Scottish PDC World Champion Gary Anderson prepares for the darts in Dubai
This will be your first time at the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters. How do you think it will differ to playing in the UK and Europe? The only difference I can see is that it will be about 20 times hotter. I’m used to playing in about 3°C, so being Scottish is one of my downfalls. I don’t deal with the heat very well.
Who do you have the biggest rivalry with on the tour? Nowadays, the players are that good I think it’s just everyone you play. It’s turning into a right business; you take money off them and they take money off you. It’s quite cut-throat. We are all friends but once we start training, there’s no friendship on the stage. I’m looking forward to playing everyone. Phil Taylor is one of the greatest ever to step on the oche. Michael Van Gerwen took over the number one in the world title, so it’s a good line-up, you have the best of the best in this tournament.
You beat Phil Taylor in January to become World Champion. How did that feel? That was great. People used to say years ago that I was going to win it, but I never believed it, I just played darts because I love it. It’s always special if you have a fella like Phil in the final. That trophy is on my mantelpiece with pride.
Do you feel pressure coming to Dubai to play against the likes of Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen? No pressure. You know what you are going to get. There’s no use putting extra pressure on yourself. I’m just looking at it as a tournament. The best man always wins.
What makes a great darts player? The first thing is you’ve got to enjoy the game. After that, it’s just practise and putting the work in. And as long as you enjoy it, that makes a big difference.
Some people say darts is just a pub game. How would you describe the way you play? It’s not as easy as people think. It started off in the pubs and so did games like snooker and pool, but the way darts is going, it’s just getting bigger and bigger. We are in Dubai, Tokyo, Australia and New Zealand.
The Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters has a large crowd. Does that ever put you off? You have to just try and switch off. The supporters are either for you or against you, that’s just the way it is. It’s like every other sport. Once you get up there, you just get on with it. That’s where the concentration is, on the dartboard. If you are playing, you don’t hear anyone behind you. It’s a party atmosphere. What’s the next goal for you? Getting another title to my name would be fantastic. It’s just playing as many tournaments as I can and winning as many as I can. Dhs180. May 28-29. Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Garhoud (04 239 5000). Visit www.dubai-darts.com