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Resurgent Adrian Lewis eyeing World Matchplay glory

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 02 Dec 2019
Stoke star Lewis celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Adrian Lewis says he is ready to “push on” in search of a maiden World Matchplay title in Blackpool later this month.
The two-time World Champion has shown signs of a return to his best in recent months after regaining a place in the world’s elite top 16.
Lewis dropped to 20th in the Order of Merit, his lowest position for more than a decade, following the World Championship, but a series of strong displays in ProTour and European Tour competition have led ‘Jackpot’ back up to 16th spot.
“I’ve put a lot of work in and my form’s been good,” Lewis told Live Darts. 
“I hit a nine-darter last week on the ProTour so things are picking up.
“After I had an operation, I was out for basically six months and I knew it was going to be a long time before I got back to where I was and where I want to be.
“I’m not there yet but I’m still pushing.
“My back’s holding up brilliant and I can’t ask for any more really, I’ve just got to get back on the practice board.”
Lewis reached the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy in June and has also finished runner-up in a further two Players Championship events this term.
His last ranking title came in Milton Keynes in April 2017, and the Stoke ace admits he has adopted a new approach in a bid to return to winning ways.
He added: “Before, I was rushing in behind players and basically kicking their heels, now I’m taking a step back a bit and then moving in fully focused.
“I haven’t been playing in many Euro Tours for the last five or six years so it’s been good to be back and I’ve been enjoying it.
“I think that’s where you pick up your stage experience and your match play.
“I’ve been putting in the hard work so there’s no reason why I can’t push on and start winning these events.”
Lewis has been drawn to face Huddersfield’s James Wilson in the opening match of the BetVictor World Matchplay on Saturday July 21 and is hoping to kick-start another memorable week at the Winter Gardens.
The 33-year-old was runner-up to Phil Taylor in 2013 and has reached the Semi-Finals in his last two visits to Blackpool, but is refusing to look any further than his opening night clash with ‘The Lethal Biscuit’.
“James is a great player, you can’t underestimate him,” added Lewis.
“Everyone’s already talking about me and MVG meeting in the Last 16 but I can’t look any further than the First Round.
“If you take your eye off the ball in that round, you could be out.
“If you look around the room for a mug, you’re the mug.
“I’ve made the Semi-Finals on the last two occasions there so hopefully I can go two better and win it.
“I’ve been consistent so far throughout the year and I just want to maintain that and keep moving up the rankings.
“I’m not looking at majors or anything else, I’m just taking each game as it comes.”

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