PDC Women's Series: Lisa Ashton looks forward to Beau Greaves joining the circuit
The PDC Women's World Matchplay will see the top eight players from the current PDC Women's Series Order of Merit vying for £25,000 on Sunday, in the first fully-televised women's event staged by the PDC - live on Sky Sports from 1pm
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 22/07/22 7:57am
Trailblazer Lisa Ashton says teenage sensation Beau Greaves joining next year's PDC Women's Series is "great" for everyone involved in darts.
The veteran has been at the forefront of the women's game throughout the last decade, becoming the first female player to claim a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School in January 2020.
'The Lancashire Rose' and Fallon Sherrock have dominated the Women's Series, but the arrival of 18-year-old Greaves to the scene will shake things up dramatically - especially with the expansion to 24 events for the 2023 season.
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Darts prodigy Greaves not only whitewashed Kirsty Hutchinson 4-0 in the WDF World Championship final at the Lakeside earlier this year, but she rewrote the history books in doing so.
The Doncaster thrower dropped just one leg, averaging 92.05 and hitting five 180s.
Speaking about Greaves' incredible talent, Ashton said: "She's very special. She's getting to levels all the time in the tournaments that she's doing. She's just fantastic.
"I've had some good games against Beau and she's rising at the minute. She's showing the youth you can do what she does. She's an awesome player.
"Beau has always said in interviews that she's definitely going to start from scratch next year so she will be entering in the PDC Women's Series next year from the start, so that's great news.
"It's great to have all of us in one group then we can all show, all play our best darts against each other. It's what everybody has been waiting for. We're just happy for all the ladies.
"The more that enter the better and hopefully we can show what the ladies can do altogether."
Wayne Mardle says there has never been a woman on the planet who has a better throwing action than Greaves, and Ashton finds it hard to disagree, saying: "She's got a lovely technique. She's still struggling a bit with dartitis but I think the technique is still there.
"She struggles a bit with it but she's got a lovely throw. If the young'uns want to take anybody's technique and study then Beau's is one of them."
Ashton defeated the likes of Michael Smith, Rob Cross, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Adrian Lewis during her two-year spell on the professional circuit, before recording the first televised ton-plus average by a woman at last year's UK Open.
Ashton's Blackpool bow
The 51-year-old is now preparing to make her Blackpool bow at the inaugural Women's World Matchplay against Scottish teenager Chloe O'Brien in her opener on Sunday.
"I'm showing that there is no age barrier in darts," said Ashton. "I know I'm one of the older players on the circuit, but you just have to keep going, because even at my age, everything is possible."
The eight-player knockout event features four televised title winners, with Sherrock, Lorraine Winstanley and Aileen de Graaf also set to star.
The experienced duo of Laura Turner and Rhian Griffiths will make their first appearances in a PDC televised tournament, alongside talented youngsters O'Brien and Katie Sheldon.
"The standard is rising. It has always been me and Fallon, but it's not just us now," Ashton admitted.
"The ladies are rising to the occasion and they are taking their opportunities. I'm just happy I keep pushing everybody as much as I can."
The four-time Lakeside Champion has become accustomed to the PDC spotlight following three Alexandra Palace appearances, but the opportunity to grace the iconic Winter Gardens stage will mark a special moment for Bolton-born Ashton.
"I have always wanted to play at the Winter Gardens, so it's absolutely fantastic. I'm hoping my home town get behind me," she said.
"The opportunities the PDC have given us are fantastic. It's going to be absolutely amazing. I just can't wait to get to Blackpool now."
With the England Lionesses' making it through to the semi-finals of Euro 2022, Ashton feels a lot is opening up for women in sport.
"Definitely. There is a lot opening up. You see in the football, the Lionesses they are taking it forward. The ladies are breaking through and they are breaking those barriers down. It is brilliant," she added.
"We are all sports people, it is not a man against a woman anymore, we are all in this together now and it is fantastic."
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2022 Women's World Matchplay
Sunday, July 24
(1) Lisa Ashton vs (8) Chloe O'Brien
(4) Aileen de Graaf vs (5) Laura Turner
(2) Fallon Sherrock vs (7) Katie Sheldon
(3) Lorraine Winstanley vs (6) Rhian Griffiths
Quarter-Finals - Best of seven legs
Semi-Finals - Best of nine legs
Final - Best of 11 legs