Ricky Evans admits he is sick of being an oche “freak show” and wants to finally hit the big time on the dartboard.
The Kettering ace is known as ‘Rapid’ and can throw a nine-darter faster than Usain Bolt can complete a 100m sprint.
But Evans, 28, is fed-up of just being a novelty act and wants to prove himself as a winner when he faces Daryl Gurney at the Betfred
World Matchplay on Monday evening.
Evans told Live Darts: “The whole fast-throwing thing is getting on my nerves a bit. When I look back on my games on YouTube, I know I’m more than just a fast player, I’m actually quite good!
“I’m not the most arrogant person in the world but I need to also not underplay myself either, I have to believe in myself.
“I do feel I deserve a tag than just the fastest player in the world. I’m not a freak show or just a novelty act but I need to prove this, I want to be known as a winner and a threat.
“Over the past year we’ve seen people like Nathan Aspinall, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Joe Cullen emerge to have good runs and win majors. I think I’m at that kind of standard as them, they are no different to me.
“I haven’t had the chance to do what they’ve done yet and now this is an opportunity to show what I can do.”
Evans admits it’s a dream to finally get to compete on the iconic Winter Gardens stage but knows he faces a formidable task against the number three seed.
The world number 39 qualified as the second highest ranked player from the ProTour Order of Merit, having reached two finals this year, and will be hoping to finally do his talent justice on one of the sport’s biggest stages.
He added: “I’m very excited and can’t wait to be at the Matchplay really. I’ve never been on that stage and I won’t get really nervous until I arrive at the venue.
“There’s something about the Winter Gardens. I’ve watched so many matches there through the years seen the players like Phil Taylor, Larry Butler, Peter Evison especially through the 90s. It’s got the wow factor.
“Plus your hear the stories from all the other pro players saying it’s the best venue, best atmosphere, so you want to be part of it.
“I’m quietly confident, I just don’t want to let myself down really. I’ve worked so hard to get here and now hopefully the darts do the talking now.
“Daryl is a very tough draw, he’s the No.3 seed. But I’d like to think Daryl feels the same that I’m a hard draw for him, he could have got easier than me.
“He is one of the big seeds and the pressure is very much on him. I have got quite a good record against Daryl so hopefully he knows I’ve got one over him before and that plays on his mind a bit.
“I’m 150-1 with the bookies but I don’t feel my ranking reflects how good I am but it’s up to me to prove that. It’s a tournament I need to do well in to move up the rankings, so why not?”