Peter Wright has ramped up his war of words with Michael van Gerwen by predicting that the three-time world champion will not win a televised tournament in 2021.
Snakebite opened his account for the year with victory in the Players Championship 8 in Milton Keynes on Friday before taking aim at his long-time rival.
Using Van Gerwen’s holidaying as ammunition, 2020 world champion Wright stated that the Dutchman should be spending more time on the practising because of the recent improvement in quality.
Each of Joe Cullen, Jonny Clayton, James Wade and Brendan Dolan have picked up PDC titles this season alongside world No. 1 Gerwyn Price, with Wright the latest to join the list.
Wright said of Van Gerwen: “He won’t win a TV tournament this year. He shouldn’t be on holiday now, he should be here practicing.
“He’s a fantastic player and obviously he knows what to do, but there’s too many good players around.”
Adding of his own impressive performances in wins over Steve West, Steve Lennon, Cullen and finally Price: “Today I felt on a different level to everyone else. After the First Round, it was going to take someone special to stop me.”
The pair entered a war of words before the season had even begun in January, with Wright telling Daily Star Sport: “Some of the comments that MVG made about me…
“I’m glad he’s No 2, so I get to play him in the semi-finals and knock him out before he gets into a final.”
Van Gerwen said in response: "Every year he says he is going to be No.1 in the world, but he wasn't right.
"It is very easy, they will always say things, but I am not going to involve myself in silly games like that."
With Premier League Darts getting under way with five consecutive days of action in April, Wright is planning on giving the new members a harsh introduction.
He added: “Wait until we have the crowds back and we’ll sort out who’s good and who’s ok.
“There’s three newcomers [in the Premier League] this year and I’ve got Jonny Clayton first who just happens to be the guy who’s probably the best dart player there is at the moment.
“I always like to teach the newbies a lesson in the Premier League anyway.”
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