“I’m too old to get pressure put on me. I’m risking a dodgy ticker. But I’ve got my wee routine of the kids, fishing lakes and darts and I’m happy as a pig in muck”
GARY ANDERSON admits he is as “happy as a pig in muck” as he bids to finally win his favourite title.
The two-time World Champion has looked back to his vintage best ahead of facing Luke Humphries in the Grand Slam quarter-final tonight.
Team Unicorn star Ando, 52, delivered a stunning show to dump old rival Gerwyn Price in the last 16 but revealed that he has struggled with nerves on the big stage.
He said: “It’s getting there. I’m enjoying it as long as I hit those treble 20s and doubles. You always smile when you hit them.
“I’m playing well on the practice board and in the floor tournaments but I’ve been struggling on stage. The nerves get to me. But against Gezzy I was as cool as a cucumber.”
Anderson and Price famously clashed on stage in the 2018 final but he dismissed any continuing feud, adding: “I won’t swear but you know what the answer is. We’ve played a few times since then. I’ve played him a few times on the floor and played well against him, hitting 106 or 108 averages.
“I’m too old to get pressure put on me. I’m risking a dodgy ticker. But I’ve got my wee routine of the kids, fishing lakes and darts and I’m happy as a pig in muck.”
Anderson now runs back into the in-form Humphries. The World No.4 won the World Grand Prix last month and smashed the Scot 5-1 in the group stage on Sunday night.
However, Ando is convinced if he can find his extra level like when he practices with buddy Ryan Searle, he can go all the way in Wolverhampton.
He added: “It’s getting there but it’s not quite there yet, 104 is way short of what I’ve been hitting.
“So if I can get up to what Gezzy was doing in the qualification round, that’s what I’ve been hitting.
“If I can do that and what I’ve been doing on the practice board, it will be alright. Ryan Searle’s nine-darter, I’m going to have to charge him. He never got paid for it, the miserable sods!
“Darts is getting better and better. You’ve got players in the top six not even hitting 90 averages, they are well below. Then you’ve got boys not in the top 10 hitting 110. It just shows you where the game is.”
Anderson has never won the Slam, his favourite event, his best record two final appearances and defeats in 2011 and 2018. It’s clear he wants to end the hoodoo.
He added: “If luck is on your side, if it is meant to be, it is meant to be. This year at the Slam? I can only hope.”
By Phil Lanning