Waites said: “Towards the back end of the year, you’ve got to make sure you put a bit of time and effort in to try and get to a standard where you can compete with all these guys.
“I’m not far off but I’m not there yet. But on my day I don’t see why I can’t beat anybody.
“I do think I can take Nathan all the way. Nathan’s had a bit of a rest, I’ve had a bit of a practise so you never know. I look forward to that game.”
Waites was forced to dig deep against Campbell with every set going to a deciding leg – but the two-time BDO world champion finished with a flourish, winning the match with an impressive 11-darter.
He said: “There’s no way I played 24 legs previous to lose [that] game.
“To win that last leg how I did; 11-darter – I can’t believe it myself.
“I think that was one of the best games of darts I’ve played in my life.
“Matt Campbell; what a good dart player he is. He’s got nobody to practise with. For him to get up on that stage and throw like he [did], that is absolutely unbelievable. He is some dart player.”
Waites left the ill-fated BDO last year and gained his PDC tour card at the beginning of 2020.
The 43-year-old also quit his job as a joiner to concentrate on darts full-time.
“Towards the back end of 2019 you knew it was not going to go anywhere, so the players had to make a decision,” he said of his departure from the BDO.
“The only decision for me was to have a go in Q-School again, a real proper go, and try and win a tour card.
“If I hadn’t have got my tour card I’d have probably been sat on my settee, watching this at home.”
Waites will meet Premier League runner-up Nathan Aspinall on Wednesday evening.
How can I follow the World Darts Championship?
The World Darts Championship will be live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also watch it outside the UK via the PDC’s broadcast partners, such as RTL or DAZN.
We’ll have you covered here at Online Darts, with reaction with every winner of every game direct from Ally Pally. Head over to our YouTube channel and hit subscribe so you don’t miss a video.
We’ll have a live blog for you every session of the tournament, so you don’t miss a moment even if you can’t watch live.
We also produce World Championship Daily. This round up show will feature reaction, news and debate from every day of the event. It will be available across all good podcast channels the morning after each day’s play.
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