Michael van Gerwen sets new record on his way to PDC final
His opponent, Raymond van Barneveld, was inconsolable after his loss.09:28 Monday 2 January 2017, 9:28 2 Jan 2017
Two Dutch stars met on the oche on Sunday night, and set an incredible standard for Monday's final of the PDC World Championship.
The clash between Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen is already being referred to as a classic, and the numbers show that is not an exaggeration.
Van Gerwen’s average of 114.05 was well ahead of the 111 that Phil Taylor previously set back in 2002, and while Raymond van Barneveld played brilliantly, he was simply unable to keep up with that level of accuracy.
With an average of 109.34, Barney was hardly a slouch himself, and it will be little consolation that he set the highest losing average for the tournament.
Van Gerwen's determination to win the title is not in question, as he prepares to take on Gary Anderson in the final.
"My hands are still empty," said Van Gerwen. "The final is all that counts. I made my goal very clear, and anyone in my path needs to get out of my way."
It is by no means a clear path to victory for the Dutchman however, as Anderson is not only the reigning champion, but comes into Monday's match-up looking for his 18th consecutive win at the tournament.
Speaking after his loss, Van Barneveld was clearly devastated, stating that he had made a promise to his young grandson that he would bring the trophy back for him.
He wears the name of his first grandchild, Mason, on his sleeve, and he told Sky Sports that he was considering packing it all in after playing as well as he did, only to end up losing.
"To be here, with Christmas, with [Mason's] birthday, not there at home... New Year's Eve, you know, to get your daughter crying on the phone: 'Why are mum and dad not here?'. It costs a lot of energy."
"Of course, on Facetime you can say happy New Year, but it's different. My family is missing me and I'm missing them with my career. I try to do my best, but I'm not good enough anymore."
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now