The World Number One Michael Van Gerwen has announced his return to the circuit following a month off and issued a statement on his website suggesting he has "even more motivation to win" as he aims to continue his remarkable 2017. The Dutchman has recently become a father for the first time and opted to spend August with his young family as opposed to competing in various tournaments around the world.
Mighty Mike returns refreshed following his time away from the sport to compete in front of a partisan home crowd in Maastricht before facing fellow countryman Raymond Van Barneveld in the upcoming Champions League of Darts which is held in Cardiff on the 16th of September. He's been drawn in Group A alongside Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis.
Van Gerwen said he was "looking forward to competing again" following the birth of his daughter Zoe and is aiming to continue his dominance in the world of darts. He started the calendar year with success at Alexandra Palace wrapping up the PDC World Championships for the second time in his career and continued his good form when sealing his second successive Premier League title beating Peter Wright in the final.
The Dutchman starts the majority of tournaments at an odds-on price and has already been chalked up as favourite for this year's World Championships with Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Phil Taylor all fancied to lay down a challenge in this year's event.
MVG was last seen at the World Matchplay in Blackpool where he was thrashed 16-6 by eventual champion Phil Taylor with the 56-year-old securing his 16th title at the iconic Empress Ballroom at the end of July. The Dutchman uncharacteristically struggled to finish and crashed out of the tournament at the Quarter Final Stage. He was booed by a section of the crowd who vehemently declared their support for the soon-to-retire Taylor with Van Gerwen declaring the defeat as "painful" when questioned by reporters. He had been victorious during the two previous staging’s of the event but was unable to retain his crown on this occasion, suggesting that he wasn't "feeling 100%".
The three-time Masters winner celebrated his birthday on the 26th of August and is hoping to continue where he left off. He opted to skip the Auckland and Melbourne Masters events as well as two Players Championship meetings but has made a decent start at the Dutch Darts Masters as he aims to defend his title.
The World Number One is always popular in the betting prior to any tournament but savvy punters often look at various different markets in a bid to seek value - Sports Predictor is one of the key sites for results on all sports, offering analysis and betting tips from dedicated professionals. Darts bettors have made plenty of profit from backing Michael Van Gerwen over the past five years and he is always likely to reach the latter stages of any major tournament.
MVG must regain his focus ahead of a busy couple of months on the PDC Circuit and his month away should have him re-calibrate and shake off that difficult defeat in Blackpool. He remains the player to beat and he is likely to dominate the sport for many years to come.