MICHAEL VAN GERWEN admitted he was below his best but the Dutchman did more then enough to defeat Steve Beaton in the first round of the Betfred World Matchplay on Sunday evening.
The Dutch star returned to Blackpool looking to win the prestigious event for the third time and saw off veteran ace Beaton 10-6 in his opener.
“I feel good but my doubles can be better,” said Van Gerwen, a two-time World Matchplay winner. “I was poor on my doubles but sometimes this happens and I have to move on.
“I’m still in the tournament and I won the game but I could have played a lot better than this. My level is quite high and I always put a lot of pressure on myself.
“You have to accept that you’re not a robot but I put all my time into this game so that I can perform, and when I don’t perform it hurts. I think I want it too much.”
Van Gerwen, who suffered a shock defeat in the first round in 2018, will take on Glen Durrant in a mouthwatering last 16 tie on Tuesday as the reigning PDC & BDO World Champions go head-to-head.
There was disappointment for MODUS duo Danny Noppert and Joe Cullen who lost out to Gary Anderson and Ian White respectively.
Monday sees five MODUS stars in action with Keegan Brown, Jonny Clayton, John Henderson, Simon Whitlock and Vincent van der Voort all playing their first round ties.