Wright vows to win Perth title

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Mendham’s Peter Wright has his sights set on landing a first World Series of Darts title in the Perth Darts Masters this weekend.

The world number three lost out 11-8 to Phil Taylor in the final of the inaugural Unibet Melbourne Darts Masters in Australia on Sunday, in what was his fourth defeat in a World Series final.

After falling 8-5 behind, Wright hit back to level up at 8-8 before Taylor reeled off three straight legs to get the better of the Scot in a TV final for the second time in three weeks, having lost to the 16-time world champion in the World Matchplay final late last month.

“I can’t wait until he retires,” joked Wright about Taylor, who is retiring from the professional circuit at the end of the current season. “I wish he’d hurry up, retire early please!

“No, obviously I missed a few doubles and Phil punished me. Phil’s not going to give a trophy away, so you’ve got to fight for it.

“I’m going to learn from the beatings he keeps giving me and I’m going to come back a lot stronger and entertain these amazing crowds that we’ve got here, and next week in Perth that title is for me.”

Wright had begun his latest challenge for a maiden World Series title with a 6-2 win over Australian qualifier Rhys Mathewson in the first round on Friday.

Mathewson missed one chance to lead in the opening leg as Wright landed double 16, and the UK Open champion took the next four legs to move to the brink of victory.

Two missed match darts allowed Mathewson to hit double 10 to stay in the game before he took out 118 to continue the revival, but two missed doubles in leg eight allowed Wright to finally complete the win on tops.

In the quarter-finals on Saturday, Wright needed a deciding leg to overcome Michael Smith 10-9.

After Wright stormed into an 8-4 lead — with the help of a 121 finish on the bullseye — Smith hit back by winning five of the next six legs to force a decider.

Wright started the 19th leg with a maximum and remained in control before finding tops to secure his spot in the semi-finals.

An 11-4 victory against Daryl Gurney put Wright through to the final, where he lost out to Taylor, meaning he heads into the Perth Darts Masters, which starts today, still looking to claim his first title in the World Series of Darts.