Fallon Sherrock continued to rock the dart world with a record-breaking 2021 campaign, but as she prepares to launch into crucial 12 months, what does 2022 hold for the Queen of the Palace?
Sherrock became a runaway superstar almost overnight at the 2020 World Championship as she became the first woman to beat a man at Alexandra Palace, edging out Ted Evetts before toppling 11th seed Mensur Suljovic to reach the third round.
The coronavirus pandemic threatened to derail its momentum, but it continued to shatter the glass ceiling with a series of sublime exhibits in 2021.
The 27-year-old advanced to the Nordic Darts Masters final on her World Series debut, making an extraordinary comeback to stun Dimitri Van den Bergh in the semifinals, before succumbing 11-7 to Michael van Gerwen in a thrilling finish.
Sherrock also had a dreamy Grand Slam debut; becoming the first woman to reach a major quarterfinal in the PDC rankings, recording the highest average of a player on television and converting a stunning 170 result against Gabriel Clemens to advance to the round of 16.
His exploits at Wolverhampton meant that two World Championship wins might have been enough to secure a PDC Tour card for the 2022 campaign, although those hopes were dashed after a 3-2 loss to veteran Steve Beaton on his return from Ally Pally.
Sherrock is now setting her sights on the PDC qualifying school this weekend, as she tries to secure her place on the pro circuit, following in the footsteps of four-time women’s world champion Lisa Ashton, who achieved the ‘feat two years ago.
Ahead of this year’s World Championship, Fallon Sherrock revealed his pride in inspiring a new generation of female players
“Fallon needs to get a Tour Card and if she can do it, and I see no reason why she couldn’t, even though it’s ultra-competitive she will be one of the best in Q-School,” insists Sky Sports’ Wayne Mardle.
“It would give him a chance to qualify for big events, but as a freshman tour card holder getting into things like Matchplay would be a real chore because you are effectively a year late. on the order of the Pro Tour of Rankings on Merit. “
If successful at Q School, the British Open in March would be Sherrock’s first major event as a Tour Card holder, while World Matchplay and World Grand Prix qualification would be a possibility.
However, should she run out, the former Lakeside finalist would still be eligible to compete in the Challenge Tour – the second tier of the PDC.
The 27-year-old is expected to headline the expanded PDC women’s series – comprising 20 events in 2021 – with qualifying spots on offer for the Grand Slam and the World Championship regardless of her tour card status. .
Sherrock could also appear on the World Series circuit in 2022, having been initially selected to compete in the US Masters at Madison Square Garden, New York, ahead of Covid-19.
“The Queen of the Palace” might choose to ply her trade on the WDF Tour if she misses the Q School, and Mardle considered the possibility of Sherrock being crowned world champion for the first time.
“I think if Fallon could get that first world title it would catapult her into a different stratosphere, keeping in mind that everything that happened is explained,” he added.
Fallon Sherrock made Grand Slam history in November with a sensational result of 170, becoming the first woman to advance to the round of 16.
“Now is a good time for her. Winning her four or five years ago, you would sell her as a former world champion. Selling her now as a world champion is actually pretty exciting. . “
Following Sherrock’s record-breaking Grand Slam campaign, which resulted in a 16-13 loss to new world champion Peter Wright, there have been calls in some quarters for her to be included in the 2022 Premier League.
The lineup for this year’s roadshow has yet to be announced, although his first-round loss to Beaton at Alexandra Palace may have reduced that prospect.
Sherrock appeared as a contender in the 2020 edition, drawing a 6-6 draw with three-time Lakeside champion Glen Durrant, and Sky Sports’ Laura Turner praised Sherrock’s impact on women’s football.
“I think Fallon is a huge asset, not only for darts, but also for women’s sport and sport in general.
PDC chairman Eddie Hearn has said Fallon Sherrock will be seriously considered for the 2022 Premier League.
“People want to see her play, and the Premier League – which basically takes darts on the road – could not only provide a platform for her to continue playing with the best players at the highest level, but also continue to attract new audiences and opening the darts up to new demographics.
“Commercially it makes sense, although I know there will be some people and players who will disagree.”
So what does 2022 hold for Fallon Sherrock?
Whatever the outcome at Q School, Sherrock will feature prominently over the next 12 months, but the ability to claim a business card – often described as the golden ticket of darts – could prove to be a game-changer. .
Darts live on Sky Sports in 2022
Premier League Darts – February 3 – May 26
Darts World Cup – June 16-19
Global Matchplay – July 16-24
World Grand Prix – October 2-8
Grand Slam of Darts – November 2022
World Darts Championship – December 2022 – January 2023
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