Simon Whitlock won 3-1 as he started his World Darts Championship campaign against a tricky opponent in Martin Schindler, the German debutant. It was a game though that was full of mixed doubles with ‘The Wizard’ missing 11 out of 39 but he still scraped through with an 87 average and the former finalist is relieved and has also set his sights high with a place in the world’s top 5 on his radar.

“I’m pleased and very relieved to get the win because I wasn’t at my best,” said Whitlock. “That was very ugly, I struggled a lot – I’ve been sick all week with the ‘flu and I just felt tired, weak and hot out there.

“I’ve got some fire in the belly and that’s what got me through in the end. I’ve seen a lot of good players go out and I did not want to be one of them.

“I’m ranked number ten in the world now I’ve had a great last 18 months winning five tournaments and playing really good darts. I’ve been working so hard trying to get back into the top ten and I’ve got there now.

“Ten’s not good enough for me; I want to be back in the top five again – I know I’m good enough.”

 

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