Adrian Lewis believes he can win world title again despite years of struggle

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Adrian Lewis still believes he can win a third world title, even as he sweats over a place at the upcoming World Matchplay.

'Jackpot' was one of the top players in darts a decade ago, winning the sport’s premier event two years in a row in 2011 and 2012. He is also a former UK Open and European Championship winner, but you have to go back to 2014 for his last major singles title and he is currently 39th in the PDC Order of Merit rankings.

A major injury hindered his hopes of returning to the top. In 2017, he began to experience back problems which required a major operation to cure.

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Still only 37, the Stoke-on-Trent thrower is adamant he can get back his best and has been reasonably satisfied with his form this season. However, a bout of Covid last month, which saw him miss two Players Championship events in Germany, where crucial ranking money can be secured, means his place at the World Matchplay in Blackpool is far from guaranteed.

“I think I’ve played some steady darts and some rubbish darts. Overall, I’ve been fairly steady. I’ve had a few averages over the 110 mark, which is good,” he said in an interview posted by MDA Events this week.

“I seem to be losing a lot of games with averages around the 95 mark. I’m not playing bad, I’m just sometimes not getting the rub of the green. That’s darts.”

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On his hopes of qualifying for the World Matchplay, Lewis added: “I was £3,500 in front [of the cut-off] in the Matchplay going into Niedernhausen [which staged two Players Championship events last month]. But unfortunately, I caught Covid so I couldn’t go there. Now I’m only £750 in front.”

However, Lewis is remaining upbeat. Asked if he still retains hope of winning another world title, he replied: “I’m 99.9 per cent [sure).”

The field for the World Matchplay will be decided on July 11, with the tournament getting underway on July 16.

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