“Two months ago, I was probably the worst darts player in the PDC but I’m coming back now” – Jamie Lewis says he’s back and ready for a Monday night showdown against fellow Welshman Gerwyn Price in what should be a tungsten tear-up – live on Sky Sports Darts from 6pm
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 21/12/20 4:19pm
Jamie Lewis says he’s “on the right track” after battling with his mental health on the PDC Tour as he prepares for an all-Welsh World Darts Championship showdown against Gerwyn Price on Monday.
Lewis produced a remarkable turnaround from 2-0 down to beat Luke Woodhouse 3-2 on Thursday and set up a second-round tie with three-time major winner Price.
It has been a tough time for Lewis who took time away from darts as he struggled with his mental health. He returned on the European Tour only to receive abuse after a 57 average.
Monday at the World Championship (6pm)
|Round Two||Krzysztof Ratajski||vs||Ryan Joyce|
|Round Two||Ian White||vs||Kim Huybrechts|
|Round Two||Gerwyn Price||vs||Jamie Lewis|
|Round Two||Gabriel Clemens||vs||Nico Kurz|
“I went to the European Tour and I was awful. I had a 57 average, people were laughing at me saying I didn’t deserve a Tour Card,” said the 29-year-old from Cardigan, who thanked the PDC and PDPA (Professional Darts Players Association) for helping him get through a difficult time.
“I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind and I’ve gone to see a few people now and I’m getting a bit better now, working things out in my head. I’m getting on the right track and things are going well.
“Most people don’t realise how well I can actually play and I know if my head’s right, I can play as well as most of these top boys. It’s nice to come here tonight and do well.
“I never thought about walking away because I know what I can do. It sounds daft, but I know how well I can play and it’s frustrating when you’re not doing it.”
He told the Darts Show Podcast earlier this month: “I’ve kind of laid off social media the last month or so, not reading silly comments and that but I know the game is there and I know how well I can play.
“I’ve been really struggling with anxiety but credit to the PDC who put me in touch with the right people. I’m understanding it a bit more and getting back on the right track. It’s obviously working so far, so it’s good.”
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Former semi-finalist Lewis was outclassed in the first two sets by Woodhouse, who landed four ton-plus finishes in an impressive display of finishing.
But Lewis, currently ranked 63rd in the world, showed great character to win six of the next eight legs and send the match to a deciding set.
Woodhouse took the opening leg of the final set, but checkouts of 85, 61 and 100 followed from Lewis to keep alive his hopes of retaining his place on the PDC circuit in 2021.
“I started off really badly. I thought I was going to lose 3-0 and be going home,” Lewis admitted. “I started playing a bit more like I can and got the job done, so I’m happy.
“Two months ago, I was probably the worst darts player in the PDC but I’m coming back now.”
Jamie’s going to have his hands full, he knows that. But Jamie is very good at blotting things out because he has to be, otherwise he can’t beat Luke Woodhouse the way he did. Gerwyn Price is levels up from everyone in the world, apart from Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright and they’re all fighting it out to be No 1 right now.
Wayne Mardle on Lewis vs Price
Welsh darts is on a high after the paring of Price and Jonny Clayton claimed the World Cup of Darts in Salzburg last month.
And Fireball Lewis, who booked his place in the showpiece event through a last-chance qualifier against former UK Open and World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton, is now preparing for a huge Welsh derby against red-hot Price.
“The next game will be very hard. What Gezzy has done for Welsh darts is unreal. I’ll give it my best shot and see what happens,” said Lewis.
“I know I can play well and I can hit 100 plus average easily, but it’s all about on the day. I’ll have to hit it against Gezzy because he’s amazing to be fair to him but we’ll see how it goes.”
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