Simon Whitlock says his ‘confidence is great’ after he saw off his World Cup of Darts partner Kyle Anderson 10-5 in the World Matchplay last night.
The world number 17, twice a semi-finalist at the Winter Gardens, got the better of his fellow Australian with the aid of some excellent finishing to move through to the last 16 in Blackpool.
And after beating Anderson in his opening game of the tournament, Whitlock revealed that he had suffered a fractured wrist eight weeks ago, but had recovered in time for the all-Australian clash.
“I really enjoyed that,” Whitlock said. “Kyle came back at me as I knew he would and he played really well, but my double tops were amazing.
“I’ve been playing well lately and working hard. I fractured my wrist eight weeks ago and it set me back a bit, but it’s good now and my confidence is great. I can’t wait for the second round.”
Whitlock got out of the blocks quickly against Anderson, in what was the first all-Australian match in the history of the World Matchplay, hitting 4/6 on the doubles and averaging close to 100 as he led his compatriot 4-1 at the break.
Anderson took out 105 and landed a 10-dart leg as he threatened a comeback, but Whitlock’s clinical doubling proved to be too much as he went into the second break 7-3 up, and 7/9 on the doubles.
Anderson was averaging 98.53 after 10 legs, but Whitlock took out 119 and two 70 finishes to remain in control, before the world number 31 closed the gap to 7-5 after the restart.
Whitlock then edged the 13th leg on double 10 before punishing missed doubles from Anderson in the next two legs to complete a 10-5 victory.