Wolfie faced with the toughest possible start at Grand Slam

Martin Adams.

Martin Adams.

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Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams insists he has no fear of the Dutchman who’s dominating darts.

The 60 year-old from Deeping St James has been handed a match with PDC number one Michael van Gerwen on the opening day of the Grand Slam of Darts that gets underway at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Saturday.

The Sky Sports televised event brings together the top players from the PDC and BDO and Adams has been drawn in Group A along with Brendan Dolan, Max Hopp and van Gerwen.

Van Gerwen, PDC world champion in 2014, has been unstoppable this year.

His victory at last weekend’s Ladbrokes World Series Darts finals in Glasgow was his 23rd title of an astonishing year.

Adams was also in action last weekend and reached the final of the Finder Italian Grand Masters in Bologna before running out of steam and losing to Wesley Harms 6-1.

Adams says he’s felt ‘tired and short of energy’ since being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He hopes to be given the all clear a week tomorrow (Friday, November 18) after further blood tests, but is currently focusing on his duel with the PDC NO 1.

“It’s similar to when Phil Taylor was winning everything,” said Adams. “They were all rolling over and dying before the game had even started.

“They are beaten before they even get on stage and that’s no way to play the game.

“The way I look at it, he’s only got three darts in his hand, it’s not as if he’s got four, and we are all unbeatable on our day. If it’s your day, you’re going to win.

“When you start hitting them, they flow. You just look at the target and they go in. You can’t miss. It’s beautiful when that happens.

“I’m hoping it happens in Wolverhampton.

“I’m hoping Michael has an off day and if he does, I’m going to hammer him !

“If I have a good day, anything can happen.

“It won’t be a lack of confidence that beats me. I’ve won the world title three times on the biggest stage and that gives you confidence. It will take a good dart player to beat me.

“I haven’t played Michael for a while – except in exhibitions – and I’m looking forward to it.”

Adams already has a place in van Gerwen’s story.

A decade ago, they met in the final of the BDO World Masters in Bridlington and van Gerwen overturned a 4-1 deficit to become the youngest winner of a BDO ranking event at 17 years and 174 days old, rubbing Eric Bristow out of the record books.

Bristow recently described van Gerwen as ‘a genius’ and added: “They can play well against Michael, but it’s whether they can keep it up when he keeps hitting them and hitting him.

“He keeps hitting you the way a boxer does and you can only take so much until you fold.”

Adams was one of the stars of last year’s tournament, his debut at the event that started in 2007.

The three-time BDO world champion won over the crowd with his cheery personality and his darts.

He topped Group B before going out to Kim Huybrechts in a second-round match that went all the way to a deciding 19th leg.

Adams admits his cancer battle has ruined preparations for this year’s event.

“I have hardly practised for three or four months,” he said. “I just haven’t had the motivation or energy to stand there and throw for hour after hour.

“I’m OK, I’m just very tired.

“This has been the longest eight weeks of my life. I’m just waiting and staying positive.”