- Van Gerwen beat Luke Littler 6-5 in semi-finals as rivalry continues
- Littler won his first World Series title after winning the Bahrain Masters.
- Michael van Gerwen won for the third consecutive week in the Premier League Darts
Michael van Gerwen has demanded an end to “stupid questions” being asked of Luke Littler in a bid to ease the pressure on the teenager’s shoulder.
The 17-year-old has enjoyed a banner few months after bursting onto the scene at the World Championships last year. A streak that took him to the final at Alexandra Palace.
Littler captured his first World Series title after defeating Van Gerwen in Bahrain. However, the Dutchman has responded in kind with victories in each of his last three matches.
The most recent came in a 6-5 Premier League Darts semi-final at Newcastle on Thursday before Van Gerwen defeated Nathan Aspinall in the final.
The three-time world champion responded to questions about Littler during his post-event press conference, where he implored the media to back off from the young star.
Michael van Gerwen beat Luke Littler 6-5 in the semi-finals of the Premier League Darts in Newcastle this week
The three-time Premier League champions claimed their third win of the season after beating Nathan Aspinall in the final.
He began by jokingly responding to a journalist who noticed a growing rival between the couple. He said, “Not really, I keep hitting him.”
“He’s a phenomenal player,” Van Gerwen added. He has a lot of talent and a great career ahead of him.
But as I always say, take a little pressure off. Don’t ask too many stupid questions. Just let him enjoy what he does and it will make him a better player in the long run.
“He’s a young kid, how much pressure the press and everyone puts on his shoulders, it’s crazy.”
The three-time Premier League champions recorded a 6-4 victory over Aspinall, who were playing in their first final of the season.
Littler has already signed major endorsement deals, including a reportedly multimillion-dollar deal with fashion retailer boohooMan.
Littler burst onto the darts radar with his performances at Alexandra Palace during the World Darts Championship last year.
Van Gerwen is now eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table, with opening night winner Michael Smith second on seven points.
Littler is in third place with seven but is yet to earn a stop in the series, with Rob Cross completing the top four with six points.
The youngster’s meteoric rise was again highlighted with the announcement that he had signed a first professional contract and launched his own range of darts products.
This comes after he signed a deal with boohooMAN earlier this year, which is believed to be a multi-million dollar deal, based on potential bonuses and profits he could earn in the coming years, as well as a percentage of sales.