2020 wasn’t a great year for the self-styled “Queen of Palace.” Fallon Sherrock, who one year earlier had caused a sensation by reaching the third round, didn’t even qualify for the 2020 edition of the PDC World Darts Championship.
So was 2019 just a fluke? Was this the setback the male “traditionalists” had been waiting for? Like defending champion and superstar Gerwyn Price, who has said that it would be better for men and women to play separately in the first place? You could also describe these traditionalists as chauvinists.
Two places reserved
The 27-year-old hairdresser from Milton Keynes is set to get another chance to prove the traditionalists wrong when the World Championship opens on December 15 in London’s Alexander Palace, or “Ally Pally” — as she has secured one of the two places reserved by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) for female players.
Join in yes, but don’t make any noise. Nobody in darts would have said something like that so openly, of course, even if it wouldn’t have come as a surprise had they done so. Sherrock went out and made history by defeating Ted Evans in the first round in 2019-20 — making her the first woman ever to win a match at the World Darts Championship. When she went on to beat then-world No. 11 Mensur Suljovic in the second round, Sherrock made headlines around the world.
“It’s going to be a great experience to go back there, especially now that crowds are allowed in,” Sherrock said after clinching qualification.
If she manages to get through to the third round again, she could find herself more in the spotlight than whoever goes on to win the tournament.
It was only in September that she reached the final of the Nordic Darts Masters in Copenhagen. The man who beat her, Michael van Gerwen, said of Sherrock: “She was phenomenal the whole tournament. She’s a top talent not only for women’s darts but for the whole sport of darts.”
However, the right-handed player won’t be the only woman competing against the men this year. Also in the mix will be “The Lancashire Rose,” Lisa Ashton. The 51-year-old has also long been established as one of the dominant figures in women’s darts, having turned pro in 2007. She is now a multiple women’s world champion and knows that “more ladies want the opportunity that we’ve had the opportunity to do.”
Ashton’s daughters Lindsey and Danielle are cases in point, having both struck out on darts careers of their own.
This article was adapted from German.