Phil Taylor remains on course to win a fourth successive Sydney Darts Masters crown, after producing a majestic performance to dismantle world champion Gary Anderson in the quarter-finals at The Star on Friday night.
Taylor averaged 112.41- the highest recorded average in World Series history, to secure a 10-2 victory against ‘The Flying Scotsman’. It was an imperious display from ‘The Power’, who fired in seven maximums and hit an incredible 10 of his 15 attempts at double, at a ratio of 67%.
The opening two legs of the contest were shared, before the 16-time world champion established control. He opened the third leg with a 140 and 180, before hitting tops to complete an 11-dart leg. He then secured another 11-darter in the next leg, following up two maximums with D16 to break Anderson’s throw.
Taylor was scoring magnificently and fired in his fourth maximum to seize control of the fifth leg. However, the Stoke star missed five darts at double, to hand Anderson a chance to break back instantly. Nevertheless, the Scot was unable to capitalise, and the reigning Sydney champion eventually pinned D16 to move 4-1 ahead.
The decisive blow came just moments later. Anderson left himself on a finish to reduce the arrears to 4-2, but he wasn’t afforded an opportunity, as Taylor converted a brilliant 129 combination finish to secure a precious double break. Taylor cemented this break with another ton-plus finish, this time 115, before winning a sixth straight leg with tops.
The 55-year-old was in simply unstoppable form, and he cruised into an 8-1 lead after hitting his fifth maximum and converting D4 to complete a 65 finish. Taylor then moved to within a leg of victory after registering his third ton-plus checkout; taking out 127.
Anderson managed to restore some pride by hitting D10 to win his second leg, but any hopes of a heroic fightback were short-lived. After the world champion hit his second maximum, Taylor responded with successive 180’s, before hitting D16 at the first time of asking to seal a comprehensive win in 11-darts.
It was a wonderful performance from ‘The Power’. If you eradicate the five missed darts at double in the fifth leg, Taylor’s doubling was flawless. He finished superbly and scored with relentless consistency.
Taylor was understandably thrilled by the result, and particularly the manner of his victory: “The checking out was some of the best I’ve ever done in my whole career. I just seemed to be very relaxed and didn’t feel the pressure at all, and I felt lovely and comfortable.”
In the last four, Taylor will face his Target stablemate Dave Chisnall, who eased past two-time world champion Adrian Lewis. Chisnall hit seven maximums, averaged 96.56 and hit 40% of his attempts at double to progress, as Lewis struggled for consistency.
The game was evenly-poised with Chisnall leading 4-3, but the St Helen’s star reeled off five consecutive legs to seal complete control. Lewis batted valiantly, winning back-to-back legs to prolong the encounter, but Chizzy eventually secured his semi-final berth with a clinical 86 outshot.
Elsewhere, world number one Michael van Gerwen averaged 104 as he battled past home favourite Kyle Anderson in the last eight. Fresh from beating Raymond van Barneveld on Thursday, Anderson was full of confidence. Despite Van Gerwen establishing a 3-0 lead, ‘The Original’ restored parity at 4-4, by virtue of two wonderful 160 finishes.
Anderson missed darts to break in the ninth leg, before levelling in the tenth as the pair traded maximums. However, ‘The Green Machine’ upped the ante in the latter stages, winning five of the last six legs to secure his place in the last four, where he’ll face Peter Wright.
Wright secured a spot in the semi-finals of a World Series event for the first time in 2016 with an emphatic 10-4 win against Rhys Mathewson. The 28-year-old caused a major shock on his TV debut by dumping out James Wade, but he was unable to replicate the feat against Snakebite.
However, the Tasmanian acquitted himself extremely well. He hit four maximums and averaged over 91, but his 27% checkout percentage was simply not sufficient to trouble Wright. The Scot was solid if unspectacular, averaging just over 95, but he finished strongly, hitting 63% of his attempts at double to reach the last four.
Ladbrokes Sydney Darts Masters- Friday August 19
Adrian Lewis 5-10 Dave Chisnall
Rhys Mathewson 4-10 Peter Wright
Gary Anderson 2-10 Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Kyle Anderson
Best of 19 legs
Saturday August 20
Phil Taylor v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Best of 21 legs
Taylor/Chisnall v van Gerwen/Wright
Best of 21 legs