Peter Wright insisted that he wants to replicate Phil Taylor’s level of dominance after booking a spot in his maiden Grand Slam of Darts quarter-final on Wednesday evening. Snakebite reeled off eight successive legs to dispatch BDO star Darryl Fitton 10-3 last night, although the Scot was still highly critical of his performance.
Wright averaged 99.69, landed four maximums and converted 59% of his double attempts as he recovered from a sluggish start to dismantle the BDO World Trophy winner. Nevertheless, Snakebite was visibly frustrated by what he perceived to be a mediocre display.
Wright admitted: “I was annoyed with it. I want to do what Phil Taylor did to people years ago and that’s how I feel my game is at, but you’ve got to respect your opponent as well. I’m so annoyed.”
When asked whether he believes he can produce what Taylor used to, and what Van Gerwen is currently producing, Snakebite defiantly claimed: “Most definitely; that’s why I’ve come off annoyed. It’s not even close. I think I hit one 140 in the first five legs; what’s that all about?”
The Scot has been enjoying a rich vein of form over recent weeks, reaching his fifth major final at the World Series of Darts Finals earlier this month, where he was edged out in a thriller by Michael van Gerwen. Wright is still searching for his elusive first TV major, although bar MvG, he’s arguably the most in-form player in world darts.
Wright is renowned for regularly changing his darting setup and critics have previously claimed that this constant tinkering can affect his consistency. However, the 46-year-old has continued with the same set-up for the past few tournaments and his performances indicate that he’s reaping the rewards.
The world number five takes on six-time Grand Slam winner Phil Taylor in Friday’s quarter-finals, and Wright is relishing the prospect. Snakebite defeated Taylor 11-10 in a pulsating semi-final at the World Series of Darts Finals two weeks ago and he’s hoping for a repeat. “We always have great battles, and it should be another great one.”
It’s been a mixed campaign for Taylor, who confirmed his qualification within two games after beating both Darryl Fitton and Ian White 5-1. However, the 16-time world champion then suffered a shock whitewash defeat to Darren Webster in his final group game, before beating Jeff Smith 10-5 in a scrappy last 16 tie.
Taylor gave a very honest assessment of his performances thus far and knows he must improve against Wright. “Friday is down to the nitty gritty, so I’ve got to play better now. I’m not playing well enough at all; first-round was okay, second-round dodgy, third-round rubbish and fourth-round mediocre. I’ve got to do something about it now.”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC