Michael Van Gerwen is determined to make sure the hard work he has put in to reach his fourth PDC World Darts Championship final ends with a third world title.
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 is hoping to win his third title and – after missing out on reaching the final 12 months ago – he has put the hours in to make sure he starts 2019 by lifting the Sid Waddell trophy.
“It’s to be a phenomenal game with Michael (Smith),” Van Gerwen told Sky Sports after beating Anderson.
“I’m to be a different player to Nathan Aspinall who had a phenomenal tournament.
“I have a phenomenal record against Michael and I’m looking forward to playing him.
“This (tournament) means the world to me. I’m working my nuts off every week, week after week.
“I do a lot to come to the stage and I’m really glad I’m in the final.
“The work is not done yet and I have to do more.”
The winner of Tuesday’s final takes 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),” Smith said.
“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 moment because I felt I was going to win after I went 4-3 up.
“I was so nervous and I nearly made a mess of it, but I’m so glad I held it together and got the job done.”