Phil Taylor launched a stinging attack on Michael van Gerwen after producing an incredible performance to thrash ‘The Green Machine’ 16-6 in the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens on Friday night.
Taylor is appearing in his final World Matchplay campaign ahead of his retirement in January 2018, but ‘The Power’ rolled back the years to stun the world number one and keep alive his hopes of winning an unprecedented 16th Blackpool crown.
Van Gerwen struggled in the face of a partisan Winter Gardens crowd, converting just 22% of his attempts at double. By comparison, Taylor was clinical. The 16-time world champion averaged 101.85, piled in ten maximums and boasted a mightily impressive checkout conversion rate of 57% to triumph in comprehensive fashion.
However, in his post-match interview, the Stoke-on-Trent ace had some strong words for his opponent, after Van Gerwen had allegedly text Vincent van der Voort during the interval of his second-round tie against Simon Whitlock. Taylor told Sky Sports’ Laura Woods: “Well, he didn’t text Vincent van der Voort tonight, did he?
It’s ridiculous. During Simon Whitlock’s match, he’s 8-2 up and texts Vincent van der Voort: ‘Simon Whitlock’s out’. I mean what’s he doing? Come on, he’s a professional, he’s world number one; grow up. He’s just stupid for doing that and I’m going to tell him that anyway,” Taylor added.
However, speaking to the PDC’s media channel, Taylor later revealed that Van Gerwen was sat backstage in tears after their contest. He admitted: “The crowd were on my side 150% and he didn’t like it. He’s sat in there tonight and cried his eyes out. Yesterday he was texting his mate in Holland, saying this guy is rubbish and I’m going to smack him.
“No. Don’t do that. Do it when you’ve won the tournament, that’s all I’m saying. Simon Whitlock is one hell of a player. Don’t be disrespectful; you got what you deserved in my opinion. You just don’t do that. I’ve played darts now professionally for getting on 30 years and I’ve never known anything like it, never.” Taylor continued.
In the semi-finals, Taylor will face his fellow Stoke star Adrian Lewis, who battled through the pain-barrier to defeat Alan Norris in a thriller. Lewis led 13-5 at one stage, but Norris won eight of the next nine legs to reduce the arrears to 14-13, only for ‘Jackpot’ to hold his nerve and prevail 16-13.
However, ‘The Power’ is relishing his showdown against the two-time world champion, claiming: “He was my little side-kick even though he never gave me any recognition for it. I used to look after him when he first started but it’s going to be good tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC