Jamie Lewis has been around for a long time. Yet despite that, he’s still among those seen as the future of PDC darts.
December was a memorable month for the 26-year-old Welshman. Having scraped into the PDC World Championship, Lewis stunned the darts world by dumping out second seed Peter Wright. The man formerly known as ‘Rasta’ blazed his way to the semi-finals at the Ally Pally. In doing so, he became the first ever preliminary qualifier to reach the last four. Phil Taylor ended that particular dream, but Lewis isn’t short on ambition for the future.
“My main ambition for this year is to win a PDC title, and my main career ambition is to be a World Champion one day,” said Lewis in an interview with Red Dragon.
It’s a bold statement of intent, and one that few would have backed before his Ally Pally charge. But that World Championship run proved that Lewis could yet have the makings of a PDC star. Even he still finds it incredible to think that he barely made it to London in the first place.
“The Worlds was massive for me,” he said.
“I thought I was going to miss out on them, as I had to go to a qualifier to get through, and even that was so tight just beating Paul Nicholson along the way who was on fire, so I did not expect to get to the semi-final and then things seem to explode after that which was great and has given me belief that I can compete at the top of the game.”
Lewis admitted that he has revisited his 6-1 semi-final loss to Taylor. Despite the result, he has gleaned many positives from the experience.
“I’ve watched it over a few times and it gets no easier the second time round!
“I played really well and set up enough doubles to win the game, as the leg score was 20 to 14 but you can’t bet Phil with only 14 from 41 doubles.
“Especially as he was over 50% on his doubles, but it was a great learning curve and now I can’t feel anything other than happy at getting so far.
“Looking back on it now, it’s a great achievement. Of course I wanted to beat Phil but actually beating Phil the legend was so nerve wracking.
“So it’s a memory I’ll always have, and he gave me the board as well, so that’s something I have to remember the occasion and it’s definitely something I will cherish.”
His undoubted highlight was the remarkable win over then-UK Open champion Wright in the second round. Lewis was largely written off, despite Wright’s illness issues. Yet a stunning 108 average led him to a 4-1 success over Snakebite.
“That was the biggest game for me, he was ranked world number two, so I knew I had to play well on the night,” said the Cardigan ace.
“I averaged 108 on the night, if I hadn’t I think I’d have lost, so I needed to play well. I always remember that game.”