Daryl Gurney is relishing the prospect of locking horns with Gary Anderson again in the second round of the World Matchplay.
The Northern Irishman defeated Anderson in the quarter-finals of the US Darts Masters in Las Vegas last week, on his way to reaching a maiden TV final.
And after surviving three match darts to squeeze past 15th seed Benito van de Pas 11-9 in the first round of the World Matchplay this afternoon, the focus now turns to a rematch between the two in-form players next week.
“Obviously I know how Gary works, Gary gets a wee bit cheesed off when he gets beat by a certain player,” Gurney told Love The Darts.
“He obviously wants to beat me and put it right, but I want to play him. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best and he’s one of the best, and I’ll be going out there trying to win it.”
In an enthralling encounter on the Winter Gardens stage this afternoon, Gurney stormed into a 5-2 lead against van de Pas, only to see the Dutchman reel off four straight legs, the third of those finishing with a 170 checkout, to go 6-5 in front.
Van de Pas then broke in the 16th leg to lead 9-7 and throw for the match, but he crucially spurned three match darts at double 16 to get over the line, and Gurney won four legs on the spin to win 11-9 in a tie-break.
Gurney finished with five 180s and a 142 finish to his name as he recorded his first win on the Winter Gardens stage at the second attempt, but does he feel like his game is there to take on the world number two?
“Possibly, the way I was after 10 legs in that game (against van de Pas) I’ll be with him,” Gurney said.
“My scoring and my finishing was there, I was playing really well, more or less probably the way Gary plays, but I’ve got to do it over the full length of a match.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. If I wasn’t looking forward to playing Anderson I would have stayed at home.”