Luke Littler told he must ‘get used to jealous opponents’

Luke Littler has been the talk of the darts world in recent days after hitting a nine-darter on his European Tour debut

 

 

Darts legend Wayne Mardle has told young star Luke Littler that he needs to get used to playing against jealous opponents.

 

Mardle believes the talented teenager is more likely to shake up his rivals with his skills. Over the weekend, Luke Littler showed everyone how good he is at darts by hitting a nine-darter and winning the Belgian Open title on his first try on the European Tour.

 

He beat Rob Cross 8-7 and won £30,000, with an amazing average of 103.76 in the final. But getting to the final was full of ups and downs.

 

 

In the semi-final, Ricardo Pietreczko from Germany had some sharp words for Luke before saying he hoped Luke’s ‘arrogance punishes him’. This wasn’t the first time the 17-year-old faced trouble in the tournament. He was surprised when Krzysztof Ratajski from Poland tried to upset him in the second round by drinking his water.

 

 

Reacting to the incidents, Mardle told Sky Sports: “Pietreczko has done this four or five times when he gets beat, he doesn’t like it.

 

“But he normally acts in a pretty petulant way. And to be honest, this is kind of expected but what wasn’t expected was the reaction from Luke – he couldn’t care less.

 

“Honestly, look, Littler has got this constitution that is relaxed, he is focused when he has to be, he enjoys the crowd interaction with them and enjoys the game. He enjoys the pressure, all of this and he’s just 17.

 

“There’s going to be jealousy, they’re going to be jealous for the things that come his way with sponsorships, the endorsements, the money, the fame, the media attention, where some think that they deserve it more than Luke, whether they do or not is absolutely irrelevant. But the likes of Pietreczko couldn’t rattle him. You can’t rattle Littler. That in itself is rattling.

 

“I think a lot of players think they can intimidate a 17-year-old. But the drinking of the water [Littler appeared to shake his hand when opponent Krzysztof Ratajski drank from his bottle in Belgium at the weekend], has happened for the last two decades. It’s not a big thing. It’s just a mistake.

 

“When you’re involved in a game, you’ve got your blinkers on and you go to the wrong table. The reason that these players are becoming rattled, is because Luke Littler is a better player than them and they don’t like it.

 

“And he has got this confidence. He’s got this swagger, see it is arrogance, but you tell me a big hitter in the world of any sport. Someone that’s got this, this ability to achieve. They’ve all got what’s seen as arrogance. I think it’s just an inner confidence that comes out with Luke.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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