Michael Smith will enjoy home comforts as he begins his quest for the biggest title of his career at the BetVictor World Matchplay.
Fresh from his Shanghai Darts Masters triumph, the St Helens star is looking forward to spending time at home with family during the Blackpool event.
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Smith, who reached the final of this year’s Premier League Darts, is yet to produce his best game on the famous Winter Gardens stage but is determined to set the record straight this year.
He told www.pdc.tv: “I can’t wait to get there now and come out fighting.
“Blackpool is one of the few events I get to stay at home for so I’ll come into the tournament feeling happy, well rested and enjoying spending time with family.
“In previous years I haven’t been there long enough, I’ve been going home early but this year I am well up for it and hopefully I can have a good run.”
The world number nine has enjoyed a strong first half of 2018, picking up two ProTour titles before claiming his maiden World Series crown last weekend.
However, Smith is hungry for even more success and believes he is ready to go all the way at the World Matchplay.
“I’m enjoying the game more now because I’m winning more than I’m losing,” the former World Youth Champion added.
“I’m playing better on the stage recently, I’ve been more consistent and feel good about my game.
“Hopefully I can take my form into the World Matchplay and have a decent run there for once!”
Smith will take on World Matchplay debutant Jonny Clayton on Saturday’s opening night and knows he will have to be at his best to beat the Welshman.
“Jonny is one of the toughest draws I could’ve got,” said Smith.
“He’s been playing well all year but if I play my game I’m confident I will win.”