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Michael van Gerwen prepared for Phil Taylor “mind games” in Grand Slam of Darts show-down

Van Gerwen and Taylor shake hands (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen insists he is ready to shrug off any gamesmanship from Phil Taylor in their Semi-Final show-down at the Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday.

Reigning and two-time Grand Slam champion Van Gerwen is bidding to extend his unbeaten run on the Wolves Civic stage to 20 matches by ending the hopes of his great rival in the Last Four.

The world number one has produced a series of stunning displays en route to the latter stages, including a thrilling 16-13 win over Rob Cross in Saturday's Quarter-Finals, and is now braced for a box office battle with the six-time Grand Slam king.

Taylor has been openly critical of a number of his darting rivals during the tournament, including MVG, but the Dutchman says he knows what to expect from 'The Power' both on and off the board on Sunday afternoon.

"I know Phil is going to try every trick in the book and I'm prepared for that," Van Gerwen told Live Darts.

"It's one of the things he does at the moment and you need to handle it, simple.

"It's just mind games, I don't really know why he does it.

"I only need to concentrate on my own game and I just want to show everyone that I'm the best."

Van Gerwen boasts a tournament average of 105 heading in to the contest and is bidding to avert a third straight televised defeat at the hands of the 57-year-old.

Taylor has won seven of the last ten meetings between the two and is out to maintain his recent head-to-head dominance in what could be the last ever competitive clash.

Van Gerwen, though, believes his form is peaking at the perfect time, with one eye also on his upcoming World Championship title defence.

"I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment because now is the time that you have to perform," he added.

"I don't want to let myself or my family down.

"Phil is the greatest player who ever lived, he's got so many titles.

"I don't want to give him a finger because he takes your hand off.

"Of course it's nice to beat Phil in any tournament but he's just one of the guys you have to beat if you want to lift the title.

"I've got a lot of respect for that man, but not on Sunday."


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Michael van Gerwen prepared for Phil Taylor “mind games” in Grand Slam of Darts show-down

Michael van Gerwen insists he is ready to shrug off any gamesmanship from Phil Taylor in their Semi-Final show-down at the Grand Slam of Darts on Sunday.

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