With a fine 2020 behind him, there is a growing feeling that this could be Gerwyn Price’s year as far as the World Darts Championship is concerned. The former professional rugby player has ascended to another level over the last couple of years, earning the titles to back up his talents and establish himself as one of the best in the business.
The World Championship is a whole different kettle of fish, and requires an immense degree of talent and determination to get over the line in the unique festive marathon. But Price will arrive with plenty of confidence, having won two premier titles in 2020 already, and with a burning desire to truly make a name for himself in the history if the sport.
The latest darts World Championship odds from Betfair place Price as second favourite to win the title, behind the venerated Michael van Gerwen, who is the bookies’ tip as usual. Price was also heavily fancied last year, but found himself in the path of an inspired Peter Wright, who defeated him in the semi-finals to deny Price a shot at the title. This year, the 35-year-old will be on a mission to go one better and reach the final.
He may feel more confident going into this year’s competition with two titles to his name in 2020. Price triumphed at the World Series of Darts Finals in Austria back in September, defeating Rob Cross 11-9 in a cracking final. He then backed it up with victory in the World Grand Prix with a 5-2 final win against Dirk van Duijvenbode, and with two successive Grand Slam of Darts titles in 2018 and 2019, there’s no doubt that confidence will be high for the Welshman as he heads to Alexandra Palace.
He’ll have plenty to contend with, not least van Gerwen and Wright, who are both being backed to contend for their fourth and second world titles respectively. Van Gerwen will have been left smarting after his 7-3 defeat to Wright in last year’s final, especially given his poor performance on the night, and will be giving his all to put that behind him and regain his status as world champion.
As for Wright, it’s difficult to know how he will fare when he begins his title defence. It’s possible that the emotions will come flooding back when he takes to the oche at Ally Pally once again, and that could make him a vulnerable target in the early rounds. On the other hand, last year’s triumph after such a long wait may just inspire him to put everything into experiencing that glory again, and few players are as dangerous when they’re in that mental zone as Wright.
For Price, though, the task is simple: to focus on his own game and ensure he gives himself the best possible chance to progress as far as he can. It’s plain that anything other than reaching the final will be viewed as a disappointment for the Welshman, but his form over the last few months is perhaps enough to suggest that a maiden world title might be within reach this time.