Adrian Lewis admits he has become “sick of losing” and believes he is close to turning a corner in his career as he bids to challenge for major silverware once again.
The two-time World Champion has endured a testing time both on and off the oche in recent years and has fluctuated in and out of the world’s top 16 as a result.
Now ranked world number 15, Lewis has gone more than two years without a televised Quarter-Final appearance, having last reached that milestone in the 2017 World Matchplay.
The Stoke star, however, battled through the PDC Tour Card Holder’s qualifier last week to secure a return to the Boylesports
Grand Slam and went on to seal second spot behind Michael van Gerwen in Group A.
He now faces James Wade in the Last 16 in Wolverhampton on Thursday and has opened up on the significance of the mental aspect of the game.
“I’ve put that much work in, people don’t realise,” Lewis told Live Darts.
“Everybody thinks you just turn up there and throw a dart, but the emotions you go through on the stage and even the build-up, you’re mentally drained before you even play a game because that’s all you think about.
“It’s alright for people working a 9-5 job, they finish work, they go home and that’s it, with darts and other sports you take it with you.
“You’re always thinking all the time about the next step, where can you improve, it’s constant all the time.
“Short format, I haven’t been brilliant and I’ve lost a lot of games, over the longer format now we’ll see where my game’s at.
“Wadey’s been brilliant for the last two years, he’s very solid and very capable so I’ve got to be on my toes.”
Lewis, 34, last claimed a televised ranking title at the 2014 UK Open and has struggled to make an impact on the sport’s biggest stages in recent years.
He admits the sheer number of defeats he has suffered in recent times has made him more determined than ever to get back to becoming the force he once was.
Lewis added: “I’ve missed not just the rivalry with Michael [Van Gerwen] but the rivalry with everybody.
“I’ve been out of sorts for three or four years and I’ve got sick of losing.
“I thought ‘this isn’t going to keep happening to me’.
“I lost to Whitlock in the European Championship, I was terrible and I thought ‘no, this is not happening’.
“I’ve had a lot going on, with my wife, that’s been terrible news and obviously with Keith [Deller], that’s still not sorted yet so it’s a tough period in my life but at the end of the day, we’ll come through and keep battling and keep going.”