New world number one Humphries set to take on teenage sensation Luke Littler in World Darts Championship final at Alexandra Palace tonight
Luke Humphries will take on teenage sensation Luke Littler in the final of the World Darts Championship tonight following an emphatic 6-0 win over Scott Williams in the semi-final.
Cool Hand Luke, who grew up in West Berkshire, produced a blistering performance – hailed as one of the greatest ever at the world-famous Alexandra Palace – as he whitewashed Williams, who had beaten three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen in the last eight.
The 28-year-old began the contest with a sensational 11-dart finish, produced five ton-plus checkouts and averaged 108 as he whitewashed Williams to set up a mouthwatering final with 16-year-old Luke Littler, who beat 2018 World Champion Rob Cross 6-2 earlier in the evening.
Humphries, who pocketed a cool £200,000 and became world-number-one for the first time following his win over Williams, hailed his semi-final success as a "massive, massive moment".
"I think it's probably one of the best performances I've ever produced on the big stage. I just hope it didn't come one game too early," he said.
"I needed to put in a statement performance because Luke was fantastic tonight. Every aspect of my game was as I wanted it to be, and it's such a special moment.
"Becoming world number one is something you can only dream of as a kid, but tomorrow would stay with me forever if I become world champion, so my mind is fully focused on that."
Humphries began the tournament as joint-favourite having dominated for large parts of 2023, winning three televised titles. Yet, after beating Lee Evans 3-0 in the second round, he appeared to be staring defeat in the face in both his last 32 clash with Ricardo Pietreczko and his last 16 clash against Joe Cullen.
Humphries was two sets down against Cullen and survived two match darts in an epic contest that went down to a deciding leg.
Having battled back to 4-4, Humphries missed eight darts for the match in an extraordinary penultimate leg but regained his composure to clinch the decider against the throw.
It was the second time Humphries had survived a scare in the tournament, having come from 3-1 down to edge German debutant Ricardo Pietreckzo 4-3.
Circumstances conspired against Cool Hand Luke, who was forced to use a new set of darts after one of his points broke just before the match.
Despite seeming to struggle with the vocal German contingent in the crowd, Humphries managed to drag himself back up from the canvas and make it through, prompting passionate celebrations.
Cool Hand seems to have hit top form at the right time, having eased past Dave Chisnall 5-1 in the quarter-finals prior to his whitewashing of Williams. If he were to win tonight, he'd become just the third player – alongside Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen – to win four televised titles in the space of four months.
He'll likely have to deal with a partisan crowd in favour of Luke Littler, who is bidding to become the youngest ever world champion and the third debutant to scoop the sport's most prestigious title.
Humphries is the 8/11 favourite for tonight's final, which begins at 20:15 and is first to seven legs.