Anderson Relaxed Ahead of Title Defence

Gary Anderson (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

GARY ANDERSON is in relaxed mood as he prepares to defend his title at the Betfred World Matchplay.

Two-time World Champion Anderson, who will face Danny Noppert in Saturday's opening night of action, famously claimed his first Blackpool title in spectacular style at last year's event, defeating Mensur Suljovic 21-19 in one of the best ever Matchplay finals.

Having endured a difficult first half of 2019 due to back injury, Anderson announced his return by winning the World Cup for the first time, with the Scottish number one crediting a relaxed approach to his success.

"As I've got older I've started to realise the importance of having a release from the pressure of darts," Anderson told The Darts Show Podcast.

"I've spent half my life playing darts and probably the other half doing things for other people, so now when I send the kids off to school I think 'it's time for some Gary time now' and I go fishing.

"I'll sit by the lake for a few hours and switch off in the fresh air, just watching the world go by. It's done me the world of good and I've also managed to drop a couple of stone with my diet.

"Now I'm looking forward to getting back up on the stage, but it might take a while for me to get my consistency back so I'm not putting too much pressure on myself for the rest of this year.

"Blackpool has never been my favourite tournament because of the travel time, but the venue is absolutely brilliant - all the fans are jammed in and it's always a top atmosphere."

The Betfred World Matchplay will be held from July 20-28 at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

Broadcast live on Sky Sports, the tournament will see 32 players competing across nine days.

Tickets are still available.