Luke Humphries’ shocking slump in form after lifting his maiden World Darts Championship continued at the Players Championship in Wigan on Monday. The world No. 1 suffered an astonishing defeat against veteran Ian White in their second-round clash, his sixth in his last nine matches.
White didn’t have to produce a spectacular average – scoring 98.02 – to deal Humphries a humiliating 6-0 whitewash and end his Players Championship 1 campaign prematurely.
Cool Hand could only manage an 81.37 average as he slumped to his latest disappointing performance on his world title victory tour.
Humphries averaged 96.39 as he cruised past Wales’ Robert Owen 6-2 in the opening round but later saw his hopes of lifting the first Pro Tour title of the year dashed in jaw-dropping fashion.
White, the world No. 64, has won 13 PDC ranking titles throughout his career, including 10 Players Championships.
Diamond also beat Martin Lukeman 6-0 in his first-round match but fell short in the round of 32, losing 6-2 to Mike De Decker.
Humphries’ form is a major concern and a staggering drop-off after looking unbeatable at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024. His status as the world No. 1 could soon be under serious threat.
The 29-year-old won 20 consecutive matches until his 6-4 defeat against Gerwyn Price in the Bahrain Darts Masters quarter-finals on January 19.
That run started on November 11 and included him winning the Grand Slam of Darts, Players Championship Finals and the World Darts Championship.
But Humphries’ momentum has vanished since being thwarted by Price in the Middle East.
He responded strongly with a 6-0 victory against Jermaine Wattimena at the Dutch Darts Masters before Luke Littler avenged his world final defeat with a 6-5 win in the next round on his way to the title.
Littler beat Humphries again in Night One of the Premier League, this time 6-2 in the quarter-finals, leaving the latter with zero points.
Humphries then also lost his first match at the Cazoo Masters, with eventual champion Stephen Bunting bettering him 10-7.
He got on the board during Night Two of the Premier League in Berlin, beating Peter Wright 6-4 in the quarter-finals.
But Littler earned a third successive triumph against the catalyst of his Alexandra Palace downfall, winning 6-5.
Humphries’ disastrous display against White was the most alarming of the lot, though, and he will be desperate to bounce back in Premier League Night Three action against Nathan Aspinall on Thursday.