Simon Whitlock is travelling to Germany for the World Cup of Darts with every intention of claiming his first major title.
The Wizard will team up with Paul Nicholson to represent Australia in Hamburg. The pair reached the semi-finals in 2010 and Whitlock believes that they have what it takes to go even further this weekend.
He said: “Hopefully we won’t go just one better than last time, but two. We want to win it and that’s what we are aiming for. Paul has been playing consistently well for a while now. He is a great player. I like playing in pairs tournaments, having played a lot of them back home. If anything it’s less pressure because it’s not all down to one person. My form is picking up nicely too, so I’m sure we can go all the way.”
The world number five refused to let a broken ankle prevent him from reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship and is happy to be on the mend.
He said: “My leg is getting better slowly; everything is starting feel more comfortable. It did ache a little bit after playing in Benidorm last weekend but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was in December. I got through that quite well though so I’m not worried about that anymore, I know I can go up there and play well despite my injury.”
Australia are seeded second for the tournament behind an England team consisting of the two highest ranked players in the world, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis. The Wizard would be happy to take them on in an ‘Ashes’ style showdown in the final.
He said: “It would be nice if it pans out that way, as long as we beat them but there are a lot of good teams and anything can happen in a knockout format. I’m very proud to pull on the Australian shirt and represent my country and I’ll be giving everything I’ve got against whoever we play.”
Whitlock hopes that a good performance in Hamburg, followed by a winning start in the Premier League next week will be the catalyst for a fantastic year ahead.
He added: “I want to win a major this year, hopefully that will happen this weekend. I also want to win a few floor tournaments and do well in the Premier League. I didn’t do too bad last year but I lost in a lot of semi-finals. I need to make more finals in 2012 and win some tournaments. I’m delighted to have been selected to play in the Premier League again. It means everything to me and I’m really looking forward to the season.”
By Chris Murphy