Defending champion Stewart Anderson says he has a ‘tough first game’ ahead of Dan Salmon clash

Alex Marshall was the last man to achieve back-to-back World Indoor Singles titles, back in 2008 (he also achieved the feat in 2004), writes Dom Picksley.

Anderson, 34, has been handed no favours in the draw by being pulled out to play Welsh Commonwealth Games gold medallist Daniel Salmon, a player who could quite easily slot into the top-16 and looked at home there given the opportunity.

Salmon won the Men’s Pairs with Marc Wyatt at the Games in 2018, at Broadbeach, and he along with partner Damian Doubler were runners-up in the 2017 Open Pairs at the World Indoor Championships, while he claimed bronze for Wales in the Men’s Singles at the Atlantic Championships back in May.

“It’s a tough first game, but I’ve always said that I prefer to play someone I know rather than someone I don’t as you know their game and what to expect from them,” revealed Anderson. “It’s better getting in there right from the off, rather than going in there half-hearted (against a lesser opponent).

“I don’t even think about going there as the world champion. I just play every opponent as they come, the way I play every match. I will look to beat my opponent and that’s it. I can’t remember many people winning back-to-back titles and so it is going to be tough to defend my title, but I’ll take each round as it comes.”

Anderson reached the quarter-finals of the recent Scottish International Open and after progressing confidently through the competition, things went awry against Les Gillett, when he suffered a second set whitewash before tumbling out via a tie-break.

“I was happy with my performance in Scotland, I was playing well going into it,” explained Anderson. “But I just didn’t turn up against Les in the quarters. He played well, but I didn’t turn up. The rink changed a little and I lost everything.

“I am not saying it was blip as Les played well, but I was getting frustrated as I felt the carpet was slowing down and once that happens, that’s it. But I can take some positives from Perth, a quarter-final is still good.”

Watch the game straight after the men’s pairs final today, at around 3.30pm.

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