Scott Williams is a surprise semi-finalist at this year’s World Darts Championship (Picture: Getty Images)
The 33-year-old arrived at Alexandra Palace as an unseeded player but has ousted three of the world’s top 10 on his way to the semis, most shockingly downing Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals.
He may not have been throwing the ton-plus averages that Littler has been, but a 3-0 win over Danny Noppert, 4-1 victory against Damon Heta and 5-3 triumph against MVG have been thoroughly impressive regardless of the stats.
Williams had never been past the last 16 of a major event before this tournament and by his own admission has had a poor year on the circuit, but now he is into the world’s top 32 and still in with a chance of becoming the most surprising world champion ever.
‘Ridiculous innit, It’s so good!’ Williams said of bursting into the top 32 in the world with his win over Van Gerwen. ‘It’s a goal I set myself.
‘Obviously 2022 was a great year for me, I think I was 57 by the start of 2023. I looked at it and thought I can do it. This is the tournament that’s helped me.
‘I’ve not had a great year on the floor, Euro Tours have been tough, I can’t even tell you, or explain what’s gone on because I don’t know myself. I turn up to the Danny Noppert game and all of a sudden felt unbelievable and it’s gone from there.’
Williams is loving the role of showman on the big stage (Picture: Getty Images)
The memorable 2022 for Williams was the year he regularly impressed on the PDC Challenge Tour and amazingly won a Players Championship event without holding a tour card.
He earned himself a place at the 2023 World Championship where he beat Ryan Joyce in his opener before losing to Rob Cross, but it is his work with good pal Cross that has helped him shine this time round.
Scott and ‘Bobby’ are still alive at Ally Pally, with Cross playing Littler in the other semi-final and their hard work together is paying off.
‘I’ve done a lot of practicing at home by myself and been with Bobby Cross, there’s four of us left and two best mates,’ said Williams. ‘We practiced so hard together, been together the last two or three weeks, been in hotels and flats and we’ve made it worth it for ourselves, our families and manager.’
On the prospect of a Williams vs Cross final, he said: ‘For us personally, we’d probably start crying. It would be life-changing.
‘I’ve grown up loving darts, watching darts. The World Championships when I lost in the second round, I watched it for weeks. Now I get to play in the semi-final and beat Michael in the quarter-final.’
Williams beat Michael van Gerwen pretty comfortably in the quarter-finals (Picture: Getty Images)
Williams’ win over Van Gerwen on Monday night was incredible, the Englishman played very well, but the Dutchman was a long way from his best and eventually lost fairly comfortably to the underdog.
On the match, Williams said: ‘Michael’s probably the best in a generation, in my generation because I’ve only been playing four or five years, so to be here is crazy really. But he wasn’t the Michael van Gerwen you’ve seen over the last two or three games. I don’t really care because I beat him.
‘Possibly [MVG underestimated Williams], absolutely possibly. But at the same time he knew he wasn’t going to get an easy game from me. I love that stage and it’s tough up there because he’s such a presence, but if I give it back to him…because people are scared of him, they genuinely don’t like playing him because he’s such a threat. I wasn’t going to let that happen.
‘They all know how good I am. 2022 for me was a great year. They’ve seen what I’ve done.’
Williams takes on Luke Humphries in the semi-finals at Alexandra Palace from 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 January.
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‘I turn up to the Danny Noppert game and all of a sudden felt unbelievable.’