Smith remains positive despite World Champs defeat

This Is Wiltshire: Dennis Smith on the Alexandra Palace stage Dennis Smith on the Alexandra Palace stage

DENNIS Smith is refusing to let his heavy defeat on the World Championship stage cast a dark cloud over what has been a steady year on the PDC Tour.

The 44-year-old was knocked out 3-0 by two-time champion Adrian Lewis on Wednesday, as he failed to win a leg or have a shot at a double on the Alexandra Palace stage.

Smith qualified for the tournament by finishing 42nd in the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit, saw his world ranking rise to 49, while he also made a Players Championship semi-final and reached the quarter-finals of the Austrian Open in the last 12 months, meaning he is able to look back on 2013 with pride.

“I was so annoyed because everything was going well in the lead-up to the tournament, I was playing well, felt relaxed, and it all felt good,” he said.

“I didn’t turn up and the darts didn’t go where I wanted them to so when I did eventually settle in and start feeling comfortable it was too late for me.

“My year has been good and I go away with a lot of highs, although the draw wasn’t particularly kind to me in this one.

“The second half of the year was really good for me and I got to the World Championship on my own merit without need for going through a qualifier and that’s a massive plus for me.”

The PDC Tour returns in January with qualifying for the UK Open, which this year will be held at Butlins Minehead from March 7, and Smith has vowed to return with an increased desire to succeed.

“My mind is a bit all over the place at the moment but I should be able to enjoy Christmas a little bit more now,” he said.

“I know I will be back in January, ready to go and I will be looking to make next year a much better year for me. I want to qualify for more bigger tournaments because I was knocking on the door for a few this year but didn’t put them to bed to be honest and that cost me in the end.

“Next year is going to be different for me and I’m hungry for it still and I really want to play darts. I know what I have to do and now is the time for me to go out there and do it.

“I did some practice with different people ahead of the tournament and I did the right things I think, so there’s not an awful lot to change and I just need to keep on working for it.”

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