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Simon Whitlock insisted he can defy the odds and win the Ladbroke’s World Championship, after silencing his doubters by thrashing bookies favourite Gary Anderson to reach the semi-finals.

The Wizard was told by doctors, just four weeks ago, that he would not be going to the Alexandra Palace at all because of his broken ankle. Remarkably, he is now just one game away from reaching his second final in three years.

Whitlock believes that the injury has helped sharpen up his game and is confident he can go all the way. He said: “I believe I can win it now, I wasn’t sure at the start of the tournament but, especially after beating Gary, I know I’ve got the game to win it.”

“My injury has actually improved my game because I had to adapt and change the way I played. I didn’t want to change it but it’s slowed me down and now I’m throwing every dart and not wasting any. I’m feeling good now. I don’t even think about my ankle when I’m on stage and I’m really happy with how I’m playing. I want to win this.”

Whitlock reeled off five consecutive legs, after going behind, to defeat Premier League winner Anderson, and admitted that his superior finishing was the difference. He said: “Gary misses doubles sometimes but every time he’s played me, he never seems to miss. I knew if he went through a patch of missing a few, then I had the ability to take advantage of that, and that’s exactly what happened.”

The 2010 finalist hit a brilliant 42 percent of his doubles to set up a semi-final clash with Andy Hamilton on New Years Day. Whitlock said: “He (Hamilton) beat me recently but I’m not thinking about my opponents anymore. I’ll just go up there and play my game and I’m confident of beating anyone at the moment.”

If Whitlock comes through that match he will face either Adrian Lewis or James Wade in Monday’s final. The Australian said that clinching the title at the Ally Pally would mean everything to him. “The crowd here are incredible; it’s a really special place and an unbelievable feeling when they get behind me. To become World Champion here would mean the world to me” he said.

The world number five wants to win his first PDC major title for the biggest influences in his life. He added: “I’d like to win it for my parents too. It would be great to win something in front of my Mum. My dad passed away twelve years ago and it would be even more special if he had been here because he never saw me win anything. I’d love to win the trophy and dedicate it to him.”


By Chris Murphy

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