De Sousa secures Ally Pally progress

18 December 2020 20:35:50 GMTPlus11

Jose de Sousa safely made it through to the third round of the World Championship and then declared he is "one of the best players in the world".

De Sousa had to come from a set down to overcome Ross Smith 3-1 and end a nightmare run at Alexandra Palace which had seen him lose every match on a sequence of results at the famous London venue stretching back to the 2011/12 World Championship.

However, the Special One, nicknamed after Portuguese compatriot Jose Mourinho, is a different beast these days and has been seriously boosted by claiming the Grand Slam of Darts trophy earlier this season.

De Sousa still started slowly and lost the first set 3-0, but eventually recovered for victory, as did 11th seed Daryl Gurney.

The Northern Irish competitor wobbled against William O'Connor as Gurney struggled to close out the game, missing four missed doubles to win 3-0, and was then dragged to a decider before progressing.

"I have been awful by my own standards," Gurney told the PDC afterwards, whereas De Sousa is oozing confidence.

The Portuguese, who meets Mervyn King or Max Hopp next, said: "There is more pressure on me now, but I don't think about that. I just play my game

"I don't think I'm the best player but I'm one of the best players in the world at the moment.

"This is my fourth time here, I always lost in the first round but now it's different because my game is more consistent. Hopefully I can show a bit more in my next game."

De Sousa is 1212/1 to win the PDC World Championship 2021 and Gerwyn Price is available at 4/6 with Michael van Gerwen 1212/1.

James Wade is 1/1000 to beat 1/1 shot Callan Rydz in Friday night's headline match.

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