Steve Beaton is poised to enter the World Matchplay for the 19th time – and he isn’t done yet.
The Bronzed Adonis takes on Mensur Suljovic in the first round in Blackpool. Beaton has appeared in all but two World Matchplay events since his 1998 debut. He only has a 2001 semi-final and two quarter-finals to show for it, however, and his aim is to go one step further.
“It’s great, I just wish I could win it – that’s the dream,” Beaton told Live Darts.
“I’ll give it a go, I’m playing well enough, so we’ll see how it goes.”
The upper hand
The Coventry-born ace has a supreme record against Suljovic. In eight ties against the Austrian, Beaton has never lost, though he has faced his World Matchplay opponent just once in the last two years.
“I don’t know if Mensur’s ever beaten me, the ball’s in his court. I’ll just play my own game and see how it goes,” he said.
1996 world champion Beaton also praised the setting for his opener, Blackpool’s famous Winter Gardens.
“Great venue,” Beaton said of the Winter Gardens. “Nice high ceiling, so you don’t feel as cramped as in other venues, and always get a super crowd.”
No plans to slow down
When questioned about the possibility of retiring in the near future, the 54-year-old made it clear that quitting the game is not in his plans.
“As long as they keep paying me, I’ll keep playing,” he quipped.
“When it starts costing me money then I’ll probably knock it on the head, but at the moment everything’s going well, so I’ll keep going.
“I wouldn’t keep playing the game if I didn’t think I was good enough.”
Author: Ed McCosh