King: no revenge motivation for Wade meeting
Please find below a preview of Thursday's Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts, which will be played at the BIC in Bournemouth.
Courtesy of David Allen and Lawrence Lustig, PDC.
MERVYN KING will put thoughts of revenge to the back of his mind on Thursday night when he takes on James Wade in a repeat of the 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts final in Bournemouth.
Wade claimed the £125,000 title at the Wembley Arena last May with a 13-8 win over King, who had celebrated his debut Premier League campaign with a top-four finish and a semi-final win over Phil Taylor.
While Wade denied King overall victory, the Norfolk-based world number four is merely concentrating on denying the left-hander two points in their clash at the BIC in this year's second league night as he bids for a second successive win to open the season.
"There are no thoughts of revenge," said King. "The final was last year and it's gone now, so revenge doesn't even enter into things because it takes your mind off what you want to do.
"James is a fantastic player and a good friend but there's no room for sentiment - once I get up there I've got to focus on doing what I do best, and when we're up there it's war!
"If I pick up another win that would be great, but it's still early in the league and as long as after 14 weeks I've done enough to get into the play-offs I'll be happy."
King produced the most impressive performance of the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts' opening night last Thursday, averaging over 101 in defeating Adrian Lewis 8-5 at The O2 in London, despite using a new set of darts for only the third time in competition.
"I was very pleased last week because Adrian's been playing well and is a class player, so to get a win was fantastic," said King. "To play so well with my new darts was a big boost too.
"They feel good and hopefully I'll keep improving with them, and my aim is to get better than Phil Taylor over a period of time."
Taylor had defied a virus to overcome Simon Whitlock 8-3 at The O2, and hopes to be back to his best when he takes on Ronnie Baxter in Bournemouth.
"I was delighted just to win last week, because my preparation had been terrible with being ill and unable to practice, but I'm feeling a lot better now," said Taylor.
"I've been back practising this week and I'm looking forward to playing Ronnie, because it should be a really good game."
Baxter drew with Terry Jenkins last week on his return to the Premier League, and overcame Taylor in June 2009 in the final of the Las Vegas Players Championship during his rise back to sixth in the world rankings.
"To beat him last year was very nice and we've had some good battles down the years - and some one-sided battles as well!" said Baxter. "If you're not ready for Phil, he will do that to you.
"I played Phil many times and I can say I beat him a fair bit in the early years before he was a World Champion! I've known him for many years and we both know each others' game inside out - we're just opponents to each other and have to get on with the game."
The night opens with the clash between Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld, who hit a nine-darter against Peter Manley at the BIC in Bournemouth in 2006.
"I'll never forget that day," said the Dutchman. "I love the crowd there, it's a lovely venue and I like the balcony around it.
"I've hit seven nine-darters in my career, four on the floor and three on TV but that was my first on TV, obviously followed by the two in the World Championship.
"To do the first ever, and still the only, nine-darter in the Premier League is something I'm very proud of."
Van Barneveld made an ideal start to the new Premier League season last week with an 8-5 defeat of Wade, and added: "I was really pleased last week and I hope I can improve on that against Adrian too, because he has been playing some amazing darts in the last few months."
The night's other game sees Australian star Whitlock take on Terry Jenkins, whom he defeated in his run to the final of the World Championship in the New Year.
"I don't think you can worry about what's happened in the past, you just have to worry about the next game," said Jenkins, echoing King's positive mindset.
"The sport is so tough now and all the games are that hard that you can't think about taking any revenge. You have to get up on stage and play your own game and forget about who you're playing."
Week Two - The BIC, Bournemouth
Live on Sky Sports and Sky Sports HD 1 from 7pm