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Positives for Newbury's Luke Humphries despite World Matchplay exit to Krzysztof Ratajski

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Newbury’s Luke Humphries saw his World Matchplay Darts campaign come to an end on Tuesday after an 11-5 defeat to Polish number one Krzysztof Ratajski.

Humphries, 26, was making his debut at the iconic tournament at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, but he bowed out in the second round.

Ratajski ruthlessly punished missed doubles from Humphries, hitting two double tops for an eye-catching 140 checkout to open up a 4-0 lead.

Luke Humphries in action Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Luke Humphries in action Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

A high-quality affair, which saw both players average just shy of 100, saw Humphries rally and the UK Open runner-up reduced the deficit to 4-5.

However, Ratajski pulled away once again, winning six of the next seven legs to reach the quarter-final stage.

There are, however, plenty of positives to take for Humphries after he dismantled James Wade 10-3 in the first round on Sunday.

Humphries gained revenge for March's loss to Wade in the UK Open final with a nerveless display as the former World Youth Champion averaged 101 in the win.

He raced into leads of 2-0 and 6-1 to take control of the contest, with Wade finishing 148 to hit back, but the youngster went on to close out an impressive victory.

“It was a very tough draw,” said Humphries. “James played well in the UK Open final but it wasn't about revenge - he didn't play his best darts there.

“I got in front of him early on and punished his mistakes. I felt that there was a lot more to give and I had a few slack darts, but my doubles were good at the right times and I can't be too critical of myself.”

Humphries has reached four finals in 2021 in establishing himself inside the top 32, and added: “I've been working hard and I think it's paying off.

“This is just the start, I feel like there are better performances to come. I just seem at home on the big stage and I produce my best darts.”

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