Four days after becoming the first female darts player to defeat a man in a championship match at the Professional Darts Corporation World Championship, Fallon Sherrock did it again on Saturday at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Sherrock, who is from the United Kingdom, defeated 11th seeded Mensur Suljovic of Austria, and now moves on to the third round of the darts championship.
The 25-year-old former hairdresser won the first set, and Suljovic won the second to even the match. Sherrock then took the next two sets, winning the final one with a bullseye. Much like her first match with Ted Evetts, she was a heavy underdog to win. She was +750, while Suljovic was -1400 to win.
Sherrock faces No. 22 seed Chris Dobey in the third round on Friday. She is again a huge underdog, with odds of +350 to win at Ladbrokes. Dobey is -500.
Meanwhile, Sherrock has become an instant celebrity based on her two recent performances. She has been inundated with sponsorship opportunities, and has received congratulatory messages from around the world.
Famed tennis player Billie Jean King, who won “The Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973, tweeted her support.
Congratulations to @Fsherrock, who has just defeated the World No. 11 player to advance to the 3rd round of the #WorldDartsChampionship! Earlier this week, she became the 1st woman in history to win a match in the championship! #Gamechanger https://t.co/qsbrt6VxWT
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) December 21, 2019
“Congratulations to @fsherrock, who has just defeated the World No. 11 player to advance to the 3rd round of the#WorldDartsChampionship! Earlier this week, she became the 1st woman in history to win a match in the championship!#gamechanger,” King wrote.
Still Sinking In
When Sherrock won her first match, she became the first female darts player to defeat a man, but she didn’t realize how big her accomplishment was. She told BBC Radio on Sunday after her second victory that it still feels like a dream.
“It hasn’t all sunk in yet,” Sherrock said. “I haven’t had time to process the first game let alone this game. Then the fact that all these people are tweeting me, especially Billie Jean King. Oh my god, I never thought someone like that would be contacting me or congratulating me or anything like that. I mean, this is me. I’m just a normal person. This stuff doesn’t happen to me, but it’s incredible and I’m loving it.”
An Accidental Pioneer
Sherrock was one of two women qualifiers for the PDC World Championships under a provision made by the organization last year. Officials set up a path for two women, one from the UK and another from an international qualifier, to gain entry into the world championship, considered the most prestigious event in the sport of darts.
Only three other women, Gayl King, Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton, have previously played matches at the men’s PDC World Championship. They all lost in the first round. This year’s other qualifier, Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki, also lost in the first round.
Before this year, it was almost impossible for a female darts player to defeat a man, because just getting into the competition was so difficult. Sherrock, with her new notoriety, would like to see the field expanded to four women next year.
“I’ve just proved that we can beat anyone,” Sherrock said. “I’ve beaten two of the best players in the world, and if that doesn’t say that women can play darts, I don’t know what can.”