Nathan Aspinall believes he is on course to fulfil his darting destiny at the 2020/21 William Hill World Darts Championship, as he prepares to face Vincent van der Voort on Tuesday.
After reaching the semi-finals in each of the last two years, the 29-year-old is confident of lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy this time around - despite almost being knocked out in his opening match.
Aspinall trailed former Grand Slam of Darts champion Scott Waites by two sets and survived four match darts before winning a sudden-death leg before Christmas.
The former UK Open and US Darts Masters winner believes that he had fate on his side as he set up a third round meeting against Van der Voort as the quest for Ally Pally glory continues.
“Things happen for a reason, that’s what I believe. I think that Scott missed those doubles because I am going to become World Champion,” said Aspinall.
“When I was two sets down, all could do was come back out, try to put him under pressure and hope he missed opportunities. Luckily for me he did that, and I managed to take advantage. I didn’t give in. I never do.
“I don’t know what happened. The gods were with me. I think you sometimes need a game like that. It wasn’t nice to play in, but I won. I believe I probably should’ve gone out of the tournament, but I didn’t and I can push on and go all the way now.”
Aspinall’s exceptional elevation into the PDC’s elite arguably began when he survived a match dart against Gerwyn Price in the 2018/19 World Championship, where he reached the last four.
The Stockport star knows how different things could have been if Price had pinned the bullseye that day, but believes that there are similarities with his opening tie this year.
“When I came here two years ago, I didn’t have much money and was not high in the rankings,” added Aspinall.
“I’d won my first title earlier that year and that win might have even saved my career. It helped me get to Ally Pally. I was 2-0 down against Gerwyn and he missed his chance so I know how a bit of luck can make all of the difference.
“I don’t think I would be where I am now if I hadn’t won that match, but I took advantage and that’s exactly what I’ve done this year. I really believe that was the bit of luck I needed in this tournament, but I won’t be relying on luck any more.
“I have been putting hours and hours of practice and dedication in over the last few weeks and I think it will pay off.”
Monday December 28
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)
3x Third Round
Jose de Sousa v Mervyn King
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Adam Hunt
Nathan Aspinall v Vincent van der Voort
Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x Third Round
Gary Anderson v Mensur Suljovic
Gerwyn Price v Brendan Dolan
Glen Durrant v Danny Baggish