Mervyn King insists he has the game to become a world champion
"If I can take that to the stage I won't just win a major, I will win the Worlds"
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 30/08/19 8:02am
Mervyn King insists he's still got the game to win major titles in the PDC as he looks ahead to a crunch second half of the darting season.
The 53-year-old has consistently been a fixture in the world's top 32 since crossing the darting divide in 2007 but he's yet to land an elusive first PDC TV title- having suffered defeat in all five of his previous major PDC finals.
The Suffolk veteran reached his first televised quarter-final for three years at last month's World Matchplay and 'The King' believes he's starting to reap the rewards for the hard work he's putting in behind the scenes.
"I'm putting a lot of hard work in and I have been for the past 18 months," King told the Darts Show podcast.
"It now seems to be showing where on the stage beforehand it wasn't coming to fruition - it wasn't turning up.
"It was okay on the floor but I wasn't doing anything in the majors and that's where you need to make hay when the sun shines. Hopefully that will carry on and maybe get even better."
"I'm not scared of anybody. There's only one person that really makes me think about my game and that's Gary Anderson"
King on fear factor in darts....
There has been a marked improvement in King's televised performances since last year's World Championship.
The former Premier League star progressed to the third round at Alexandra Palace - his joint best showing in the event since reaching the semi-finals in 2009.
King's run to the last eight at the Matchplay was preceded by a last 16 appearance at the UK Open, which featured a memorable third-round victory over Michael van Gerwen.
The former World Masters champion also defeated Gary Anderson en route to reaching the last eight at the Winter Gardens, which he classes as the ultimate scalp.
"I'm not scared of anybody," claimed King. "There's only one person that really makes me think about my game and that's Gary Anderson.
"I've seen that man do two-and-a-half, three hours practice and I've sat there and watched him for three hours and he's been averaging 130 for the entire length."
Anderson was a perennial contender in the BDO but since joining the PDC he's established himself as a proven winner and one of the world's best - King acknowledges his task is to replicate the success of 'The Flying Scotsman'.
"He does what I do on the practice board but he's found a way of taking that to the stage where I am yet to," King admitted.
"If I can take that to the stage I won't just win a major, I will win the Worlds. I wouldn't be playing if I didn't believe that.
"It's one of those things that I haven't managed to find out how to do it yet, but I'm still looking and I will continue to look until I either can't play anymore or I find it."
However, while King has showcased his best form in the televised arena in 2019, he's endured a topsy-turvy season on the Pro Tour circuit, suffering first-round exits in nine of his 22 Players Championship events.
"It's been a bit up and down to be fair. I've not felt the best about my form and then I've produced some decent results and then I've felt really good; practising well, up for it and had five out of six Players Championship events where I didn't draw a bean.
I just can't put my finger on why I feel I'm playing so much better and not getting anywhere, and then I don't play quite so well and I have a decent run. It's a bit crazy."
The next big event on the horizon is the World Grand Prix, although King's place at the Citywest Hotel is not yet secure.
The 2012 finalist is £2,250 above the cut-off, although he's failed to qualify for the next three European Tour events which could see him miss out on the tournament for the first time in his PDC career. Nevertheless, King remains in philosophical mood.
"Unfortunately I miss the next three European events which has maybe put my place in the Grand Prix under a little bit of pressure, but we've got a few Players Championship events before the cut-off.
"Hopefully I can dig deep and do what I need to do to keep that alive, but if I don't get in I don't get in. It's not worth worrying about and then I just look forward to the next one. Hopefully I can get into that and we just take each one as it comes."
King is notoriously one of the biggest practisers in world darts and he's relishing his return from the summer break, with a Players Championship double-header in Barnsley on September 10 marking his next competitive outing.
"You can almost sense the willingness to play again after the break," King told Sky Sports.
"We all moan about it: 'There are too many tournaments, we don't get any time off'. Then you have a couple of weeks off and you think, come on then I want to play again."
It's not long to wait until darts is back on Sky Sports, the World Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday, October 6 at Dublin's Citywest Arena and seven days of coverage continues until the final on Saturday, October 12.