DIMITRI van den Bergh believes that lockdown spent with Peter Wright could take him to the next level and a major winner.
The charming Belgian kid dumped Nathan Aspinall 10-5 on his Betfred World Matchplay debut in Milton Keynes.
Van den Bergh ended up living with the Wright family as lockdown was imposed on the UK while he was here.
Now he is adamant that time with the World Champion could take him to glory. He said: “Yes being with Peter has helped me 100 per cent. He showed me what you can achieve with playing darts.
“Peter and Jo took me in like I was their son. They made it so easy for me.
He practiced with me and told me the way he thinks.
“He taught me a lot of things. The little things he told me helps me and I definitely used them today to get prepared for the game. That’s what made me strong in the game. I didn’t miss my chances and that’s exactly what he told me.”
It was a battle of the darting young guns at the Marshall Arena but for the first time Van Den Bergh beat Aspinall.
He added: “I know I’ve played Nathan a couple of times before and they’ve been tough games and I’ve always ended up as not the victor. Now I have and I did feel like I was dominating the game the whole time.
“That’s what I needed to do against him, simple to say, he is one of the top players in the world for a reason.
That’s what I had to do and I’m happy. I finally played the game that I know I possess.
“The 156 was big. I think it was 6-4 up or 7-3 up, it’s definitely as big difference because it’s a break of throw as well. Obviously the finish itself he will feel. I’m happy I did and I know I can do it just that it finally happened on the stage that’s what is most important, when I needed it.
“It was very different with no crowd. I just did a little dance for everyone watching at home!”
Pictures by Taylor Lanning