Gary Anderson insisted that he doesn’t “give two monkeys” about Michael van Gerwen being tipped for World Championship glory, when he spoke exclusively to Josh’s Dartistry at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ kicked off his world title defence with an emphatic straight sets victory over PDPA qualifier Mark Frost on the opening night, averaging 96.16, landing five maximums and converting 38% of his double attempts, as he extended his winning streak at the Ally Pally to an impressive 13 matches.
Anderson is going in search of a third successive World Championship crown, but all the focus has been on world number one Michael van Gerwen, who has amassed a staggering 25 titles in 2016. Nevertheless, the Scot is unperturbed by the focus surrounding the Dutchman and is relishing the prospect of defending his crown.
“I couldn’t give two monkeys. Keep talking about him, because it takes the pressure off me; just keep on him. Michael says he has got no pressure on him; course he has. People expect him to win it; he’s expecting to win it. It’s up to him if he can, simple as. I’ve done my job; I’ve got at least two back-to-back, so it’ll take him another two years to do it if he’s going to do it.
“I’m happy with what I’ve done. If Michael goes on to win it this year, he’s been fantastic. You can’t knock the lad. His ability and skill on that dartboard is second to none, so it’s going to take something special to beat him, ” the Scot acknowledged.
Anderson was in cruise control throughout his first-round tie against ‘Frosty The Throwman’, who averaged just 73.74 as he endured a torrid Ally Pally debut. However, the PDPA qualifier did entertain the crowd with a number of ironic celebrations as he opened his account in the third and final set.
Nevertheless, the world number two admitted he was simply relieved to secure the win. “Mark’s a cracking player and he never showed how he can play tonight but I scraped through and did the job I came to do.
“All these boys now can play the game. It’s very hard. We’ve been here, we’ve done it but starting again; it’s like starting at the bottom again. It’s terrible to go on stage in the first-round, but once you get on that stage and start playing it’s alright; you get going.”
In round-two, the world champion will face either former UK Open semi-finalist Andrew Gilding or his fellow countryman John Henderson, and that second-round clash will take place on December 23rd, in the final session of action prior to the three-day Christmas break.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC