Michael Smith’s opponent made mistake ‘giving it large’ during Ally Pally scare

Michael Smith’s opponent made mistake ‘giving it large’ during Ally Pally scare

December 16, 2023
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    Michael Smith reckons Kevin Doets hindered his own chances of causing a massive Ally Pally upset by “giving it large” to often.

    Smith began the defence of his Paddy Power World Darts Championship against Dutch debutant Doets and was staring down the barrel at 2-1 down in the best-of-five-sets affair. However, Bully Boy turned on the style in the closing stages to book his place in round three.

    Smith, 33, says he was stirred into a fightback by Doets’ celebrations on stage as he avoided becoming the first defending champion since 2009 to lose their opening match. He said: “The worst thing he did was give it the big one. [Martin] Schindler did it to me last year when he was 3-1 up, he started jumping around.

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    “It’s not the easy way to beat me but [players should be] calm, be respectful. But I know people are going to give it large. I gave it the big one when I checked out on 142 because I knew it would hurt him.

    “He was doing it [giving it large] at the wrong time during the game but I’m just glad that my fight and hunger came back. I proved in the last seven or eight legs what I can do.”

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    “I feel good. It’s a game that I needed. I kept my focus and I hit a couple of key shots at the right time. That’s what I’ve been doing in practice, and this result has given me a big confidence boost.”

    Elsewhere on the opening night, 2010 runner-up Simon Whitlock survived a scare himself to win through a deciding-set clash against Paolo Nebrida.

    “I’m exhausted after that,” admitted Whitlock, who will now face two-time world champion Gary Anderson in a blockbuster second round tie tonight (Saturday). “That was a really tough match. Paolo played so well, but I think experience won that game for me.

    "I’m a big 180 hitter and they weren’t there today, but tomorrow is a different day. Maybe they will turn, maybe I will turn up and me and Gary will have a great game.”

    • Michael Smith
    • Darts

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