London, United Kingdom | AFP | Fallon Sherrock, the first woman to win a match at the world darts championship, reached the third round with a stunning bullseye finish on Saturday and confidently predicted she could win the tournament.
The 25-year-old saw off world number 11 Mensur Suljovic of Austria 3-1 in her second-round match at London’s Alexandra Palace.
On Tuesday, she had made history as the first woman to win a match at the men’s PDC world championship when she came from behind to beat 77th-ranked Ted Evetts 3-2.
When asked if she could win the tournament, Sherrock told Sky Sports: “Why not? I have won two games, I am just going to take each game as it comes but there is nothing to say that I can’t. I am going to try.”
Sherrock was just one of two women players in the 96-strong field at the event held inside the raucous 10,000-capacity venue.
The other qualifier, Mikuru Suzuki, lost 3-2 to James Richardson in her first round tie last weekend.
“I have just proved that we (women) can beat anyone,” added Sherrock.
“I have beaten two of the best players in the world. If that doesn’t show that women can play darts, I don’t know what does.”
“I’m speechless. With everything that has been going on the last couple of days I have just been focusing on my finishing because I know that I can score.
“I’m still waiting for it all to sink in. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight. It’s amazing, when that dart (at bull to win) went in it was a sigh of relief.”
On Saturday, she missed only five doubles in a superb performance against Suljovic.
Sherrock won the first set before the Austrian levelled.
But the Englishwoman hit back to surge into the last 32, where she will meet Chris Dobey.
It has been a remarkable week for Sherrock with even tennis legend and women’s sports pioneer Billie Jean King taking note of her achievement.
“Congratulations to Fallon Sherrock, the first woman in history to win a match in the World Darts Championship,” tweeted the American in midweek.
“Fallon earned more for this first-round win than she would have earned from winning the women’s championship.”
Sherrock was runner-up to Lisa Ashton in the women’s world championship four years ago.
She is just the fifth woman to feature in a men’s championship, following Gayl King, Anastasia Dobromyslova, Ashton and Suzuki.
On Saturday, there more plaudits for Sherrock.
“Never enjoyed darts as much as tonight @Fsherrock you absolute hero,” tweeted former England cricket star Andrew Flintoff.
Last-32 opponent Dobey congratulated the trailblazer.
“Very much looking forward to my game on the 27th congratulations @Fsherrock on yet another great performance,” the 29-year-old tweeted.