World Matchplay: Nathan Aspinall plays with a smile after 12 difficult months | Darts News

Nathan Aspinall will face Gary Anderson in the second round of World Matchplay on Wednesday after defeating Mervyn King 10-6 in his opener. Watch live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm.

Last update: 07/20/21 3:42 p.m.

Nathan Aspinall had too much for his first round opponent Mervyn King. (Image: Laurent Lustig)

A smiling Nathan Aspinall is a dangerous Nathan Aspinall, and after a year of silence on stage, the former UK Open champion was revitalized by the return of spectators.

It was all clear Monday night as he soaked up the electricity from 2,000 fans inside the Winter Gardens to witness a Mervyn King retaliation and advance to the second round of World Matchplay for the first time in his season. career.

It might not have been the adrenaline-filled ‘full Nathan Aspinall’ experience, but the occasional roar from the camera and from the crowd interaction reflected a man feeling a lot better with his darts. .

Aspinall, who ranks 11th in the Order of Merit, hasn’t turned a blind eye to a recent drop in the PDC rankings, instead using it as additional motivation to reach the pinnacle of a career he’s dedicated his life. He now believes the transition to pre-COVID atmospheres will play a major role in helping him get there.

“I just want to be the best player in the world, I want to be the best of the best and in everything I do in my life I want to be number one, be it darts, be a dad, my job as an accountant before that , all I want to do is be the best, ”Aspinall said.

“I look at the rankings and I know I’ve had a slippery slope lately, but I look at them and I’m like ‘Nathan, come on, you’re better than that’.

“I know what it is. I missed them [the fans]ok it wasn’t amazing tonight [Monday] but i’m better when i have a smile on my face and i’m happy and i was happy tonight.

“I have not been happy to play darts for 12 months, I arrived and had good results but when I am happy I am one of the best players in the world and I was happy tonight . “

World Matchplay: Nathan Aspinall plays with a smile after 12 difficult months | Darts News

“As long as Boris doesn’t turn around and say it’s not crowded on Wednesday night, rest assured I’m here for the long haul.”

Aspinall ahead of his second round clash with Gary Anderson

World Matchplay Darts: Wednesday’s order of play

Michael smith vs José de Sousa
Gary Anderson vs Nathan Aspinall
Michael van gerwen vs Ian white
Peter Wright vs Joe cullen

Darts in Live World Match

July 21, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

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A clinical Aspinall took a 4-1 lead in his first session against King, before resisting a retaliation from the Masters finalist to secure a third pitching break and see the game 10-6.

This is the clutch’s response to a situation of pressure against an experienced client who glossed over a nice opening performance for the Englishman.

“The composure was huge for me, I was 4-1 at the break and I got involved in all the chanting, then Merv came back to me and I did well, I think I didn’t. lost that 3-2 and I was happy to come to 3-2, “he said.

“I came out and thought ‘okay Nathan, you’re not at a soccer game, you’re here to work, you’re here to make money, you’re here to win this tournament, calm down ‘and I calmed myself down and put in some good shots. I liked the end of the game the most. “

As with everyone taking part in Matchplay this week, it was only too natural for Aspinall to find himself absorbing every ounce of energy from the fans.

Such was the length of their absence, it was also a quick reminder of the need to focus on the job at hand, even if it is a difficult request.

Nathan Aspinall was so happy to return to play in front of a home crowd at Winter Gardens after his 10-6 loss to Mervyn King

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Nathan Aspinall was so happy to return to play in front of a home crowd at Winter Gardens after his 10-6 loss to Mervyn King

Nathan Aspinall was so happy to return to play in front of a home crowd at Winter Gardens after his 10-6 loss to Mervyn King

“I think that’s the problem, I’m a big crowd favorite because I interact with the crowd and they pay my salary and I like to socialize with the guys and it makes them feel more involved and if that was not for them, I wouldn’t have the lifestyle that I have, that’s what I always feel when I go on stage, “he added.

“But then you got to get to a point where you’re going to ‘focus’ and I’m good enough at switching off and that’s what I did tonight, I interacted to a point and when it did. ‘got to the basics -gritty i left’ i love you all but i don’t talk to you i play darts and i win this game and then we’ll have a celebration ‘and that’s what i did and it paid off. “

Idol Gary Anderson awaits Aspinall in the next round after 2018 Matchplay champion and 2020 runner-up defeats Stephen Bunting with a 10-5 victory.

In addition to staging his quest for a second major title, the tournament is also an opportunity for Aspinall to continue his quest for a place in his country’s team for the World Cup.

“I would love to represent England at the World Cup, I really would,” he continued. “I thought I was going to come in last year and I didn’t make it, obviously I have to have a really decent race.

“If I get to the final I think I’m there, but I’m very involved in football, the guys have done wonders, I’ve been to the final and for me, when they all sing songs of ‘England for me is a buzz, I like it all. “

A win over Anderson would see Aspinall face either Michael van Gerwen or Ian White in the quarterfinals.

Watch World Matchplay from the iconic Winter Gardens through Sunday July 25. Check out daily darts news at, our mobile app and Twitter account @skysportsdarts

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