MICHAEL VAN GERWEN heads to Blackpool in search of a third BetVictor World Matchplay title.
The world number one kicks off his campaign against fellow Dutchman Jeffrey De Zwaan on Saturday 21 July with a couple of scores to settle.
The Dutchman surrendered his crown to Phil Taylor last summer and was beaten by De Zwaan at the UK Open Finals in March.
The twice World Champion is determined to gain revenge on his opponent before going on to lift the newly-named ‘Phil Taylor Trophy’ in honour of the now retired 16-time World Matchplay winner.
“Phil has been the man at the Matchplay in the past but I think my time is now,” said Van Gerwen, who has already picked up the Premier League and Masters titles in 2018.
“I have been dominating for the last four or five years to be fair, even before Phil retired, but it is important that I win more and more big titles like this and the World Championship.
“I know Phil’s records won’t be beaten but I want to show that this is my era.
“It would be nice to beat Jeffrey but not because he won against me at the UK Open but because I want to win every match and every tournament.
“Because he has beaten me he will be under a bit more pressure and it is his first time at the Matchplay so he could be nervous but I am comfortable and confident that I will win.
“I love the format, the venue and the tournament. I think it suits me and, like the bookies and the rankings say, I think I am the man to beat.”
‘Matchplay Men’ is a series of preview articles by Chris Murphy, featuring the eight MODUS-represented players who are featuring in the 2018 BetVictor World Matchplay.
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