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‘Unbeatable’ Humphries demolishes MVG in German Grand Prix final

Luke Humphries claimed his sixth PDC European Tour title in spectacular style with glory over Michael van Gerwen in Monday’s NEO.bet German Darts Grand Prix final.

World Champion Humphries had picked up his maiden European Tour success in the German Darts Grand Prix two years ago, and recaptured the title to the delight of a sell-out crowd at Zenith.

Humphries had been outstanding in his second-round win over Luke Woodhouse on Sunday, and swept to glory on Easter Monday with four brilliant displays.

German Darts Grand Prix 2024
Image: Luke Humphries has made an impressive start to 2024

The World Champion – a winner of three Premier League nights during March – stated his intentions by opening Finals Day with a 111.63 average in his 6-2 third-round win over Ryan Joyce.

He repeated that scoreline in the quarter-finals against Danny Noppert – where he averaged 107 to Noppert’s 106 – and then saw off Premier League rival Gerwyn Price 7-3 in the semi-finals, as his average dipped to 99.93.

Results: German Darts Grand Prix

Quarter Finals: G Price (Wal) bt J Rock (NIrl) 6-5, L Humphries (Eng) bt D Noppert (Ned) 6-2, M Schindler (Ger) bt N Aspinall (Eng) 6-4, M van Gerwen (Ned) bt J Wattimena (Ned) 6-2

Semi Finals: L Humphries (Eng) bt G Price (Wal) 7-3, M van Gerwen (Ned) bt M Schindler (Ger) 7-2

Final: L Humphries (Eng) bt M van Gerwen (Ned) 8-1

Humphries was, though, almost unplayable in the final as he denied Van Gerwen a fourth German Darts Grand Prix title in an 8-1 romp against the world No 2, averaging 112.66 and taking out a second 170 finish of the event as he hit eight doubles from 13 attempts.

“I was just unbeatable there to be honest and I’m really, really proud of the way I’ve played this weekend,” Humphries said. “That’s the level you have to be to win nowadays. I felt a little bit tired against Gezzy but I kept going and that final against Michael felt effortless, it felt good.

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Humphries defeated Michael Smith in the final in Dublin last month to claim a third Premier League night victory of the season

“To put in performances like that in finals is obviously really pleasing but for me to pick up another European Tour title two years on since my first is really special. The crowd have been absolutely amazing for me, it’s something that I’m not used to but I really appreciate it – it meant a lot.”

How Humphries cruised to German victory

Van Gerwen took the final’s opening leg with a 14-darter, but that would be as good as it got for the Dutchman as Humphries levelled in the same manner before punishing a missed double eight with another 14-darter to break.

Humphries then took out 112 to move 3-1 up, fired in checkouts of 81 and 96 for 11-darters to put daylight between the pair and then landed another 14-darter for a 6-1 cushion.

A sensational 170 checkout – matching his high finish against Woodhouse on Sunday – moved Humphries to the brink of victory, and three missed doubles from Van Gerwen in the next allowed him in to seal the title.

German Darts Grand Prix 2024
Image: German Darts Grand Prix 2024

“I think the two best players in the world were fighting it out. I know 8-1 is a bit of a flattering score but me and Michael will have many finals in the future,” Humphries added. “The way I’ve played this weekend is the levels you have to be to win – that’s how crazy the game’s got and that’s how good you have to be to beat the likes of Michael.

“He’s been here for 10 years consistently one of the best players in the world and I look up to him a lot, so to beat him in another final is fantastic. I just love playing him, to be honest, he shows a lot of respect and it was a great final. That’s elite sport – sometimes it’s your day and today was my day.”

Van Gerwen had been bidding to claim a fourth German Darts Grand Prix title and a first ranking success since May, but was left with the £12,000 runner-up prize.

German Darts Grand Prix 2024
Image: Michael van Gerwen took positives from his runner-up finish in Germany

However, he had been in fine form himself during Sunday, whitewashing Joe Cullen with a 102 average in the last 16 and dropping only two legs apiece against Jermaine Wattimena and Martin Schindler in reaching the final.

“You need to perform really well if you want to beat him, we all know that,” Van Gerwen said. “Early doors in the game I had a few chances but my scoring wasn’t good enough and fair play to him.

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“I think at this moment he is the best player and we all have to face it, we have to battle but he also knows this is not going to run forever. He’s playing some cracking darts, I have to admit that.”

What’s next?

Premier League Darts now heads to the AO Arena in Manchester for Night 10 of the action on Thursday April 4.

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A look back at the best of the action from Night 9 of the Premier League in Belfast

Night 10 will see Nathan Aspinall vs Rob Cross start the night before Luke Littler faces van Gerwen, Michael Smith takes on Humphries, and Price is up against Peter Wright.

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Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday April 4 as Manchester is the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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