Poor world champ Michael Smith dumped out in Masters semi as fans fear fatigue

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    World No.1 Michael Smith has crashed out of the Masters in the semi-finals after losing to in-form Chris Dobey.

    The reigning world champion, who averaged just 90, slumped to an 11-7 defeat in Milton Keynes, losing the final leg after failing to hit a double 11 despite having three bites of the cherry. The clinical Dobey did not waste his chance to seal his path to the final in a huge upset.

    It will be Dobey's first televised final of his career – but not the first time he has dumped out a champion, after eliminating competition holder Joe Cullen in his opening match. Meanwhile, Smith is left picking up the pieces of a tough night at the oche, as fans were concerned he was suffering from a bout of fatigue.

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    One fan reacted to the result on Twitter, writing: "Disappointing performance from Smith, seemed a tired performance," while a different user said: "Don't know what happened to Michael Smith there. Was really poor."

    Another said: "Was always going to happen with Smith can’t keep playing the way he was for so long … Premier League next," as another fan agreed: "Michael Smith simply ran out of steam after winning the world crown."

    Reacting to his defeat, one fan summarised: "The last couple of months have finally caught up with Michael Smith. He’s been brilliant winning the worlds. Go and win it Chris."

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    Smith was on top of the world at the start of the year after his incredible, dramatic win over Michael van Gerwen in the World Championships at Alexandra Palace. His latest defeat will be a tough pill to swallow, but he will be looking to bounce back when the Premier League gets under way in Belfast on Thursday.

    As world No1, Smith gains automatic entry into the competition, which runs until May. The top four players in the PDC Order of Merit are joined by four wildcard picks.

    Smith is yet to win the Premier League in his career, despite featuring five times. He finished as runner-up in 2018, but failed to make the play-offs last year.


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