London (AFP) - Peter Wright has insisted all his numerous defeats by Michael Van Gerwen will count for nothing when he faces the reigning champion in the PDC World Championship darts final on Wednesday.
Wright heads into the showpiece New Year's Day match at London's Alexandra Palace on the back of a fiery 6-3 semi-final win over Gerwyn Price.
Having come through that match, the 49-year-old Wright, who always takes to the stage sporting a brightly dyed 'punk' hairstyle, is now turning his attention to three-time world champion Van Gerwen.
The Dutchman beat Wright in the 2014 world final, one of 59 defeats he has inflicted upon the Scot.
Wright, however, believes his form at this year's edition makes him a different proposition.
"I want to play the best player in the world, the number one, the guy who wins all the titles - or the titles I have given him," Wright told Sky Sports News.
"But he will be playing a different 'Wrighty' and this 'Wrighty' will be up for MvG."
Wright added: "I have not been in the final since 2014. I was not ready to be world champion then, he deserved to be world champion and has done a fantastic job being the world champion.
"But this time, I think I am ready; I know I am ready. I have learned a lot in all of those years, have matured more.
"It is my time, that is why I am here."
But Van Gerwen, who beat Nathan Aspinall 6-3 in Monday's second semi-final, took heart from the fact he has yet to lose to Wright in a major final.
"Most of the time when he (Wright) plays me, he sort of blows it up, misses darts at doubles. That is a good thing for myself," Van Gerwen said.
"He has to do better if he wants to beat me, he knows that."
Meanwhile, the tournament's breakthrough star Fallon Sherrock will not play in the upcoming BDO Women's World Championship.
The British Darts Organisation ran the lone world title event until leading male players broke away to form what became the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) in the early 1990s.
This year saw Sherrock become the first woman to beat a man at the PDC World Championship as she defeated both Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic on her way to the third round.
The cash-strapped BDO recently announced it was slashing prize money for the event and a statement issued on Sherrock's behalf Tuesday said: "This decision (not to play) took many factors into consideration, including unexpected changes to the event made yesterday."
Sherrock's success at Alexandra Palace has seen her invited to all World Series of Darts events in 2020, with tennis great Billie Jean King taking to Twitter to hail the 25-year-old as a pioneer for women's sport.