Honest Wade pleased to end Grand Prix rut

Listen to the latest episode of The Darts Show Podcast, with a new pod dropping each day of the World Grand Prix

Last Updated: 08/10/19 12:16pm

James Wade is back to winning ways in Dublin
James Wade is back to winning ways in Dublin

There were some rocky moments, but James Wade efficiently took care of business on Sunday night in the Citywest Hotel to pick up his first World Grand Prix win since 2014, beating John Henderson 2-1.

‘The Machine’ can now look forward to his second-round tie against Mervyn King with real optimism, as he chases a ninth PDC major title, and a third in Dublin.

“It’s been a while, I forgot how to win here I think,” he told The Darts Show Podcast.

“It’s good. It’s a win, and I can move onto the next one now. It’s nice to get that first one under the belt.”

“Winning becomes a habit, and losing becomes a habit. I’ve been doing a little bit of the winning and not so much of the losing.”

Wade is back doing what he does best

After a dip in form in recent years, Wade has enjoyed a spike in fortunes in the last 12 months, and feels he is getting back to where he belongs.

He claimed victories at the European Championship and World Series of Darts Finals to end last year on a high – and things have continued with five Pro Tour titles this year – a career best.

“Unfortunately I’ve gone through a real poor part of my career for the last three or four years,” he said.

“It’s [down to] myself not putting enough effort in, and not wanting to be there. You have a few years of not putting enough in and not wanting to be there, and all those mixed up with not performing well, it brings negatives into the game.

“Now there’s not that many negatives there and there’s a lot more positives.

“Winning becomes a habit, and losing becomes a habit. I’ve been doing a little bit of the winning and not so much of the losing.”

The Machine had too much for John Henderson in the first round
The Machine had too much for John Henderson in the first round

The Grand Prix brings its own challenges for players, most notably the ‘double-in’ format, but it is also one of just two tournaments where set-play is used, as opposed to match-play.

Wade found himself level at one set apiece against Henderson, despite winning more legs up to that point, and he feels straight match-play gives a “true reflection” of ability.

“I’ve always preferred match-play rather than sets,” he added.

“With sets, you can win more legs but lose a game. I’ve never understood that.

“I don’t think a lot of the time [set-play] is a true reflection. It also gives people something to hide behind. People can hide behind not playing so well and manage to nick a game in sets. Whereas in match-play, it’s a game. If you get to 10, you win. If you don’t you lose.

“It’s as simple as that.”

3:01
Watch the story of last year’s World Grand Prix
Watch the story of last year’s World Grand Prix

The business end of the darting year is well and truly upon us, with the Grand Prix and Grand Slam among the competitions leading into ‘the granddaddy of them all’ at the Ally Pally in less than 10 weeks’ time.

Although the rest of the calendar keeps players on their toes with the hectic schedule, Wade holds the big television events in much higher esteem.

“It’s two completely different games. Floor tournaments and European Tours, it’s not the same as what I call a proper TV tournament,” he said.

“It’s not even close. You can play well in one and not well in the other. I just think it’s completely different. Some people can play really well on the floor, but when they get on the stage, not so well. I don’t think the two are comparable.”

The left-hander knows he must pick and choose tournaments to sit out, and is in awe of the stamina of some of his peers.

He added: “There are some players who I can’t believe still do all the tournaments. The likes of Peter Wright and Daryl Gurney. They’re just hardcore. They go to everything! I don’t know how they do it!”

Tuesday’s Order of Play

James Wade vs Mervyn King
Michael Smith vs Ian White
Michael van Gerwen vs Jeffrey de Zwaan
Gary Anderson vs Chris Dobey

Live World Grand Prix Darts

October 8, 2019, 7:00pm

Live on

But for all players, it is about peaking at the biggest tournaments, and the 36-year-old is confident he is doing just that in Dublin.

Next up is a second-round meeting with King. Wade is finally back to winning ways at the Irish venue, and now he has tasted victory, he is not going to want to wait another five years for his next one.

“It should be good. It should be interesting,” he said of his meeting with King.

“Hopefully it’s interesting and I win.”

Coverage of the World Grand Prix continues on Tuesday night from 7pm on Sky Sports Action & Main Event and runs throughout the week, right up until Saturday’s final from the Citywest Hotel

Source : Sky Sports