We caught up with PDC World Championship semi-finalist Jamie Lewis to talk about his life, loves and of course darts.
Who has had the biggest influence on your darting career and why?The biggest influence on my career has got to be my dad. I started playing darts because of him; obviously he played for Wales himself. Mum and Dad also ran a pub, so I just grew up in that environment and started playing from a young age, so definitely my dad.So the pub is where you started your career, did you play for that team?Yeah, the Ship in Cardigan, I think they were short one night so my dad put me in, so started playing locally. They then moved to a different pub in town and just carried on from there.You’ve played from a young age. When was it apparent that you could beat players much older than you and that you had ability in the game that was special?My dad started taking me around local tournaments and I was playing against older players and beating them, I think it was more my dad that realised I had a talent, so I just enjoyed playing progressed from there.You’ve been with Red Dragon since you were 12 and had the same darts for nearly 10 years but this year you’ve made quite a radical change – why was that?Not really sure but just felt that I needed something different for my throw that ended up with a massive change, and just before the Worlds. We came into the factory, had I not there is no way I would have dared to go as bold in those changes without Lee pushing me to try the new designs. He worked through every detail and I’m so lucky you’ve got such a great team here. They worked through everything I needed, gave me new grip and the confidence to go and use them, which was amazing as I hit a nine darter in my second tournament and that was it.What do you like most about how they feel?The Grip! It’s absolutely amazing and they look so cool. I just love throwing them as they’ve really let me find my natural flow as they have the grip in the exact place I need itAnd you said you changed them just before the World Championships, you had a brilliant run getting to the semi-finals, getting knocked out by Phil Taylor unfortunately, how special was that run for you and how did it change your career?The Worlds was massive for me. I thought I was going to miss out on them, as I had to go to a qualifier to get through, and even that was so tight just beating Paul Nicholson along the way who was on fire, so I did not expect to get to the semi-final and then things seem to explode after that which was great and has given me belief that I can compete at the top of the game.Have you watched the semi-final back again and how do you feel about that now?I’ve watched it over a few times and it gets no easier the second time round! I played really well and set up enough doubles to win the game, as the leg score was 20 to 14 but you can’t bet Phil with only 14 from 41 doubles. Especially as he was over 50% on his doubles, but it was a great learning curve and now I can’t feel anything other than happy at getting so far. It was obviously disappointing to lose to in the semi’s to Phil, but was it special knowing you were one of his last professional opponents?Yeah, looking back on it now, it’s a great achievement. Of course I wanted to beat Phil but actually beating Phil the legend was so nerve wracking. So it’s a memory I’ll always have, and he gave me the board as well, so that’s something I have to remember the occasion and it’s definitely something I will cherish.During the Worlds you had several great games, including averaging 108 against World number 2, Peter Wright. Was this your favourite game or do any other stand out?Yeah that was the biggest game for me, he was ranked World Number 2, so I knew I had to play well on the night. I averaged 108 on the night, if I hadn’t I think I’d have lost, so I needed to play well. I always remember that game.You said Mark, your father, was a big influence on your career - did he give you any advice you’d like to share with young players growing up?To be fair, yeah, from a young age I was never the best loser, but he taught me how to be a good loser, you can’t win all the time, not to sulk when you’ve lost, get your head up when you’ve lost. He taught me how to be a good loser which was important.What was your favourite memory or achievement in darts?My favourite memory is this year’s run at the Worlds, reaching the semi-final. My best achievement is winning the World Youth Championships and the World Youth Masters in the same month.Do you have any particular ambitions for next year or the next few years?My main ambition for this year is to win a PDC title, and my main career ambition is to be a World Champion one day.What is your favourite venue to play at?My favourite venue has got to be Ally Pally. Obviously I’ve got great memories there and it’s the home of the World Championships, the biggest tournament of the year. So I always look forward to that every year.What was the atmosphere like at the Ally Pally, playing in front of all those thousands of people?It’s fantastic, and it’s around Christmas time so everyone is feeling good, going there for a good time, so it’s probably the best atmosphere going.What is your favourite food?Probably Indian.Favourite film?Probably Snatch.Do you follow a football team?Yeah I’m a big Liverpool fan, because of my dad really, he’s also big fan so just followed on really.Favourite Doubles?Double 16When you’re playing darts what do you like to do, obviously you have a young family, do you spend time with them?Yeah that’s all I really do now, I like to chill out when I’m away from darts. I spend a lot of time chasing after my little girl.Who are your closest friends on the circuit?I’m friendly with the Welsh boys, especially Johnny Clayton & Riche Burnett. Also good friends with Ross Smith, Joe Murnan and Kirk Sheppard.
You can follow Jamie on Twitter @jamiedarts180