Luke Littler’s bid to win back-to-back World Series titles was dashed by Michael van Gerwen in the final of the Dutch Darts Masters in Den Bosch.
Littler was beaten 8-6 by the three-time world champion, who had fallen to the 17-year-old in the final in Bahrain last weekend.
With nothing to split the pair after the first 12 legs, Littler missed two darts at double eight to break van Gerwen’s throw and leave him one leg from another title.
🟢 MvG IS THE BOSS OF DEN BOSCH! 🇳🇱
Michael van Gerwen defeats Luke Littler 8-6 in the Dutch Darts Masters final to clinch glory on home soil! 🏆
The Dutchman had to produce his best display of the tournament to edge out the teenager in a thrilling final! 👏
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 27, 2024
Instead van Gerwen nudged one leg away, and needed a single chance to take out an 85 finish and bring Littler’s winning run to an end.
Littler had started his campaign on Saturday by gaining revenge over Luke Humphries, who denied him in the world final at Alexandra Palace last month.
Littler trailed 4-2, but hit back to claim a dramatic 6-5 victory with an 88 checkout on the bull.
The Warrington man then beat Gerwyn Price – who had missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish in his last-eight win over Kevin Doets – 7-4 to book his return to a World Masters final.
In contrast, van Gerwen had looked below-par in back-to-back victories over Raymond van Barneveld and Gian van Veen – but stepped up when it mattered.
Van Gerwen told ITVX: “This is what people like to watch – he put me under so much pressure.
“Luke Littler is going to have a bright future, we all know that, but you still have to do the right thing against him. His scoring power is immense and you have to keep fighting.”