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Newbury's Luke Humphries full of confidence ahead of World Matchplay debut at Winter Gardens




Luke Humphries is excited to make his debut at the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool this weekend.

The 26-year-old will face James Wade in the first round on Sunday afternoon, with the winner facing either Krzysztof Ratajski or Brendan Dolan in round two on Tuesday.

Humphries, from Newbury, believes that it’s one of the biggest majors in the darting calendar and he’s eager to get back onto the big stage.

Luke Humphries will be facing James Wade in Blackpool Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Luke Humphries will be facing James Wade in Blackpool Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

“Outside of the World Championships, for me this is the next biggest major and it is very popular with the fans and players because of the venue it’s at as it’s very iconic.

“It has been one that I have been desperate to qualify for because of the stature of it all and I am very excited to be playing at the Winter Gardens.

“I am happy that I have qualified this year and not last year because it wasn’t at the Winter Gardens last year and for me to make my debut at the Matchplay, I wanted it to be there.”

Humphries and Wade met in competition last week, but it was the latter who won 11-5 when the pair faced each other in the final of the UK Open in March.

“I have made huge strides because last year didn’t really turn out the way I wanted it to, but I have kicked on and although some people have expected it to happen I have had to make it happen.

“I feel like my game is in a decent place and I have almost qualified for every major this year and it’s something that I want to be doing every year.”

With the world-number 31 in arguably the best form of his career, he believes the pressure will continue to build on his performances.

“Everyone knows how well I can play on the big stage, but it comes with more pressure now as people are expecting me to play well.

“I haven’t had too many games where I haven’t performed on the big stage, which is something that I am very proud of, but there is added pressure.”



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