Anderson: I’ve not got any high hopes

Anderson kicked off his bid for a third World Championship crown with victory over two-time winner Lewis; The Scot was using new darts at Alexandra Palace, and he’ll take on either Ian White or Chris Landman in round three

Last Updated: 17/12/21 8:32am

'The Flying Scotsman' continued his remarkable record at Alexandra Palace with victory over Lewis

‘The Flying Scotsman’ continued his remarkable record at Alexandra Palace with victory over Lewis

Gary Anderson played down his World Championship chances after easing past Adrian Lewis in a battle of the two-time world champions at Alexandra Palace on Thursday night.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ was pitted against his old adversary Lewis in a fascinating second-round showdown, after the Stoke-on-Trent star battled past Matt Campbell on the opening night.

In a repeat of the 2011 and 2016 finals, Lewis drew first blood in an edgy opening set, but Anderson came roaring back, winning nine of the next ten legs to book his place in round three.

The Scot was using new darts against ‘Jackpot’ and despite an unconvincing start, the sixth seed maintained his remarkable record of never losing his first game in the sport’s showpiece event.

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“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ade – he’s one of the good guys as I call them,” Anderson told Michael Bridge post-match.

“I’m trying a new set of darts. On the practice board they’re going well; a bit iffy up there.

“The doubles were alright, the scoring wasn’t quite there, but the doubles when I needed them, they went in.”

Anderson is featuring in his 20th World Championship across both codes, but he’s not made a televised quarter-final since succumbing to Gerwyn Price in last year’s finale.

'The Flying Scotsman described his performance with his new darts as 'iffy'

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‘The Flying Scotsman described his performance with his new darts as ‘iffy’

‘The Flying Scotsman described his performance with his new darts as ‘iffy’

The world No 6 will return to play either Ian White or Chris Landman after the Christmas break, and he revealed he was relishing the rare opportunity to celebrate his birthday at home.

“I’ve just got to try and play darts with this noisy bunch behind me! It’s got to be each game as it comes, I’ve not got any high hopes, but we’ll just throw.

“Usually you play about two or three games before Christmas, now I’ve played one game and I’m actually going to have my birthday at home for the first time in nine years!”

Thursday’s clash was billed as a blockbuster tie between two darting juggernauts, and while Lewis showed glimpses of his brilliant best, he was punished for a lack of consistency.

Gary Anderson produced a fabulous double-double 92 finish during his 3-1 victory over Adrian Lewis

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Gary Anderson produced a fabulous double-double 92 finish during his 3-1 victory over Adrian Lewis

Gary Anderson produced a fabulous double-double 92 finish during his 3-1 victory over Adrian Lewis

The 36-year-old was impressive in seeing off Canadian qualifier Campbell on Wednesday evening, but his latest setback sees him plummet to 38th on the PDC Order of Merit.

“Gary was just better than Adrian Lewis. Unfortunately, Adrian couldn’t replicate what he did against Matt Campbell,” Mardle told Sky Sports.

“Set one was the real dodgy, kind of nervy, iffy one that Ade nicked, and you’re thinking is he going to settle from there, and is it going to put Gary off?

“I’m not going to say Gary was struggling with the darts, but they certainly weren’t going in with full force, they were not sitting as he would like them.”

However, Mardle hailed Anderson’s ‘ridiculous’ natural talent, insisting the 50-year-old will ‘learn a lot’ from his victory over Lewis.

Wayne Mardle feels Gary Anderson will have learnt a lot from using his new darts against Adrian Lewis

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Wayne Mardle feels Gary Anderson will have learnt a lot from using his new darts against Adrian Lewis

Wayne Mardle feels Gary Anderson will have learnt a lot from using his new darts against Adrian Lewis

“He mentioned afterwards: ‘They’re alright on the practice board’. It’s weird you know – you can really like something, but then you get under pressure, and your hand and fingers just don’t work as you’d like, and you start to hold the dart a bit differently.

“I am assuming that is what happened with Gary but he is so good, it didn’t even matter! It is ridiculous the talent.

“Gary got through that and he will learn a lot from the darts, whether he sticks with them I’ve got no idea, but again he is telling us that he doesn’t practice.

“I still don’t believe it! You cannot always be that good just by getting up and picking up a dart, can you?”

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