.
Ominously for Littler, who missed two match darts, the Dutchman claims he still has gears to go through despite averaging north of 110 for much of Thursday’s final showdown. “I’m playing really well and in the important moments I was able to keep the pressure on my opponents,” he told Sky Sports.
“I feel good but there is more to come. I thought it was a fantastic night for darts. I’m really pleased with my own performance today, finally I was able to give it the final push.
“In this format, in the Premier League, you have to be good week after week. It’s non-stop and I think that was good for me. I was always putting energy into my game and that helps me in the long run. It is only week two. Everyone was saying ‘last week you lost in the first round!’ Don’t worry, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
Smith leads the way after two weeks of Premier League action, with four matches won in total. Van Gerwen and Littler are next up on five points apiece, with Gerwyn Price currently occupying fourth spot.
After 16 weeks, the top four will take part in the play-offs and fight for the top prize of £275k. As an extra sweetener, the winner of each week’s mini tournament takes home a £10k bonus pot.
Littler, who turned 17 only last month, earned £200k for making it to the World Darts Championship final at Alexandra Palace and another £20k for clinching the Bahrain Darts Masters in his very next tournament.