Sherrock aims to replicate Raducanu after ticking off rogue bucket list item

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Fallon Sherrock takes her first bite of the Big Apple, resolving to follow Emma Raducanu as Britain's sporting queen of New York.

The first lady of darts makes her debut on an American stage where Muhammad Ali fought Joe Frazier and Frank Sinatra did it his way in the bet365 US Darts Masters at Madison Square Garden. Sherrock plays Texas qualifier Leonard Gates in her most prestigious outing since she became Queen of the Palace at the World Championship in December 2019.

And she hopes to make as big an impression as Brit tennis sensation Raducanu, the teenager who stormed to US Open glory across town at Flushing Meadow last year. The former Bletchley hairdresser has already ticked one New York treat off her bucket list – tucking into a giant hot dog, with all the trimmings, from a street vendor.

But now Sherrock, 27, is looking to carry the torch for women's darts again like the Statue of Liberty herself. She said: “Can I be the next Emma in New York? I hope so – I'll be trying like mad. “But in a way I definitely feel for her – the pressure can be horrible.

“I do feel sorry for her when there's a social media pile-on. The online abuse is ridiculous, and I don't understand why the social media platforms don't do anything about it. I just try to ignore everyone, deal with the pressure I put on myself to perform, chill out and play.

“I’ve learnt to cope with the hype and deal with it. At the start I got caught up with it, reading everything, it got really bad. Now I just don’t read anything. People are entitled to have their opinion, and in today’s society, that’s just how the world is. You just have to accept that some people will criticise you, others are going to love you. You might as well just ignore everything and do what you’ve got to do.”

Sherrock is motivated to make headway in a field featuring four world champions – Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price – at the Professional Darts Corpporation's most glamorous World Series tournament, which was twice postponed by Covid.

She said: “Above all, I hope it's going to be a massive party. I've heard about Madison Square Garden, it's an iconic venue and it's cool that I'm going to play there. Not many people can say they have played there, so it's a good one to tick off my list.”

Sherrock prepared for life in the city that never sleeps by following the soap opera of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's court case on TV. We got Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney's Wagatha Christie nonsense, but in Hollywood's parallel universe, Depp and Heard's dismal slanging match was strangely compelling.

She admitted: “I find it interesting. I don’t really know what I make of it because you don’t really know the ins and outs, but yeah… I’m fascinated by it.” Stick to slinging arrows, Your Majesty. Leave the mudslinging to Captain Jack Sparrow and his lawyers.

  • Fallon Sherrock

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