Wright Sights on MVG No.1 Spot
Peter Wright goes into the Unibet Premier League finals night with his sights set on dethroning Michael van Gerwen as World No.1.
The World Champion lines up against Nathan Aspinall in the semi-finals at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry tonight (Thurs).
But having been overtaken from his ranking as World No.2 by new Grand Prix champ Gerwyn Price earlier this week, Wright has got his eye on the top spot.
He said: “Gerwyn taking over World No.2 doesn’t fire me up more. He deserves that. I didn’t perform at the Grand Prix. I struggled using the wrong set up to be honest. I know that. I would have won the World Series as well if I’d used the correct darts.
“I also used the wrong darts in the European, I hadn’t brought them with me. If I had taken them, I would have won.
“I was looking at the rankings this morning. My father-in-law Paul came round, he usually grills me saying I’ve dropped!
“I’m only defending £54,000 including the Worlds. Gezzy is defending £168,000, Michael Smith is defending £200,000 and MVG just over £600,000. So potentially he could be World No.3 if he’s not careful.
“I think me and Gezzy are going to be favourites for the Worlds because I’m having the rest of the October off apart. I’m resting keeping myself ready for a busy November and be fresh for the Grand Slam and Players Championships and then the Worlds.”
Snakebite takes on Aspinall who ended the qualifying campaign in tears of joy as he made the top four, ending Van Gerwen’s run of finals.
But Wright, 50, revealed he calls his rival Zeberdee from 70s kids programme Magic Roundabout!
He added: “Nathan is a little firework. I call him Zeberdee, because he’s always bouncing around. Hopefully I can keep him on the little roundabout and not let him off of it, run circles round him!
“We could have played the finals after the last qualifying night and I think I would have won it. Gary’s shoulder and arm had just gone as well and Glen had gone off form. So it would have been an easier task than it will be on Thursday night.
“It’s nice to come to the end, obviously it’s dragged out, the longest Premier League ever. I’m looking forward to picking up the trophy. I feel really good. I haven’t got the two best players in the world in finals!
“Gezzy Price is on really quality form. Luckily enough those two aren’t in it. No disrespect to the other guys.
“There’s Glen Durrant who only finished one point and one leg in front of me. Gary Anderson has won it twice and Nathan Aspinall flying up the rankings.
“I think I played well in the Premier League. I drew with Glen if I hadn’t missed some doubles I may have finished top. I was quite happy to finish in the top four with the standard of players.
“The nine-darter was a high point but I wish I’d got the other but I’d love to hit it in the semis or the finals to scoop the £50,000 bonus!
“Personally, the form I’m in, I should be favourite. As I said when I qualified, if I qualify, I’ll win it. I did the same with the Worlds, getting to the final. Didn’t make the same mistakes I made before, won it so I’m going to do the same again. I won’t be missing seven darts at a double like I did four years ago.”
By Phil Lanning
Pictures by Taylor Lanning
Unibet Premier League Play-Offs
Thursday October 15 (1900 BST)
Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Glen Durrant v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall
Best of 19 legs
Durrant/Anderson v Wright/Aspinall
Best of 21 legs