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John Henderson eager to prove himself at the Grand Slam of Darts

John Henderson feels he has been playing better than his result suggest
John Henderson feels he has been playing better than his result suggest

John Henderson reckons he’s playing as well as he ever has done and wants to get the results in the Grand Slam of Darts to prove it.

The Highlander starts his Group G campaign in Wolverhampton tonight against Joe Cullen with matches against Michael van Gerwen and Lisa Ashton to come.

Although Henderson and Peter Wright won the World Cup of Darts for Scotland in September his form in rankings tournaments has been patchy this year.

The Huntly thrower is determined to change that and said: “I feel I’m playing better darts now than I ever have done.

“But the results are not showing it, I guess everyone else has raised their level as well.

“I’ve had seven 100-plus losing averages in the Pro Tours this season which shows how well people are playing to beat me.

“I feel a little break is coming my way, and I’ll keep believing.

“If I didn’t think I was capable of getting results I would stop. Last weekend I was playing exhibitions and I played really well all weekend.

“I’m happy with where my game is, in the last three Pro Tours I lost in the first round but my average across the three games was 98.

“But I don’t seem to be getting the breaks, I’ve missed a couple of crucial doubles at crucial times, I need to put that right.”

World Championship place at stake

Henderson’s recent form means he has not yet secured a place at December’s World Championship having failed to qualify via the Pro Tour order of merit this year.

It would take a run to the latter stages of the Grand Slam to lift Henderson into the top 32 on the two-year ranking list and earn qualification for the World Championships.

If that doesn’t happen the 48-year-old will have to play in the tour card qualifier at the end of the month to try to secure a spot at the Alexandra Palace.

Henderson added: “Through the Pro Tour order of merit the World Championship is gone for me.

John Henderson knows he has work to do to qualify for the World Championship

“So I’m concentrating on trying to keep the tour card, it’s unlikely I’m going to lose it.

“But I’m defending £10,000 from the Players Championship two years ago and £25,000 at the World Championship.

“At this stage I’m not in the World Championship, if I had a great run at the Grand Slam I could get in.

“I also have the tour card qualifier at the end of the month to try to get in.

“I’m in this position because of results, it’s up to me to turn it around and that’s what I’m out to do.”

Good start crucial in Grand Slam

This is Henderson’s first time playing in the Grand Slam as a PDC player, with his place in the tournament secured courtesy of success at the World Cup.

He previously appeared in the event as one of the BDO qualifiers in 2010.

The top two in each group progress to the last-16 and Henderson believes a good start against Cullen is crucial if he is to get through.

He said: “It’s a great tournament to be involved in.

“I start against Joe and it’s very important to get a good start I think because if you lose you’re chasing in the last two games.

“If I can get a good result against Joe then it will give me a good chance of getting through, but if I lose I’ll be playing catch-up.”

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