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Wizard casts spell over MVG

Whitlock shocks World No.1

SIMON WHITLOCK reckons he's getting better with age after dumping Michael van Gerwen out of the World Matchplay.

The Wizard of Oz raced into a 5-0 lead to stun the World No.1 who never managed to rediscover his composure.

MVG was simply not at the races and his finishing was way off his usual devastating standard in the Marshall Arena.

But for Whitlock it was sheer elation as he went on to wrap up a comfortable 11-4 win and set up a quarter-final with Gary Anderson.

He said: “I’m not even surprised I won because I’ve been playing amazing over the break. I’ve played online tournaments and won them.

“The only players I’m losing to are the likes of Michael Smith and Chizzy. I did believe I could beat Michael, I just believed in myself.

“It’s all down to practice and confidence. This break has done me the world of confidence you wouldn’t believe.

“I think I am getting better with age. I’m happy with my set-up for once. Normally I change my set-up, my flights but I’ve stuck with the same for six months now. 

“Yes I can win no doubt about it. I’m good enough I know I am. When I produce darts like that I just believe.”

Now Whitlock takes on Gary Anderson in a proper ‘old school’ quarter-final. The Aussie has dumped Ando at this stage before in a major, smashing him 5-1 in the Worlds eight years ago.

But the Wizard also believes that the lack of crowd is another big leveller. He added: “I still threw some bad darts hopefully I can produce another good game against Gary. He’s been a tough guy to beat in the past. I will just play the board again.

“I’ve dreamt about winning another big title and this could be the one again. 

“This is probably the third or fourth time coming. You’ve got to work hard at this game, nothing comes easy.

“There’s so many games you lose when you should have won. I never get lucky usually. I just love playing darts and my life, it’s so enjoyable.

“Without the crowds it sort of gives us outsiders a chance. Because the crowd usually get on their favourites and they make a massive influence on the match. No one had an influence on that game, I just played and won fair and square. I can win any game like that.

“Some players love the crowd and the crowd can work for them. I’m an Australian so I don’t often get the crowd behind me. I’m always playing English or Dutch. This can work for me.”

Words: Phil Lanning

Images: Taylor Lanning and Lawrence Lustig

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