PDC World Championship: Luke Humphries remains full of confidence ahead of Alexandra Palace showdown
Newbury’s Luke Humphries is determined to ‘right the wrongs’ in this year’s PDC World Darts Championship, which kicks off on December 15 at Alexandra Palace, London.
The 26-year-old has a new world ranking of 19 and will therefore miss the first round and kick start his tournament in the second round.
Humphries will meet the winner of Rowby-John Rodriguez or Nick Kenny on Wednesday, December 22, with a place in the third round on the line.
Cool Hand Luke will be aiming to put a few things right after last year’s competition, where he lost to Paul Lim in the opening round.
“I am very excited this year and I feel like I have to right the wrongs from last year,” he said. “I didn’t have a great year before that and the two years before that were really good, so I feel like I have a point to prove and there is opportunity for me to have a good run.
“It is a step up in the right direction for me because I don’t have to be involved in that first round, which can be tough.
“I have played in a few of them and they aren’t easy, so starting in the second round is a big bonus for me.
“It’s not going to help the rankings that much because I am already guaranteed some prize money, but the game will be tough.
“I am not playing qualifiers, I will be playing people who are on the pro tour every year and it will be tough.
“If I can play like I can, score like I can and finish like I can, then I know I can get the job done and get into round three.”
Alexandra Palace will welcome the crowds back for the first time since 2019, with fans missing out last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Humphries, who enjoys playing in front of a strong crowd, is relishing the chance on the big stage.
“Having them back will be a huge lift as it is my favourite event of the year and I have so many great memories in the competition.
“I have made two quarter-finals and I think the crowd will boost me because I have had a good year on TV and I think I have played some decent games.
“I have had some unlucky games, but as a whole I have had a very good season.
“If I can keep up that form that I have had on TV, then it can be a good tournament for me and it can give me a good run.”
The UK Open finalist has been involved in more of the majors this year because of his success and he remains confident ahead of the showdown at Alexandra Palace.
“It is not often that you win two of your three games in the Grand Slam and not go through and I felt very unlucky, but I felt I played okay.
“In the Players Championships I was solid all tournament and although I missed match darts against Johnny [Clayton] in the quarters, I thought my game was solid.
“There is room for improvement, but I am one of those players who always wants to better myself and if I can up my game by five or 10 per cent in the World Championships, I can be a dangerous player.”
Humphries has risen up the world rankings and he has his eyes firmly set on the top 16.
“It has been a big leap from where I was 12 months ago and the good thing with my ranking is that I won’t be defending much next year.
“It gives me the opportunity to break into the top 16 and assert myself in every major tournament and this is a great opportunity for me to climb up there.
“It will be tough to stay there, but if I can get into the top 16 once then it will be a dream come true for me.”