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Adrian Lewis sets sights on World Matchplay glory following injury woes

Stoke star Lewis celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Adrian Lewis admits his appetite for success is stronger than ever after recovering from a serious back injury to stake a claim for World Matchplay glory in Blackpool.

The two-time World Champion had been forced to sit out eight events since mid-June after undergoing back surgery but has made a remarkable return at the Winter Gardens this week.

The world number four has pushed the pain barrier to win through to the Quarter-Finals and continue his fine record on the iconic Empress Ballroom stage.

Lewis believes his injury scare has led him to re-assess his targets and become more dedicated towards regularly challenging for major silverware.

"It's been horrible to be honest," admitted Lewis. "I'd had about two hours practice in the space of eight weeks coming into this.

"If somebody had offered me a Quarter-Final place before the start of the tournament - I'd have bitten their hand off.

"The hunger is there because I want to win. I think it's got to the stage where I'd become too relaxed and a bit numb.

"I've got a stage set-up being installed at my house which is something I've never had before. 

"I'm going to keep dedicated and do my job."

Lewis kicked off his BetVictor World Matchplay campaign with a 10-7 victory over Steve Beaton before overcoming in-form debutant Rob Cross 11-8 with a 101 average.

The 2013 runner-up will now meet Alan Norris in Friday's Quarter-Finals with a Last Four show-down against either Michael van Gerwen or Phil Taylor up for grabs.

Though the 32-year-old entered the tournament with minimal expectations, he believes his performances so far have mounted the pressure back on his shoulders. 

"Once I'd beaten Steve [Beaton] - who has been playing brilliantly - then the expectation comes back on your shoulders," added Lewis.

"When I first walked up there against Steve, John McDonald said "It's nice to see you back" and I said it's nice to be back.

"I wasn't in as much pain against Rob Cross than I was in my First Round match and hopefully that stays the same for my next game.

"I love playing darts and testing myself against these lads and it's all about staying motivated and proving yourself."

Lewis' wife Sarah is also due to give birth this summer, with the Stoke ace set to miss the World Series triple-header in Auckland, Melbourne and Perth next month.


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Adrian Lewis sets sights on World Matchplay glory following injury woes

Adrian Lewis admits his appetite for success is stronger than ever after recovering from a serious back injury to stake a claim for World Matchplay glory in Blackpool.

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