Peter Wright has stoked the fire ahead of next month’s PDC World Championship by dismissing the challenge of Michael van Gerwen, insisting that the world No 1 has ‘no chance’ of dethroning him.
Wright defeated Van Gerwen on New Year’s Day to clinch his maiden World Championship crown, having lost all ten of his previous finals against ‘Mighty Mike’.
The Scot has added the Masters title and the European Championship to his haul in 2020, whilst MvG has endured a frustrating campaign, scooping just four ranking titles and the solitary major – having prevailed in March’s UK Open prior to lockdown.
The Dutchman has failed to go beyond the semi-finals in any of his last five major ranking events and having pocketed £500,000 for his World Championship triumph in 2019 – which he’ll have to defend on the two-year-rolling Order of Merit – his world No 1 status is under genuine threat.
However, after struggling with a back injury at the World Cup of Darts, MvG has shown signs that he’s returning to his blistering best with a series of dominant displays at the Grand Slam, conceding the solitary leg in wins over Adam Hunt and Gabriel Clemens, averaging 105 and 103 respectively.
The three-time world champion has already sealed his place in the knockout stages, but speaking after his group stage win over Ian White on Tuesday night, Wright dismissed the world No 1’s chances when assessing his impending Alexandra Palace title defence.
“I’m not far away [from] being really happy. Depends where the venue is, depends if it’s the Ally Pally. To be honest Gezzy [Gerwyn Price] would be the only one to threaten me in the tournament,” Wright told Online Darts.
When asked about Van Gerwen, ‘Snakebite’ was unequivocal in his response, declaring: “Oh yeah, he’s got no chance.”
The Dutchman, who is currently priced as a 4/1 favourite to claim his fourth World Championship title in January, was aware of the world champion’s taunts and responded on social media – simply saying: ‘We will see’.
Despite his bullish claims, Wright still faces a fight to reach the last 16 of the Grand Slam, after losing his opening game against Dirk van Duijvenbode. The Scot responded by averaging 106.8 in his win over White, although he could face elimination if he’s unable to beat Devon Petersen on Thursday.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC