Jeffrey de Zwaan is one of six debutants at this year’s PDC World Matchplay.

The young Dutchman owes his participation in the summer tournament in Blackpool especially to victory at a Pro Tour tournament in Wigan. In late April, De Zwaan made Players Championship 10 the biggest title of his burgeoning career. It was yet more confirmation that ‘The Black Cobra’ has the potential to become a future star.
The Dutchman already created a stir this year by defeating Michael van Gerwen in the UK Open. The same Van Gerwen is now his opponent in the first round of the World Matchplay. De Zwaan holds mixed feelings about this draw, he tells
” I didn’t swear, but I said something like ‘oh, not again’. In recent years I have had little luck with my draws in televised tournaments,” he said.
“But I’ve beaten him before, so why not again? If you want to win the tournament, you have to beat everybody. You should always rely on your own strengths.”

Chris Dean/PDC

Photo: Chris Dean/PDC

Just as in the UK Open, he faces Van Gerwen in a best of 19 legs format, which is normally his compatriot’s domain. De Zwaan admits that he prefers playing a long format, instead of the usual best of 11 leg matches on the Pro Tour.
”You could possibly lose a leg, that can happen. In a shorter format than you need to straighten it out quickly. Here, you have the ability to come back from trailing by two or three legs.”

A new era

De Zwaan’s recent success on and off stage earned him a contract with darts manufacturer Unicorn. He got a new set of arrows, which he now uses on the PDC circuit. His results have deteriorated as a result of the change, but the former World Championship participant refuses to worry, instead accepting that it will take time to get used to the switch.
“I don’t feel yet how I did with my old arrows. While the shape is the same, there is a completely different type of grip,” he admitted.
“You get other stuff you have to get used to, especially since I threw my old darts for a decade. You need to get acquainted with your arrows, and that takes time.”
The 22-year-old from Leidschendam revealed to us that he will not be tempted to use his old arrows in Blackpool.
“I’ve already had two months to work on my new arrows. Recently I had my old gear in my hands and I didn’t even remember how I used to hold them. I’m not the type who will switch back to old stuff, I’m not tempted to use them again. ”

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

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Author: Ed McCosh