Lloyd: Wright playing with sinister smile

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Last Updated: 11/09/20 2:38pm

Peter Wright was beaten by Michael van Gerwen in the 2017 Premier League final after losing a last-leg decider. Can he go one better in 2020?
Peter Wright was beaten by Michael van Gerwen in the 2017 Premier League final after losing a last-leg decider. Can he go one better in 2020?

Peter Wright has been like a different player since winning his first World Championship title earlier this year, says Colin Lloyd.

Snakebite carried his sparkling form into this year’s Premier League campaign and last week clinched a place in the semi-finals after beating Michael Smith 8-3 to finish second in the league phase with a joint-most nine wins alongside Nathan Aspinall.

His maiden World Championship crown had been long overdue after defeats in a final, semi-final and two quarter-finals in his previous six visits to Alexandra Palace.

Lloyd believes it has renewed the confidence of a man known to set high standards of himself.

“I think where Wrighty is concerned, he strives for, maybe not perfection, but he has goals within his own mind with what he achieves,” said Lloyd on The Darts Show Podcast.

“I sometimes think Peter puts so much pressure on himself that sometimes those goals don’t get achieved, so when you don’t go to do it again you put extra pressure on yourself.

“As soon as he won that World Championship I think he became a different player again. He seems a lot more relaxed.

“The thing about Peter, he smiles a lot but it’s like a sinister smile now because he feels so relaxed and he’s playing so well he feels good about himself and doesn’t fear anybody.”

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Wright finished the league stage with four successive wins that included an 8-1 demolition of Michael van Gerwen and an 8-6 victory over leader Glen Durrant.

Even in the three defeats prior to that run Wright had produced a nine-darter against an inspired Daryl Gurney, as well as marginally missing two perfect legs in losses to Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price either side.

Lloyd continued: “I think it was the 13th night against MVG, he sort of come off and said ‘well I struggled a bit there’, and you’re like ‘Peter wait a minute, you had a 104 average’ and he didn’t think he played well. That speaks volumes.

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Watch Wright hit a nine-darter in his clash with Gurney on Night 11

Watch Wright hit a nine-darter in his clash with Gurney on Night 11

“You set yourself these targets and you’re not only hitting them but surpassing them and you still don’t think you’ve played very well. I think that just sums Peter up magnificently.

“He is the man in form and I think he’s the man to beat at the minute. I think deep down all the other players know that.”

Darts returns to Sky Sports in October with the World Grand Prix and the Premier League Play-Offs. Follow us @SkySportsDarts to stay up to date with all the news.

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