PDC World Championship: Luke Humphries aware of Dave Chisnall threat in mouth-watering Alexandra Palace clash
Luke Humphries believes he’ll have to be at his ‘very best’ in his third round match against Dave Chisnall in the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
The Newbury man set up a clash with ‘Chizzy’ after easing to a 3-0 win over Rowby-John Rodriguez in the second round earlier today (Wednesday).
Humphries averaged over 90 in his victory, but he knows he’ll have to find more in the third round.
“He [Chisnall] can be vulnerable, but if you let him get ahead of you then he can be unbelievable and he can reel off the sets.
“It is hard to judge which Chizzy you will get, but I am going into thinking that I will get the best and that will help me play the best I can.
“We’re both up there with the highest scorers and it will come down to big finishes and taking doubles for the set.
“It won’t be an easy game and we will both have to be at our very best to win it because we’re going to push each other.”
The 26-year-old made quick work of Rodriguez in his opening match of the tournament and he admitted he wanted to make amends from last year.
In the 2021 championship, Humphries raced into a 2-0 lead against Paul Lim, but the latter reeled off three sets to progress into the second round.
When asked if he had thoughts about the match with Lim last year, he said: “I was 2-0 up in sets and in the last set I was 2-0 up in legs and I was trying to win the game so hard because of what happened last year.
“I didn’t want it to happen again, but I felt like I was in control and although I gave some initiative to Rowby, a couple of his misses let me off and I don’t think he really put me under pressure.
“When I went to the break I knew I had to finish the game and if he had got that third set then I would have started to think about things.
“It was nice to exorcise those demons from last year and get the job done as quickly as possible,” he added.
This year’s tournament at Alexandra Palace marks the return of fans since 2020 and Humphries, who enjoys the big occasion, expressed how important it is to have them back.
“It can be a very lonely stage when things are not going well and usually I am a qualifier, but this time round I am a seed and there’s a lot more pressure on my shoulders.
“Who knows how the world will be in five days' time as we might not have fans, but I hope we do because they’re the reason why we all play so well.
“Darts is nothing without fans, it really isn’t, and I hope they can stay here for the rest of the tournament because it’s not the same playing behind closed doors.”
Humprhies will face Chisnall on December 29, meaning he’ll return to London after Christmas.
“Christmas is so much better when you’re still in the tournament and it wasn’t like last year, it felt horrible.
“I will still practice hard and put the effort in because you can enjoy things once the competition is over.”
The Newbury man has also had a change in darts and he explained how he came to the decision.
“I felt comfortable and I have changed my darts and in practice I am throwing fantastic and I think they’re the darts that can take me to the next level.
“It was a huge decision because a lot of people know that I have had the same set of darts since I became a professional.
“It’s a huge step because they have taken me to where I am now and you do wonder if it's the right thing to do, but you just have to do it.”