John Henderson hopes to call on previous positive experience if he faces ladies’ world champion Mikuru Suzuki at the PDC World Championships.
The Highlander is the 30th seed for next month’s event at the Alexandra Palace and enters at the second round stage.
Hendo will play either James Richardson or Suzuki. If it’s the latter he knows most observers will support the Japanese.
The 46-year-old said: “People will assess it and see I’ve got the possibility of playing a lady and wrongly think it will be easy.
“She’s not world champion for nothing – she’s a cracking player.
“I’ve played a lady on TV before. I played Stacy Bromberg at the Grand Slam in 2010 (5-2 win). The crowd that night were all for her and rightly so because they always like an underdog.
“I do believe I’m popular with the fans on the circuit, but I’m sure if I’m playing Suzuki they’ll be cheering for her.
“That’s not malicious towards me, but they like to see the women do well.
“But if I’m playing Mikuru hopefully I can show what I’m capable of.
“It’s good to have the women involved and I don’t think they get the respect they deserve.
“The standard in the last few years has gone up a few notches thanks to the likes of Lisa Ashton and Deta Hedman.
“I think because they’re competing with the men their standard has gone up.”
Henderson also has respect for the experienced Richardson and added: “I do think James will get through because the first round of the World Championships is five sets and the women don’t usually play games of that length.
“I think that helps James, but Mikuru could surprise him.
“I haven’t played James on the TV stage, but we’ve played often enough on the floor and I’ve beaten him and he’s beaten me.
“There are no easy games in the World Championship whoever you play.”
If Hendo gets past his second round tie it’s likely he’ll face third seed and back-to-back Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price – and that’s a challenge he will relish.
He said: “Gerwyn is playing the darts of his life at the moment and will be a heavy favourite which suits me if I play him.
“Hopefully, I can get through the first game and then give Gerwyn a good game in round three.”