History-maker Heta targeting further success in Blackpool

Damon Heta at the 2022 World Cup of Darts

With June’s history-making World Cup exploits still fresh in his mind, Damon Heta is hoping to make the summer an even more unforgettable one at the Betfred World Matchplay.

Competing in just his third World Cup of Darts, Heta and stalwart Simon Whitlock defied the odds in defeating England and Wales to claim Australia’s maiden World Cup crown.

Ahead of his mouth-watering first round tie with Premier League runner-up Joe Cullen on Sunday night, Heta is bringing bags of confidence with him to Blackpool.

“To win it so early in my career was massive for me,” Heta reflected.

“Coming into Finals Day I was down with how I’d performed in the early rounds, but I knew I had this fight in me to bring it home.

“I just wanted to play good darts like I have been all year, I turned up on Sunday and did the business, which thankfully I did.”

Heta dedicated the win to the late Kyle Anderson, his close friend since childhood who represented Australia on four occasions at the World Cup.

“I played his walk-on song before I went on for my first game against Belgium, and that gave me a little bit of inspiration,” Heta added.

“To win it for Kyle and for Australia in general, was incredible.”

Damon Heta playing Michael van Gerwen at the 2021 World Matchplay
Damon Heta playing Michael van Gerwen at the 2021 World Matchplay

Heta’s Winter Gardens debut ended in defeat at the hands of two-time champion Michael van Gerwen last July.

But the world number 19 has continued to make giant strides since then, reaching the quarter-finals of the UK Open in March before winning his second ProTour title later that month.

“This is my second time here, so I know what the World Matchplay is about now,” said Heta.

“The standard is crazy at the moment, so it’s anyone’s to win.

“I’m hungry for success and anyone who plays me will be in for a real battle.

“It’s obviously very iconic, it’s a long format so you can work your way into it, or you can come out firing from the start, you just don't know until you roll up.

“It doesn't really matter who I’m playing, it’s all about how you perform on the day.

“I feel I’ve been very consistent this year, so if I turn up it will take a lot to beat me.”

Listen to the full exclusive interview with Damon in the latest edition of The Darts Show Podcast - available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts - or read in the official 2022 Betfred World Matchplay programme.

Click here for Betfred World Matchplay ticket information.

The tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding UK, Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).

2022 Betfred World Matchplay
Schedule of Play
Saturday July 16 (1900 BST)
4x First Round

Krzysztof Ratajski v Stephen Bunting
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Callan Rydz
Peter Wright v Madars Razma
Jonny Clayton v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Sunday July 17
Afternoon Session (1300 BST)
4x First Round

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Ryan Searle
Danny Noppert v Brendan Dolan
Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith v Andrew Gilding

Evening Session (1930 BST)
4x First Round

Joe Cullen v Damon Heta
James Wade v Martin Lukeman
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
Luke Humphries v Nathan Aspinall

Monday July 18 (1900 BST)
4x First Round

Rob Cross v Chris Dobey
Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens
Gerwyn Price v Martin Schindler
Dave Chisnall v Kim Huybrechts