Sick Nic hop­ing it’s not Paul over

DARTS

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

PAUL NI­CHOL­SON ad­mits he is fac­ing a bat­tle to res­cue his ca­reer fol­low­ing a dev­as­tat­ing BetVic­tor World Match­play de­feat to Dave Chis­nall.

The 34-year-old Aussie crashed out of the Black­pool tour­na­ment in the first round with a nar­row 10-8 loss to Chis­nall, blow­ing leads of 4-1 and 8-7.

He was left in tears as he ex­ited the stage and was dis­traught at see­ing his hopes of win­ning a sec­ond ma­jor ti­tle dashed.

How­ever, he is de­ter­mined to turn the dis­ap­point­ment into a pos­i­tive as he pre­pares to re­turn to Aus­tralia for his next com­pet­i­tive out­ing at the Syd­ney Darts Masters in late Au­gust.

Geordie born Ni­chol­son ad­mit­ted: “At the start of the game with Dave I felt okay, but I also felt there was some­thing not right.

“I’ve been strug­gling with cer­tain things be­hind the scenes and been hid­ing it and try­ing to fo­cus on my darts.

“This year has been a real strug­gle. I’m try­ing to bat­tle my way through games and against Dave it was too much.

“I was in a war and at cer­tain points in the game I snapped. I didn’t have the strength and I just snapped.

Deep

“It was the hard­est game I’ve ever had and it took me to a place that I didn’t want peo­ple to see.

“I’ve been a pro now for five years and I’ve got to re­alise that there are go­ing to be wars like that where I’m go­ing to have to dig deep.

“I dug as deep as I could but it wasn’t enough. I think what tipped me over the edge was that I didn’t have enough to get me through.”

Ni­chol­son won his first ma­jor ti­tle at the 2010 Play­ers Cham­pi­onship Fi­nals, be­fore more fo­cus on his sup­posed bad-boy im­age than darts.

He added: “I’ve got to move for­ward from this po­si­tion now and fight for my place within the dart­ing world.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done and I refuse to give up be­cause this is a great sport.

“I can start from scratch again in Aus­tralia and go from there.

“I’ve got to re­dis­cover the per­son who loves this game. Some­thing has gone miss­ing and I’ve got to find some strength.”

BEL­TERS: Froch and Groves can’t wait for their Bat­tle of Bri­tain

IN TEARS: Ni­chol­son

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