World Darts Championship: Michael Smith primed for final step at last as Peter Wright eyes glory | Darts News


Peter Wright and Michael Smith will battle for the Sid Waddell Trophy

Three years after Michael Smith first appeared in a PDC World Championship final, “The Bully Boy” feels better equipped to claim the biggest title in darts.

Although Michael van Gerwen’s 7-3 win provided some tough lessons, they also proved invaluable for Smith as he prepares to face Peter Wright in tonight’s final at Alexandra Palace, live on Sky Sport Darts.

“I’ve never been to a final before,” said the 31-year-old.

“And I don’t know how to explain it, but I kept looking at the trophy. I know that in a final there will be again. I kept looking at it thinking, ‘you come home with me, you’ come home with me ‘.

“Instead of focusing on the work I had to do, I was thinking too much about that trophy. So in this World Cup, I know I keep looking ahead and concentrating on the work I have to do first.”

It was another missed accident for Smith, who missed out on every TV finals of his career. And he has since struggled to get back to that level, even by dropping out of the Premier League for 2021.

“I was seven [major finals] and I lost seven, and I never cried for it, I gave up. Again directly on the training board. And I’m back in the final again. That’s why I’m mentally stronger now. If I win this World Cup, the last seven finals would be nothing “, he added.

“My main goal this year was to get back in [World Championship] the final. I keep saying, it’s getting boring now, but I want to put things right. If, and I say if, in my mind I win, I will not be arrogant. If I don’t say it, you won’t believe me. If I don’t believe it, no one will believe it. “

If I don’t believe it, nobody will.

Smith is confident he can take the final step

Smith is eager to take his opportunity

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Smith is eager to take his opportunity

Smith is eager to take his opportunity

So is he a better player now than he was three years ago?

“I don’t know,” he replied. “But if I look at the stats from the 2019 World Cup, I thought I was probably playing better. But this year what I’m really proud of are my doubles. I don’t think my doubles have been that good. I was outperforming all of that. year, and I was giving myself a chance to lose and then come back for another. But this year, I feel like I’m scoring big and hitting double when I need it.

“Yes, I’ll miss some, that’s natural. But that’s not what I’m thinking about. I can’t change what I’ve done. I can only change my next three.”

Live Darts World Championship

January 3, 2022, 8:00 pm

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Snakebite aims for glory after Anderson’s epic victory

Wright reacts after beating Gary Anderson in a classic

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Wright reacts after beating Gary Anderson in a classic

Wright reacts after beating Gary Anderson in a classic

Wright is looking to join Phil Taylor, John Part, Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson and Van Gerwen in an exclusive club of players who have won multiple PDC World Championship titles.

He has made his move for the past few weeks, finding another gear at the right time. The 2020 champion averaged 104.38, boasted a 42.3% finishing percentage and hit a record 24 180 seconds in his 6-4 semi-final win over Anderson on Sunday night.

But even when he reached these levels, he was struggling hard to cross the line.

“Exhausted,” he said after the game. “I have a knee injury and now I have a strap. Burns like hell right now. But I need to rest. It should be fine for tomorrow.

“I knew that [the Anderson comeback] it was about to happen but I couldn’t stop it. What a game of darts. Phenomenal.

“I thought yesterday’s game against Callan (Rydz) was [tough], but getting a win over Gary Anderson, one of Scotland’s greatest darts players ever, and the way we both didn’t give up, was so hard. “

The tinkerer pitcher may be close to stumbling upon the winning formula with his darts.

“To be honest, it was the first time I used that set-up with the long tips, slightly longer stems,” he said.

“And I basically felt today that I could put them where I wanted. But I went up here and it was just on and off. I had a few spots of shine, and then I walked away.”

Mardle’s point of view: The best players have reached the final

Wayne Mardle says the two best players of the tournament reached the decision.

“Seems a bit appropriate. The pair of them, Smith and Peter Wright. They hit the highest number of 180. They’re the biggest 140 hitters. They both average over 100. The doubling stats are so amazing,” he said. She said.

“They both lost their first World Championship final to Michael van Gerwen. Will Michael Smith win his second? [final] how did Peter Wright do it? There are all these little kinds of stories, ‘is it destiny?’.

“Peter has a record 180, missed nines, has 42 per cent in doubles, so there is no weakness.

“I’m in the final. They are the two players, take away [everything], just look at the stats. They’re the best.

“They played their best. Peter said he needs to rest. He’s playing a man 20 years younger. We’ll see if that matters, because Michael seemed a little tired to me too.

“But what a final in store”.

Watch Michael Smith vs Peter Wright in the 2022 PDC World Championship final live on Sky Sports Darts & Main Event from 8pm Monday.

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