Fallon Sherrock soared into the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts with a comprehensive 10-5 victory over Mensur Suljovic.
The Darts trailblazer made history at the 2019 World Championships –– becoming the first woman to ever win a major World Championship match.
But ever since, the 27-year-old has struggled for consistency. The Milton Keynes born player failed to qualify for the 2020 World Championships and remains in search of a PDC tour card.
Yet, as she made light work of Suljovic –– who she also beat at the 2019 World Championships, there was a sense that Sherrock belonged among darts elite company.
While so many players might be overawed by the big stage, in front of thousands of fans, Sherrock embraces the occasion and better still, thrives off it.
Her win against Suljovic on Thursday makes her the first woman to ever reach the Grand Slam quarter-finals and it’s not the only time she’s made history at this tournament.
Before this game, Sherrock broke the record for the highest televised average for a female player as she thrashed Mike de Decker 5-0 in the group stages. And against Gabriel Clemens, she recovered from 3-1 down to win four legs on the trot and seal the match with a 170 checkout.
Speaking after her victory against Suljovic, Sherrock remained as humble as ever and revealed how she controlled her emotions in the last 16 encounter.
"I don't know how I'm doing this, I'm so proud of myself," she said.
"It wasn't the greatest game but I'll take the win.
"I was 2-0 down against him in the World Championships and I came back, I just needed to relax and play."
How far can she go in the competition, though? Is claiming the title a realistic possibility or is the gulf in class between her and the remaining competitors too much?
The bad news for Sherrock is that the top four seeds have all made it through to the top eight. World number one Gerwyn Price is a two-time winner of the tournament already and James Wade has long been one of darts’ leading stars.
Sherrock’s quarter-final opponent is Scotland’s Peter Wright –– a former world champion, who beat the 27-year-old convincingly earlier in the competition.
The odds, therefore, looked stacked against her in terms of the calibre of opposition alone. Especially when you consider a semi-final against Michael Van Gerwen would likely await if she was to progress.
Sherrock faced the Dutchman in the final of the Nordic Darts Masters earlier this year –– becoming the first female player to reach the final of a televised event. Though she lost 11-7 it was nonetheless another clear indicator that the ‘Queen of the Palace’ is deserving of a tour card.
In truth, Sherrock has been the underdog in the majority of matches she’s played so far at the event but has passed these tests with flying colours.
There is something about televised darts that brings the best out of her, and the bigger the occasion the more she rises to it.
So while the English star is by no means the favourite to win this year’s title, do not rule out an improbable victory.News Now - Sport News