Gerwyn Price vows to end Van Barneveld jinx if pair meet at World Championship

Gerwyn Price is confident he can end his TV hoodoo against Raymond van Barneveld – if the darts giants collide at the upcoming World Championship.

The world number one suffered two shock defeats to Van Barneveld at the Grand Slam last month. The results, in the group stage and then in the quarter-finals, saw the great Dutchman conjure up arguably his two best performances since his largely underwhelming comeback began two years ago.

The losses mean Price, the 2021 world champion, has still not beaten Barney in a TV tournament. The pair are on course to meet in what would be a blockbuster third round tie at the Alexandra Palace.

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First, Price must beat the winner of the first round tie between Luke Woodhouse and Ukrainian qualifier Vladyslav Omelchenko while 32nd see Van Barneveld will begin his campaign in the second round against Ryan Miekle or Lisa Ashton.

In the run-up to the World Championship, which begins next Thursday, Price has been reflecting on his losses to Van Barneveld and is sure he can gain revenge on the Ally Pally stage.

“In the Grand Slam, I was pretty steady and people were playing pretty well against me,” Price told Sky Sports’ Love The Darts podcast.

“In the two games I played against Raymond, I don’t think he beat me. I bombed opportunities, I missed chances, I lost seven legs on the bounce. That summed up my game.

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“Raymond played really well but I think I lost the games rather than him winning. If I get through [in the second round], I’m more than ready for Raymond. I’ve never beaten him on TV but I’m sure, if we get through, this will be the first time.”

Price plays his first match on Monday, December 19 against Woodhouse or Omelchenko. The Iceman will be the overwhelming favourite whoever he faces but Price insists that will be his toughest match of the whole tournament.

“I always target the first round in any tournament,” he said. “I always feel the first match is harder to win than the final. Once you’re in a final, you’ve earned a lot of ranking points and you can relax.

“I always think the first one is the toughest one of all, especially in the World Championship, because no one wants to go out early. You don’t want to be sat at home over Christmas knowing you’re out and not going back.”

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