Michael van Gerwen has said he does not blame the crowd for his 16-6 defeat to Phil Taylor in the World Matchplay quarter-finals.
The world number one saw his bid to become only the second player to win three consecutive World Matchplay titles come to an end on Friday night, as Taylor handed the defending champion one of his heaviest ever losses.
The crowd at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool were firmly behind Taylor, who this week is playing in the World Matchplay for the final time before retiring at the end of the current season.
But van Gerwen, speaking to RTL7 after the defeat, admitted: “I wasn’t 100 per cent and that’s my fault. I have to accept it, even though it’s painful.
“The last 10 legs or so felt like torture but Phil played well. He took every chance to hurt me and I didn’t – I didn’t take any chances at all and that hurts, but I have to deal with that.
“My form wasn’t there and it wasn’t there in the first two matches as well. Looking at my average of 101 it’s not good enough when you play Phil – I missed so many doubles, I was poor.
“I don’t blame the crowd. These things happen in Rotterdam, Aberdeen and Germany as well and when you’re 100 per cent focused you can deal with that.”
Van Gerwen’s defeat to Taylor was his first loss in a televised ranking match since losing in a thriller to Raymond van Barneveld in the 2016 World Championship on December 29, 2015.
Since that defeat, van Gerwen had won the UK Open, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, European Championship, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals in 2016, followed by a second world title at the start of this year.
The 28-year-old is not scheduled to return to action now until early September, as he misses the World Series of Darts triple-header in Auckland, Melbourne and Perth with his wife Daphne due to give birth to their first child later this summer.
“I’m taking a month off now, Daphne is giving birth to our daughter soon and I’m looking forward to that very much,” van Gerwen said.
“After that month I’ve got to focus again on the darts and make sure I’m ready for the upcoming tournaments.”