King will need some Dutch courage
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010
DARTS: Ipswich darts ace Mervyn King, fourth seed in the Embassy World Championship, faces a quarter-final clash tonight with dual former champion Raymond Barneveld.
IPSWICH darts ace Mervyn King, fourth seed in the Embassy World Championship, faces a quarter-final clash tonight with dual former champion Raymond Barneveld.
It promises to be a fascinating match between two of the most impressive performers in the event so far.
King wore a Holland football shirt as a "thank you" to the support of the many Dutch fans at Frimley Green in his last match but insisted he would be more patriotic against tournament favourite Barneveld.
"I might wear an England shirt this time," joked King, who admitted Barneveld would be a tough nut to crack.
"Raymond is back to the form which saw him win this title in 1998 and 1999," said the 35-year-old. "I'll have to improve to beat him."
Colin Monk, shock conqueror of title-holder John Walton, will adopt a similar game-plan against Wayne Mardle tonight – by treating the match like a final.
The 34-year-old Basingstoke builder created the first upset of this year's tournament by ending the Yorkshireman's reign at the second-round stage.
That victory came about largely due to Monk's determination at the oche, with the 1998 semi-finalist visibly straining every sinew to hit the doubles and trebles when he sensed he was closing in on a famous result.
And although Monk believes that, in theory, the most difficult hurdle is now behind him, he has no intention of altering his approach to his quarter-final against Mardle, whom many people are tipping to claim the crown.
"Against John, I just played as though it was the final," said the world number 14, who is making his ninth appearance in the Embassy.