Michael Van GERWEN is determined to make sure the hard work he has put in to reach his fourth PDC World Championship final ends with a third world crown.
The 29-year-old set up a New Year’s Day decider with Michael Smith by thrashing Gary Anderson 6-1 in his semi-final after Smith booked his first final appearance with a 6-3 win over Nathan Aspinall at Alexandra Palace.
Van Gerwen, after missing out on reaching the final 12 months ago, has put the hours in as he looks to make sure he starts 2019 by lifting the Sid Waddell trophy.
“It’s to be a phenomenal game with Michael (Smith),” said van Gerwen. “I have a phenomenal record against Michael and I’m looking forward to playing him.
“This (tournament) means the world to me. The work is not done yet and I have to do more.”
The winner of tonight’s final will take home a cheque for £500,000.
Smith admits he had to overcome nerves in the early stages of his semi-final with Aspinall before the 28-year-old edged closer to fulfilling his dream of being crowned world champion.
“It sounds so good to be in the final,” said Smith. “I’m one step away from fulfilling my dream.
“The first two sets I was cruising and he (Aspinall) started to come back and I was like, ‘oh, I’ve got to start doing something now’.
“Nathan got better and better and better, but I took the chances as they came.
“I think the seventh set was the crucial one when I went 4-3 ahead. I’m so glad I held it together and got the job done.”