Fri, 20 Dec 2019
PIC: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
NEWBURY’S Luke Humphries is keen to keep his feet firmly on the ground as he prepares for the third round of the World Darts Championship.
The 24-year-old secured a 3-1 win over Devon Petersen in round one before beating world number 18, Jermaine Wattimena 3-2, in the second round.
Despite both Wattimena and Humphries playing for just 40 minutes on the Alexandra Palace stage, the game went the distance with a final-leg shootout in the fifth set required to determine the winner.
In arguably the game of the tournament so far, Humphries averaged 97.7 on his way to victory, less than 24 hours after his win against South Africa’s Petersen.
Humphries said: “I think I found the right things at the right time and unfortunately someone had to lose that game, but I am glad it wasn’t me.
“It’s the best game I have ever been part of. I love playing there [Alexandra Palace] because the crowds are fantastic and they really got behind me.
“Every time Jermaine got in front they were willing me to pull it back and although I don’t normally think about it, I could hear them and they wanted me to do well.”
Humphries didn’t have much of a break between his first and second-round matches, but he feels he dealt well with the pressure.
He said: “To me, it feels like a classic and being involved in it was absolutely unbelievable.
“I have seen good games on television and you wonder how people can perform that well under pressure.
“For myself to perform under pressure just proves that I have so much to give in this game.
“I come alive in the best possible times and I play well when I need to.
“My scoring hasn’t been consistent, but if I keep winning games then nothing else matters.”
Although Humphries doesn’t play again until Monday, with his opponent yet to be decided, he will continue to prepare for the next round.
He said: “It has been tiring and tough at times because the adrenalin has been pumping and I am looking forward to a little break before my next match.
“There are a lot of people that I can tap up for a bit of practice – I have plenty of friends and hopefully I can come back better than ever.
“I don’t want to end this year at the next stage, I want to get to the final this year.”