Fallon Sherrock is revelling in her early Christmas present after being handed a World Championship return and says she has received a positive reaction to her inclusion.
Sherrock, who rose to stardom after her exploits in the 2020 tournament saw her reach the third round, earned a spot at Alexandra Palace as a result of her victory at the inaugural Women’s Matchplay in July.
That prize was not announced until last week and came just a week after she revealed that she had received hate from some of her competitors on the women’s tour.
The Professional Darts Corporation has announced a further boost for women's darts, with increased prize money for the PDC Women's Series of £10,000 per event + a place in the Cazoo World Darts Championship for the Betfred Women's World Matchplay champion.
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— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) November 21, 2022
Sherrock, known as the ‘Queen of the Palace’, says she has received some congratulations and is thrilled at the prospect of once again going back to where it all started for her.
“I am really happy about it, I am ecstatic,” she told the PA news agency ahead of the tournament which begins on December 15. “When I was told, I was jumping up and down, so I can’t wait.
“It was a little bit of a surprise. I thought I’d ruined it and that I’d have to wait until next year, so it was a nice little surprise. It was an early Christmas present.
“I’ve had a couple of congratulations and well done from other people and things like that, my phone didn’t blow up to be honest – I haven’t had anything bad or anything like that.
“I have stayed off social media because that is where everyone’s opinion goes, but if anyone has had an opinion that isn’t great, they haven’t said it to me anyway.”
Sherrock’s performance in 2020, where she became the first women to win a match at the PDC World Championship, has given her increased opportunities as she has performed at several other major events on the PDC Tour.
Her results have never matched her achievements at the Palace, but the 28-year-old says she has nothing to prove.
“I don’t feel pressure to perform because I have showboated what I can do anyway. I don’t feel I have to perform – I feel like I’m going to perform,” she said.
Been a long and tough few days, but I’m looking forward to my last game here in the Grand Slam 🎯 Forever grateful to get opportunities like these ❤️ Thank you @OfficialPDC as well as all of my sponsors, and everyone that has supported me! 🎯 pic.twitter.com/PXxTcG2Eqt
— Fallon Sherrock (@Fsherrock) November 15, 2022
“I don’t have to stress myself out and put myself under so much pressure because I have already done it before. I have proved to everyone what I can do.
“I won the Matchplay, it’s not like I haven’t won anything. I am just going to go there and enjoy it like I did in the first place. I am going to just go and show everyone ‘I can play darts believe it or not’.”
One player whose performances are not in doubt is Michael Van Gerwen, who won a fourth major title of 2022 at the weekend when he lifted the Players Championship.
The Dutchman, who has not won the premier tournament since 2019, is the heavy favourite to prevail and admits he is feeling good.
Asked he if could be in a better position going into the tournament, he told the PA news agency: “I don’t think so. I could also have won the Grand slam of Darts but I have had a phenomenal year this year, if you look at my big tournaments.
“I can’t really complain. Especially moving towards the World Championship. You want to put yourself in a good position and give yourself confidence.
“I had to work hard to get where I am now and when it pays out it gives you motivation and joy. It’s what I like the most, do my thing on television and on the big stage. I am looking forward already.
“It would mean the world to me, there is still a long way to go, I am heavy enough to make sure my feet stay on the ground and just to focus on myself is really important.”