Gary Anderson hit back at ‘keyboard warriors’ following his second-round victory over Adrian Lewis at Alexandra Palace last night, admitting that his heart hasn’t been in the game for a long time.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ recovered from a set down to defeat Lewis in a battle of the two-time world champions, winning nine of the last ten legs to book his place in round three.
The 50-year-old maintained his remarkable record of never losing his opening game in the sport’s showpiece event, and he’ll return to face Ian White or Chris Landman after the Christmas break.
Anderson made an unconvincing start to proceedings, but he asserted his dominance midway through the match, sealing the deal with a 93 average, three 180s and 46% on his doubles.
“I’ve used new darts. They’ve been going great on the practice board and I started to get used to playing with them towards the end,” Anderson reflected in his post-match press conference.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Adrian and I knew I’d be in for a tough start. I’ll take each game as it comes. I’ve not got any high hopes but I didn’t last year and I got to the final again.
“I’m not going to lie, my heart’s not been in it for a long time. Peter Wright says it and gets away with it, I say it and get butchered for it.
“Over the last few months I’ve started to pick up, Ryan [Searle] comes now and again for a throw, and I enjoy it. I need to get back playing every weekend and back to normal.”
It’s been a disappointing 2021 campaign for the world No 6, who has failed to reach a televised quarter-final since succumbing to Gerwyn Price in January’s Ally Pally showpiece.
Anderson has shown flashes of his irrepressible best over recent months, but following criticism over his form in some quarters, the Scot pulled no punches in his assessment.
“I’m trying to tell people – I’ve done it for half my life. If I want to spend time at home, and all the keyboard warriors say: ‘Oh he’s crap now, he’s rubbish now’. I don’t give two monkeys,” he added.
“I’ve done my job. I want to spend time with the family. Is that a problem, is that against the law, is it wrong? That is the way I look at it. I’ve done it. I’m 51 this year, and I’d like to have a bit of my time.”
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC