The Dutchman has admitted he has been inspired by his achievements and would love to match that championship tally in his own sport of darts. “I get a lot of inspiration from my big friend Ronnie O’Sullivan, so he did well and I finally managed to do well too,” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports .
“It gives me big motivation. He’s been doing it for so many years and of course I want to do it for a long time as well. It takes a lot of doing, but when you’re able and your head is right, you definitely can do it.
“He’s been in the O2 before and to Ally Pally to watch me. It’s great. He’s a huge ambassador, not only for snooker, but for sport around the world.” Aged just 33 and already a three-time world champion, Van Gerwen certainly has the ability and time on his side to make his dream a reality.
However, he is being realistic with his expectations, as he cited his fellow competitors who will be standing in his way. “That would be nice, but it’s a bit too far away at the moment. I think there’s more competition in darts at the moment than snooker,” he said.
“Of course there’s people that can beat Ronnie, but there’s not many.” At the age of 24, van Gerwen became the youngest winner of the PDC World Championship, a record he still holds today, as well as being one of only five players to win it more than once.
Van Gerwen is the second most successful player in PDC history, behind Phil Taylor. He has won the most PDC Pro Tour events, winning 75 as of June 2019. He passed Taylor’s previous record of 70 in February 2019. It has been tougher for him in the last year, as he lost his number one ranking after seven years in 2021 and was forced to withdraw from the 2022 World Championship after testing positive for Covid.
But after winning the Players Championship 8 in March, van Gerwen is determined to reach the summit of the rankings once again. “I will be top soon, don’t worry,” he said after his latest triumph.
“I’m still favourite with the bookies. People have their own opinion, but if I still play my game it’s still tough to beat me and they all know that. They don’t admit it but that’s how life is.”