Michael van Gerwen picked up his second European Tour title of the year in Graz on Sunday, defeating Danny Noppert 8-5 in the final of the Interwetten Austrian Darts Open.
Van Gerwen backed up his German Darts Championship win in March by defeating fellow-Dutchman Noppert in front of a capacity crowd at the Premstättner Halle to pocket the £25,000 winner’s prize.
The world number three ended last year with just one ranking title to his name, but already has four this time around as the three-time World Champion continues his resurgence in 2022.
“I always want to win, I always put pressure on my shoulders so to win this title means a lot,” said Van Gerwen, who now has 34 European Tour titles to his name.
“We all had to wait a long time to play this tournament again but this crowd made it worth the wait; they were phenomenal, not just for me but for everyone in the tournament.
“It was really hard to perform on stage because of the heat which makes me even more proud of myself to get this win.”
The tournament reached its climax with Finals Day on Sunday, with the last 16 taking place in the afternoon session before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in the evening.
Van Gerwen avenged Thursday’s Premier League loss to James Wade in the last 16 tie, coming through a last-leg decider to set up a quarter-final meeting with Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Van Gerwen’s most impressive display of the weekend saw him average 106.05 to earn a 6-1 win over his countryman, before seeing off Stephen Bunting 7-5 in the semi-finals.
The final saw Noppert fight back from 3-0 down, hitting a 120 checkout on the way, to level at 3-3 and the pair remained all square four legs later at 5-5.
The 12th leg proved decisive as Van Gerwen landed a 14-dart break of throw to open up daylight at 7-5, before following up with another 14-darter to seal victory.
The wait for a maiden European Tour title goes on for Noppert, who reached his first final having previously made the semi-finals on three occasions.
The UK Open champion enjoyed victories over Premier League leader Jonny Clayton, Joe Cullen and Nathan Aspinall en route to the final.
It was another encouraging weekend for Aspinall on his return from injury, defeating Madars Razma and Ricky Evans to reach the last four.