Peter Wright will aim to move on from a feisty semi-final against Gerwyn Price and take his game to another level against Michael van Gerwen in a bid to win the PDC World Championship title tonight.
Both men have apologised for their behaviour as veteran Wright saw off Price 6-3 in an ill-tempered clash at Alexandra Palace on Monday night.
Price had added extra needle with his pre-match predictions – which drew a reaction from “Snakebite” who claimed the opening set. The Scot was then left unimpressed with what he felt were over-exuberant celebrations by the third-seeded Welshman later in the contest, and the pair did not shake hands at the end.
Afterwards, “The Iceman” took to Twitter during the early hours of yesterday morning to say it was his rival who had been “out of order”.
However, former rugby player Price later posted a fresh statement on social media hoping to put the incident behind him. Wright, meanwhile, also apologised directly to Price for his part in the fall-out, after a message from the Welshman had been passed on via Wright’s wife, Joanne.
Livingston-born Wright was beaten by Van Gerwen in the 2014 World Championship final, one of 59 defeats by the Dutchman, including an 11-10 reverse in the 2019 Champions League final in October.
The 49-year-old, though, feels this time things can be very different. “I want to play the best player in the world, the No 1, the guy who wins all the titles – or the titles I have given him,” said Wright. “But he will be playing a different Wrighty tomorrow, and this Wrighty will be up for MvG.”
Wright added: “I have not been in the final since 2014. I was not ready to be world champion then, he deserved to be world champion and has done a fantastic job being the world champion.
“But this time, I think I am ready; I know I am ready. I have learned a lot in all of those years, have matured more. It is my time, that is why I am here.”
Van Gerwen, targeting a fourth world crown, feels he still he can still step up another gear.
“Most of the time when he [Wright] plays me, he sort of blows it up, misses darts at doubles. That is a good thing for myself,” Van Gerwen said. “Until the semi-final, I had a higher tournament average than he did, and everyone is saying he is playing quite well, so that must say what my standard is.”
He added: “He has to do better if he wants to beat me, he knows that.”