The World Darts Championship final is to be held tomorrow at Alexandra Palace with Scotsman Peter Wright on a mission to stop World Champion Michael Van Gerwen in his tracks!
Wright’s path to the final hasn’t been easy, he beat Filipino Noel Malicdem 3-2 in a sudden death in the first round. He faced Japanese player Seigo Asada in the second round and beat him 4-2 to progress to the third round where he beat Dutch man Jeffrey de Zwaan to secure a place in the quarter final against Luke Humphries. Wright did very well to beat Humphries 5-3 considering he was struggling to shrug off a bout of illness.
Yesterday Wright went head to head with World third seed Gerwyn Price at the Ally Pally after a controversial slagging where Price said he would take the first two sets after suggesting Wright wasn’t focused enough during the tournament.
Wright seemed to take this heart and set about the first set with grave concentration and tapped Price on the arm and spoke to him after taking the opener. When Price levelled at 1-1, he went into Wright’s path during an exuberant celebration.
Wright eased past third seed Price with 16 180s and a 98 average making it 6-3 at the end. Notably, neither Wright nor Price shook hands after it and it seemed to leave a bad taste in Wrights mouth. He told Sky Sports afterwards,
“I just focused, I’ve got to play better than that to win this, and I think I will.”
He added: “We were winding each other up before the match.
“[Price] said he was going to win the first two sets. I like him, but I didn’t appreciate what he did.
“That’s why I didn’t celebrate. He wanted me to concentrate, I concentrated, he lost.
“His average wasn’t that good. He was nowhere near me. It spurred me on.”
This isn’t the first time Price has made controversial statements about his opponents, he accused Simon Whitlock of “pathetic” slow play after beating the Australian 4-2 to reach the quarter-finals but in a social media post this morning he apologized to family and fans about his poor performance saying that he let Wright get to him after the first which is seems like fitting retribution, after all he started it.
Wright will thank Price for his sharpened focus and boy is he going to need it when he goes head to head with Michael Van Gerwen tomorrow! The last time Wright and MVG met in the World Championship Final, the Dutchman beat him 7-4 for his first world title.
The supremely confident 30 year old isn’t underestimating the older Scotsman saying “I think I can bring my A-game to the final”
“I haven’t had to produce my A-game yet. It’s nice to be in a final without reaching the top level.”
On facing Wright in tomorrow’s final, Van Gerwen said: “Peter is playing well and I have to make sure I give him a proper game.
“Me and Peter have history, we have played so many games together.
“Normally he’s runner-up in finals against me, so I hope I can keep it that way.”
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