Two-time world champion Gary Anderson admits that he plans to scale down his competitive commitments in 2019 as darts has started to become a ‘struggle’.
Anderson’s hopes of winning a third world title were ended by his rival Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals at the Alexandra Palace on Sunday evening, with ‘The Green Machine’ averaging 104.76 and crashing in 11 maximums en route to recording an emphatic 6-1 victory.
Anderson was bidding to win his fourth televised title of the campaign, following on from maiden successes at the UK Open, World Matchplay and Champions League of Darts earlier this year.
The 48-year-old’s Matchplay triumph saw him follow in the footsteps of Phil Taylor and Van Gerwen by achieving the coveted triple-crown, but the Scot- who has carefully managed his schedule over recent years- insists he plans to take more time off in 2019 to spend time with his family.
When asked by the PDC’s Dan Dawson about whether he’d have many more opportunities to win a third world title, Anderson candidly revealed: “Unless I can get time off next year to get myself sorted out, it’s hard to say.
“I’ve always enjoyed darts, I’ve always had a laugh and a joke, but that’s gone. Do I want to be here? For the last 15 or 16 months it’s been a struggle.
“I’ve got the wee one now, when I get home I’m happy, when we’re on the lakes fishing I’m happy. When I’m at the darts, no. I’m going to have a wee bit of a break next year,” the Scot added.
Nevertheless, Anderson refuted suggestions of retirement, but confirmed that he will continue his hiatus from the European Tour, as he focuses solely on televised tournaments and Pro Tour events.
“I’ll be back next year, I want to do all of the TV tournaments and I’ve probably qualified for all the TV tournaments for the next two years. I’m going to do the Pro Tour, so TV tournaments and Pro Tour- that’s all I’m doing. I ain’t retiring, I’m just taking it a wee bit easier,” Anderson said.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ also praised the conveyor belt of talent coming through the PDC ranks and expressed his delight at seeing his protege Michael Smith reach his first World Championship final.
‘Bully Boy’ averaged 105.22 and piled in 17 maximums in his 6-3 win over Nathan Aspinall last night- setting a new record for the amount of 180’s hit in a World Championship semi-final.
Smith will now take on Van Gerwen in a repeat of this year’s Premier League final, but Anderson is thrilled to see the St Helen’s star fulfil his potential. “I’ve been banging on about Michael Smith for ten years and he’s finally got there so I’m over the moon for him,” said the Scot.
“You’ve got Nathan Aspinall, Chris Dobey, Ryan Searle, Ryan Joyce, Luke Humphries- they’ve put a show on this year. If you want a Premier League, get rid of the old yins and stick these youngsters in it. These boys have learned their trade and they’re good.”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC