Fallon Sherrock looking to forget King Charles ’embarrassment’ at Grand Slam

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    Queen of the Palace Fallon Sherrock met the future King of England for an investiture and admitted: “I've never been so nervous in my life.”

    So the first lady of darts should find a date with clog almighty Michael van Gerwen a piece of cake when she returns to the big stage at Wolverhampton on Saturday night. Sherrock faces three-times world champion MVG at the Grand Slam of Darts 10 days after receiving her MBE, as a trailblazer for women's sport, from Prince William at Windsor Castle.

    Her gong was the most prestigious moment so far on a meteor-like rise to fame, and she enters the tournament's group stage floating on a magic carpet of euphoria and renewed confidence, saying: “I think I am going to play well rather than hoping to play well.”

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    Sherrock, 29, strung together a 29-match winning streak in the PDC Women's Series to book her return to next month's World Championship at Alexandra Palace, where she made history by beating Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic four years ago.

    But her biggest appointment was having a badge of honour pinned to her lapel by the Prince of Wales, and she giggled: “Yeah, that was really cool – but I was actually speechless, I didn't know what to say to him.

    How do you think Fallon Sherrock will fare in the Grand Slam of Darts? Let us know in the comments section below

    “I was like, 'Don’t fall over, don't embarrass yourself' – but when he said he'd seen the darts on TV, I was like, 'Oh my God.' One of the things I didn't want to say, and I just said it. Afterwards I was thinking, 'You did embarrass yourself.' I've never been so nervous in my life.

    “But I am only the fourth darts player to receive an MBE, and it also makes me very proud and honoured to be one of them. Not a lot of people have got it.”

    Now Sherrock faces another acid test of her temperament – facing Van Gerwen on the opening night of a big competition is the deep end, and said: “Thanks for that – put me in it with an easy game for starters!

    “But I am really excited. Every time I play Michael, it is always a good game, whether it is an exhibition or on stage. I want to challenge myself against the best players because you are only going to get better by playing the top players. That’s when your real good game will come out.”

    Although Sherrock shot to fame at Ally Pally in 2019, her deepest run into a major tournament was reaching the Grand Slam quarter-finals two years ago. After a sensational 170 checkout in what was effectively a sudden-death leg against Gabriel Clemens to reach the knockout stage, she beat Suljovic 10-5 before Peter Wright ended her run with a narrow 16-13 win in the last eight.

    She said: “It is definitely the best run that I have had in a tournament. Obviously the outshots and pressure situations that were involved in that one probably make it my best one on TV. My game could be a bit better consistency-wise, but I feel like it’s there again. It’s roughly where it was back when I did the run at the World Championship.”

    • Michael van Gerwen
    • King Charles III
    • Fallon Sherrock
    • Darts

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