Van Gerwen fires a message to anyone who thinks of taking his World Grand Prix crown “It’s not going to happen. I’m going to smash them all!”
The Dutchman, who won the World Grand Prix for the sixth time in 2022, got off to a flying start, clinching legs in 14 and 12 darts on his route to the first set, with Rock picking up his lone leg in response.
Van Gerwen’s dominance continued in the second set as Rock slowed, and he pushed his way to the next three legs to win victory with an average of 95.7 and a 75% success rate on the concluding doubles.
“It’s not going to happen,” joked Van Gerwen. “The format gets longer and longer after tonight and that won’t do [my opponent] any favours.
“You are going to have a tough opponent in the next game, but I just need to believe in my ability which is what I am doing at the moment and that is maybe why I am playing so well.”
”To start off with a performance like this against a player of that calibre, it gives you confidence,” Van Gerwen commented to the press after the match. “First round in this tournament is always tricky whoever you’re going to draw, look how many good players have lost already.”
”I started off with the nice 160, my doubles were top class. But you just need to win the game and that’s the most important thing in the first round of the World Grand Prix.”
‘We all know Josh, he come as a rocket but he still is a little patch now and it’s not easy. I think he already can be proud of what he achieved,”
”I’m going to smash them all!” Van Gerwen said with a laugh. Then in a slightly more serious tone:
”Of course you never know what’s going to happen. I’m not going to throw an opening percentage of 50 percent every match with a double-double percentage of 75 percent. I’m going to try to put in another good performance in the next game. That’s going to be tough, but I know I can do it.”