Michael Smith admits he punched a wall in frustration and broke his left hand during his World Championship final defeat…
Smith exits the stage at Ally Pally (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael Smith admits he punched a wall in frustration and broke his left hand during his World Championship final defeat to Michael van Gerwen.
Smith was appearing in his first world final on New Year’s Day and failed to recover from a slow start which saw him lose the opening four sets as Van Gerwen went on to clinch the title with a 7-3 triumph.
Smith, 29, has revealed for the first time his frustration at what he believes to be a missed opportunity and says his tempers boiled over during an interval.
He told Live Darts: “I think it took me to be three nil down, I broke my left hand.
“I went outside and punched a wall and my hand just caved in on my watch and I snapped a bone.
“When Barry [Hearn] gave me the runner-up trophy, I was like “give it in my right hand please!”
“This year coming up is when I will try because you saw me leading up to that final I wasn’t missing, I was doing everything right.
“Going into the final I think I had the highest stats in every single department, but because I was there it was kind of new to me.
“I thought, not everyone’s won their first so just enjoy it and see what happens, it took me until three sets down to think I could have won this.
“I could have walked that final.”
Smith has since gone on to reach the final of the US Masters and World Matchplay, coming up short in both, but has established himself among the world’s top four and is eyeing more title tilts in the coming months.
The St Helens ace, who has now lost in his last five televised finals, admits his World Matchplay defeat to Rob Cross was harder to swallow than his loss at Alexandra Palace.
“Losing in the World Matchplay final hurt me more than the Premier League and World Final,” he added.
“The World Final, I can say it now, I was just glad to be there.
“It was one thing I wanted to tick off, to be in that final and have the chance to win it, whereas the Matchplay I thought ‘it’s mine, I’m taking it home’ but now I know the next time I make the World Final I’ll be there to compete, not just to be glad I’m there.
“I think I’ve done well this year on TV, not successful on the floor but final of the Matchplay, semis of the UK Open and a World Series final, I keep losing them but at least I’m getting there.
“As long as I’m still there contending, I know once I get the first one I’ll do what Van Gerwen’s done.”