Darius Labanauskas is excited for a ‘good fight’ with Michael van Gerwen as he plots a monumental upset at the PDC World Darts Championship.
The Lithuanian is a surprise contender in the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace, having beaten three seeds on his way to the last eight.
The 43-year-old has seen off the challenges of Ian White, Max Hopp and Steve Beaton to set-up this clash with the world number one and believes that he can cause on of the greatest shocks in the history of the tournament.
‘I have a great feeling of course, I’m in the last eight of this tournament,’ said Labanauskas after downing Beaton in the fourth round.
‘I’m really happy to be here again. It will be very hard because I play the best player in the PDC. If he will play not so high an average and I can show my best, maybe we will have a good fight.
‘I don’t meet him on the board but I hope I can beat him of course. If I don’t believe, why do I play darts?’
The bookmakers are all-but ruling out a win for Lucky D, but three-time world champion John Part can see how he will trouble MVG, but only if the world champ is not at his best.
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‘A-game Michael is not going to have any problems,’ Part told Sky Sports. ‘But if he is a little bit off he might get frustrated with a performance level from Darius that never wavers, and if that performance is 95/96 [average] that can be a concern.
‘It’s the first to five now, and Michael is feeling comfortable and he should win quite handily but if he gets embroiled he might get frustrated – but mostly when he gets embroiled he kicks in, and I would expect a fairly solid win for Michael but I can see where it might get complicated.’
Van Gerwen faces Labanauskas on Sunday evening in the World Championship last eight.