It’s all about the doubles as Ricky gets ready for the ‘Ally Pally’

Kettering's Ricky Evans takes on Simon Whitlock on Saturday night
Kettering's Ricky Evans takes on Simon Whitlock on Saturday night

Ricky Evans believes he has the game to beat Simon Whitlock in the first round of the PDC William Hill World Championship on Saturday night.

The Kettering darts star will return to the Alexandra Palace stage having earned one of the last two places in the competition after he produced a stunning display to win the PDPA Qualifier in Coventry at the end of last month.

Evans made his debut at the ‘Ally Pally’ two years ago when he defeated Ronnie Baxter 3-0 in the first round before bowing out 4-2 against Mervyn King.

The 25-year-old, who has retained his PDC Pro Tour Card for next year, is now eyeing up what would be one of the upsets of the round against world number 10 Whitlock.

The Australian is a former world finalist in both the PDC and BDO competitions.

But Evans believes he can move into the second round, as long as his finishing doesn’t let him down.

“I am feeling good,” he said.

“I played in a couple of local tournaments last weekend and did pretty well so my form is decent.

“I will be practising all week and I am also having a throw with James and Joshua Richardson, which will be a big help.

“It’s the best time of year to be a darts player, everyone wants to be on the big stage and I am really looking forward to it now.

“It’s all about me hitting the doubles to be honest because that is what got me to this point.

“Simon is a class player, everyone knows that. But if I turn up and hit my doubles then I believe I can win. That’s not something I would have said this time last year.”

Evans will be backed by a travelling army of friends and family on Saturday night and he is determined to “put on a show” for them.

“The support around the town has been brilliant and everywhere I have been people have been congratulating me,” he added.

“I have friends and family coming down to watch but I reckon I could have got a few more as well if there had been enough room!

“A lot of people are making the effort to go down there and watch me so I want to put on a show for them.”

Evans’ clash with Whitlock will be the second match on stage on Saturday night with the evening session getting under way at 7pm.

The World Championship is being screened live on the special Sky Sports Darts channel.