Michael Smith kept his dream of becoming champion alive at the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship thanks to a 5-3 victory over Stephen Bunting despite an under-par performance from the Grand Slam of Darts winner.
Averaging a mere 91.63, nearly six points less than his opponent Smith admitted he was nowhere near his best when asked to assess his performance. "I'll try my best not to swear," he joked. "I wasn't the best up there but I managed to dig deep when I needed it and when I was under pressure, managed to hit some good doubles. Apart from that, the way I played was rubbish today but sometimes you've got to win ugly."
Tournament Centre 2022/23 PDC World Darts Championship: Schedule, results, TV Guide and Prize Money Breakdown
An added incentive for Smith to claim victory, if such a thing is ever needed at a World Championship, was given to Bully Boy in the form of a Stephen Bunting interview. "I got sent a lot of videos of Stephen saying I've been watching him and I know he's playing well," Smith reveals. "I wanted to embarrass him on stage. I wanted to embarrass him off the board. It didn't go as planned, but I still got the win."
His third semi-final at Ally Pally will be against Gabriel Clemens after the German Giant defeated Gerwyn Price in a match that will live long in the memory for all the wrong reasons as far as the Welshman is concerned. For Smith though, he believes he just needs to concentrate on himself. "I've got to keep focused and not start thinking 'I'm probably favourite now, if I play like I can I win the game.'"
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