Michael Van Gerwen Survives Scare In 4-3 Epic: The Dutchman came back from 3-1 down to beat Cullen to advance to the next round at the PDC.
Six of the World’s top ten players had already been claimed in the tournament thus far. Defending champion Peter Wright was one of those, with the biggest player Van Gerwen, almost losing out on Tuesday.
The three-time World champion faced Englishman Joe Cullen in what was a nail-biting affair. The thirty-one-year-old took a three sets to one lead after a bombardment of 180s. Van Gerwen rallied averaging 100.43 to keep up with the high flying Englishman.
However, Cullen then lost his throw in the fifth set giving Van Gerwen the advantage to draw level. The match was poised at three sets all with the Dutchman piling on the pressure. Cullen, who had a blistering start equaled the record for 180s in a seven-set game with nineteen.
However, in the deciding set his scoring dipped allowing Van Gerwen back into the match. Cullen missed two match darts in the final leg in the last set, both for the bullseye. Van Gerwen capitalised on this mistake and made it two legs all in the deciding set.
The Dutchman’s 180 to start the final leg left Cullen with a mountain to climb. He was unable to sustain the high scoring to keep up with Van Gerwen, now briming with confidence.
Van Gerwen Triumphs
The Dutchman seized the day and won the last leg for four sets to three victory. It was one of the greatest matches the Alley Palley has ever seen in the World Championship. The two players combined for a resounding total of twenty-eight 180’s.
The three-time World champion heaped praise on the young Cullen who narrowly lost out.
“He was playing phenomenal and he put me under pressure loads of times, and I had to do everything in my power to beat him.”
“I came back after the 3-1 break still with a lot of confidence, and I’m really glad I managed to do it. I had to keep up with him and it wasn’t easy.”
Van Gerwen advances on to the Round of 16 where he will face another Englishman Dave Chisnell. Despite losing in his best World Championship performance to date, Cullen walks away with a 35,000-pound payday to end the year.
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