Van Gerwen underwent surgery a while ago. The Dutchman has been struggling with dental problems for a long time, for instance his jaws are not in the right position and so he had to go under the knife. Van Gerwen therefore played with braces this weekend, after finally having time for a holiday in August. ''I had a nice holiday with the family. Very precious. My children have six weeks' holiday and last year I could only have one week of that off, so this was quite nice.''
'Curious to see how I stand'
On form, critics say Van Gerwen is not performing well, partly because of the past three Players Championships where Van Gerwen has won just one match.
"I saw those more as training games. I need to get back into the rhythm to throw next tournaments well," explained MVG, referring to the upcoming World Grandprix and European Championships.
"I was especially curious this weekend to see how I would be doing."
On Saturday, Van Gerwen started moderately against William O'Connor (37), where he fell behind 3-0, but then he entertained the crowd as usual. Van Gerwen eventually beat the Irishman 6-4 in the round of 16.
Afterwards, little daughter Zoe came on stage and Van Gerwen always does that a lot.
"I think it's important that my children see what their daddy does, they have to learn that," said Van Gerwen holding his child in his arms at the interview.
"Also they have to see this once, then they also see that this is part of it."
About the match against O'Connor, he was clear: "Won, fine. I just want to win this weekend and I don't really care how. Tomorrow it has to be better."
Best match against Van den Bergh
And so Van Gerwen did just that. In the quarter finals, 'Mighty Mike' took on a strong Dimitri van den Bergh (29). The Belgian was especially good in the first two sessions. At 5-5 they went into the dressing rooms and after the break it was Van Gerwen who won the leg against the throw of Van den Bergh.
That break proved fatal for the Belgian as the final score was 10-8. 17 180s were thrown, which has never happened before in the World Series, and Van Gerwen recorded an average of 103.91.
Bizarre denouement in semi-final
In the evening session, he returned for the semi-final against Luke Humphries (28). Daughter Zoe was not there, after all, there is school on Monday and there is a need to sleep in time.
Van Gerwen's match started around 19:00 CET and became one for the books. After breaking the first leg in 11 darts, Van Gerwen played the perfect leg in the second. In other words: a nine darter.
Where the crowd normally goes crazy at such a moment, that was not the case here. The reason - the scoreboard did not cooperate, so not everyone noticed.
"It probably wasn't the most memorable, but it was very nice. I also understood there was something wrong with the scoreboard. Naja, fine. He counted," van Gerwen told Flashscore smiling.
Yet Humphries came back very handsomely and even took control. At 10-9 Cool Hand Luke had three match darts with a remaining score of eight. Double four on the inside, double two on the inside, double one on the outside.
Not as cool handed as his nickname suggests after all. Van Gerwen did check out 32 and it all came down to a decisive 21st leg, which the Englishman got to start.
With 92 left and Van Gerwen 97 he was first to go, but did not give himself a chance. Van Gerwen eventually checked out via double 10 and the relief he showed with a good roar and celebration with the crowd.
"I like to break hearts," he explained. "After all, that means I win. It's sad for Luke, but this one feels really good to me."
The final never really got going as Nathan Aspinall (32) did not play well. At 11-4, it was soon over and with an average of over 96, Van Gerwen was much better than his English opponent, who came to just 83.57.
"I really don't understand how he does this. It's unimaginable." Aspinall said after entering the press room. "As far as I am concerned, he is the very best in our sport. It's unimaginable how badly he wanted to win this one. I'm happy to share the podium again and if I favour anyone here, it's Michael.
"He is so dominant and today you can see again what kind of gear he comes in. Then he is so good, then he is unstoppable. What can I say, I was hopeless in the final. I'm happy with my performance this weekend and to have to give it up in the final, it said so."
Aspinall did get to credit some £30,000 through the victory. Not crazy for three days' work.
Van Gerwen got to credit some £70,000, also not negligible. ''In the end, I am very happy this weekend,'' Van Gerwen concluded. But Van Gerwen wouldn't be Van Gerwen if it wasn't followed by another critical note.
"I can do better, I know that. But this weekend it was enough. A nine-darter, twice above 100 average and winning the tournament in front of his own crowd. What more could you want?"
Beer at least not. Van Gerwen thanked the crowd afterwards and told them to raise a glass to victory together. But the Brabander himself does not need that beer. "I think beer is disgusting. Make me a glass of wine then."