Ipswich Town fan Kevin Painter faces Tomas Seyler at PDC World Championships
- Credit: PA
Kevin Painter has labelled reaching the last 16 of the 2014 PDC World Darts Championship as a “must”, ahead of his opening game at the Alexandra Palace tomorrow night.
The 46-year-old, an ardent supporter of Ipswich Town and benefactor to the Blues academy, faces Germany’s Tomas Seyler in round one tomorrow, hoping to better his performance last year when he lost in the last 16 to Adrian Lewis.
“I am quite pleased with the way I am practicing, things are going well, and I am quietly confident,” said world number 21 Painter, runner-up to record 16-time winner Phil Taylor in 2004.
“I have a bit more experience than him (Seyler) and he does not play as much with steel-tipped darts as he does soft-tips. With all due respect, if I play my normal game I should go through.”
Should Painter overcome Seyler, he will face Paul Nicholson in the second round, which could preceed a last-16 face off with talented Australian and world number four, Simon Whitlock.
“Every year most players target reaching the last 16 of the World Championships otherwise it is deemed as a bit of a disaster,” said Painter, nicknamed “The Artist”.
“Getting to that stage is a must and that is when you really have to start playing well or maintain what you were doing in the previous rounds.
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“You also need that bit of luck and be able to maintain your concentration and prepare right over a three-week period, with a break for Christmas in between.
“If you prepare properly, then you can’t do much more than that.
“I have had plenty of time and that has suited me. I returned from an exhibition in Ireland last Monday and, had I been drawn to play on Friday or Saturday, that would have cut my preparation time right down.”
Painter’s old nemesis Taylor has been tipped by former world champion, Ipswich’s Keith Deller, to be among the front-runners, along with Dutch superstar Michael van Gerwen and another of “The Artist’s” bitter rivals, Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis.
Painter finds it difficult to disagree with that, but believes there are a number of in-form players capable of mounting a challenge.
”All the usual suspects will be there but there will be a few outsiders too,” he said.
“Dave Chisnall is playing really well and got to the final of the World Grand Prix against Taylor, as is Kim Huybrechts from Belgium (Huybrechts defeated bother Ronnie on Monday).
“There are so many players on form and a good run can see someone come from nowhere.”
Ipswich-born Mervyn King won his first round match at the World Championships at Alexandra Palace with a comfortable victory over Darin Young on Monday.
The Ipswich-born thrower dropped only one leg as he swept past the US number one in straight sets.
Ricky Evans is next for “The King” on Monday.