World Champion Adrian Lewis has revealed that he has joined a pub team in Stoke to ‘sharpen up’ his game ahead of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton this weekend as Paddy Power report some large free bets on the UK Grand Slam of Darts.
The 26-year-old has a poor record in the famous tournament, having never made it to the last 16 and being knocked out three times in the group stages.
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This is something he is refusing to accept as the norm though and the 26-year-old has set his sights on an improved performance in the group stages of this Grand Slam tournament.
Looking ahead to the weekend’s action, he said: “It’s a strange one. If it’s a tournament with a sets format I seem to come out of the blocks fast, but when you have to hit the ground running, like the first-to-five-legs at the Grand Slam, I’m useless.”
“But you can’t have a reigning world champion popping in for the group stages, spraying a few darts across the board and disappearing again, so this year I’ve tried to do things a bit differently.”
“I knew I had to do something to make sure I wasn’t left in the starting blocks, so I’ve gone back to playing in a Tuesday night league in Stoke to sharpen up my game – and it’s been ideal preparation because it’s the best of five legs.”
Lewis lines up against Vincent van der Voort, Co Stompe and Martin Phillips in Group H, hoping to excel in front of what is always a lively and sometimes intimidating crowd.
One thing those creating the electric atmosphere will expect is a good performance from the reigning World Champion, so Lewis needs to turn on the style right from the very start.
Elsewhere, three-time winner of this tournament Phil Taylor has been handed a tough draw in Wolverhampton. The 13-time World Champion starts his Group E campaign against highly-rated teenager James Hubbard.
The 19-year old is the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship finalist and will take to the stage against Taylor on Sunday, while Mervyn King and Steve Beaton make up the rest of Group E.
Overall, this fast-paced and competitive tournament is set to be one you shouldn’t take your eyes off.
With defending Champion Scott Waites kicking things off against on Saturday against Michael van Gerwen, the race for the £100,000 prize for the winner – which will finish with the final next Sunday – is ready to get underway.