Van Gerwen wins his first ranking title of 2023

Michael van Gerwen won his first ranking title of 2023 by defeating Josh Rock 8-4 in the final of the Players Championship 7 in Hildesheim on Sunday.

Van Gerwen began the ProTour double-header in Germany by winning the £12,000 top prize, his first Players Championship victory since April of last year.

Van Gerwen, who has won three Cazoo Premier League nights this year, claimed his first ranking victory of the year in style.

Van Gerwen’s performance at Halle 39 was his best away from the TV cameras, as he swept through the field before defeating World Youth Champion Rock in the decider.

Van Gerwen wins his first ranking title of 2023
Van Gerwen wins his first ranking title of 2023 (PDC)

“I had to work very hard,” admitted Van Gerwen. “I have six gears but I won it in fourth gear today.

 “I wasn’t playing well most of the day, but the games where I had to play well – to beat Dirk in the quarter-finals I played really well there, and against Josh in the final – I did it.

 “That gives you confidence and gives you pleasure but I wasn’t great today. Of course I want to play better but I did it whenever I had to do, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“They’re long days, very long days,” added the 33-year-old. “At this stage in my life, every tournament I compete in I want to win and it gets harder.

 “If you look at the floor tournaments nowadays there’s no easy games any more so I have to battle for every game, but overall I’m pleased with my win and that’s really important.

 “A lot has changed – everyone can play a 100+ average and that’s how good the tour is at the moment so that’s why you need to get focused.”


Van Gerwen cruised past Jacques Labre, Keegan Brown, Martin Lukeman, and Boris Krcmar in just seven legs to advance to the quarter-finals.

There, he hit 104.95 in a 6-4 victory over Dutch rival Dirk van Duijvenbode, before defeating former World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks by a two-leg margin in the semi-finals.

Van Gerwen faced the reigning World Youth Champion, Rock, in the final, with the Dutchman winning five of the next six legs to take a 5-2 lead.

Rock closed the gap to 5-4, but legs of 11 and 12 darts for Van Gerwen put him ahead 7-4 before clinching the title.

Northern Ireland’s Rock also had his best run in a ranking event this year, reaching the final and attempting to repeat his Players Championship 28 victory from 2022.

On the day, he had three ton-plus averages against Luke Woodhouse, Brendan Dolan, and Mario Vandenbogaerde, and he beat Premier League star Dimitri Van den Bergh and Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski in the finals.

Ratajski advanced to the semi-finals for the first time since last August, hitting three ton-plus averages in his five victories on the day.

Brooks advanced to his first ProTour semi-final with an impressive run that included victories over Devon Petersen, Chris Dobey, Gary Anderson, Callan Rydz, and Dave Chisnall – and he led Van Gerwen 4-2 before the Dutchman won five of the final six legs to win.

On Sunday, Northern Irish star Dolan won his second round match against Richard Veenstra with a nine-darter.

Other notable performances included Dave Chisnall’s 113.18 average in his third round win over Daryl Gurney, which outperformed Stephen Bunting’s (111.29) and Luke Humphries’ (110.30) averages in their second round victories.

2023 Players Championship 7

Sunday March 19, Halle 39, Hildesheim

Last 16

Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Luke Humphries

Josh Rock 6-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-3 Cam Crabtree

Mickey Mansell 6-5 Ross Montgomery

Dave Chisnall 6-3 Stephen Bunting

Bradley Brooks 6-4 Callan Rydz

Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Jeffrey Sparidaans

Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Boris Krcmar



Josh Rock 6-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Mickey Mansell

Bradley Brooks 6-4 Dave Chisnall

Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode



Josh Rock 7-3 Krzysztof Ratajski

Michael van Gerwen 7-5 Bradley Brooks



Michael van Gerwen 8-4 Josh Rock