Preparation, preparation and more preparation – that’s the mantra that Simon Whitlock has adopted in his bid to challenge for the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
Fresh from winning his first major PDC title at the European Championship in September, Whitlock is in form and produced a dogged display to edge a seven-set thriller against Dave Chisnall on Thursday in the third round.
Whitlock is now joint fourth favourite for the title overall at 8/1.
Victory over Chisnall earned Whitlock a quarter-final tie against Raymond van Barneveld on Friday night and the popular Aussie feels the experience of claiming the European Championship crown puts him in with a chance of winning the biggest prize in darts.
He said: “I’ve got a bit more confidence from winning that and a lot more belief that I can get the big win – a world championship.
“I’ve put a lot of work in the last six weeks I’ve been preparing for this tournament. I’m better prepared than last year and I’m probably playing worse than I did last year with a broken leg.
“I’m full of determination and desire to win this tournament and I’m dedicated as well – I put a lot of work in. Hopefully I’ll keep going all the way to the end.
“I’m feeling very confident. I just play one match at a time.”
Whitlock’s pulsating win over Chisnall included a 152 checkout that proved crucial during his 4-3 success.
Added Whitlock: “It was a bit of a funny game.
“We didn’t play the best darts in the world, but we both kept hanging in there and doing good things at the right time. There was plenty of drama.”
While the 2010 finalist’s nerves were tested against Chisnall, Van Barneveld clinically dispatched Gary Anderson 4-0 in round three.
The Dutchman, who won the PDC World Darts Championship in 2007, is pleased with his recent performances, but is wary of Whitlock.
“Simon is tough to beat,” the Dutchman told Ladbrokes.
“That fantastic 152 finish he did [against Dave Chisnall] to hold his throw in that top-16 match makes you one of the best players in the world.
“Hitting that finish when Dave Chisnall was leaving 90 was fantastic.
“He’s hard to beat. He’s very stable. He’s a good scorer. He’s a good finisher, so it’s the same as Gary Anderson. I know if I can finish and if I can play well that I can beat anyone I want.”
Please Note: All Odds and Markets are correct at the time of publishing