Taylor reaches World Matchplay final

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Phil Taylor is looking for his 16th World Matchplay title, having won his first in 1995

Phil Taylor produced a brilliant semi-final performance to beat Adrian Lewis and stay on course for his 16th World Matchplay title.

The former world number one, 56, last won the tournament in 2014, but earned a 17-9 victory in front of a raucous crowd at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

In Sunday’s final, the Englishman will meet Peter Wright, who beat Daryl Gurney 17-15 in a thrilling match.

“It’s my last day here tomorrow and I’m going out with a bang,” said Taylor.

Vintage Taylor

Taylor continued his fine form after thrashing world number Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals on Thursday,

It was the 32-year-old Lewis who broke first and took a 3-1 lead, but Taylor came back almost instantly to level the match at 3-3.

Despite his superior average going into the second interval, Taylor only led 8-7 with the throw.

But in a repeat of the 2013 final, in which Taylor beat Lewis 18-13, the 15-time champion became the more dominant player as the match progressed.

With Lewis starting to make more mistakes, Taylor raced away to victory.

Taylor told Sky Sports: “My mindset was keep him under pressure and that he will feel it in the last part of the game.

“I knew he was shattered and I had to take advantage, even though I love him.”

‘We had a little argy-bargy’

Peter Wright also beat Daryl Gurney on his way to the UK Open title in March

Scotsman Wright is through to his first final at the World Matchplay and a win over Taylor would be the biggest prize of the 47-year-old’s professional career so far.

Wright will be looking to improve on his average of 93 in a heated semi-final against Northern Ireland’s Gurney, which included some verbal exchanges between the two players.

“We had a little argy-bargy on stage. I was getting grief from the crowd, he wasn’t. Then he said something to me when I walked past,” Wright told Sky Sports.

“I got over the line anyway and I’m in the final. I’m one game away.”

The World Matchplay is considered the second biggest tournament in the sport, after the World Championship.


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