Unfit Phil to push even harder after record 13th title
PHIL TAYLOR will use darts’ summer break to improve his fitness, despite winning a record 13th World Matchplay title.
Taylor continued his dominance on the oche by claiming his fifth successive World Matchplay crown with a 18-15 defeat of James Wade in Sunday’s final.
The win scooped Taylor a £100,000 first prize and ensures that he retains his place at the top of darts’ world rankings as he approaches his 52nd birthday on August 13.
Taylor insisted that he will spend time working on his fitness during darts “closed season”.
“I wasn’t fit enough and I felt it on stage,” admitted Taylor. “Every time James came back at me I seemed to find an extra push, but my energy levels were going up and down.
“It’s hot on stage and I was drinking a lot of water and trying to take deep breaths to get the oxygen in and calm myself down.
“I didn’t perform like I can but it was probably one of the most difficult finals I’ve had because I’m getting older.
“I’m not as fit as I used to be and you’ve got to work at it, so I’ve got to work harder.”
Taylor had begun the Blackpool competition by using a new set of arrows.
But after averaging only 91 in his second round win over Justin Pipe he returned using his old barrels.
The Stoke thrower will continue to tinker with his darts ahead of September’s European Championship in Germany.
He added: “The darts are fantastic and they’re the best darts I’ve ever played with in practice.
“On stage, with the heat in Blackpool, they weren’t flying as they should do so we’ll make a few adjustments.
“It was in my head more than my arm.”
HARD-WORKING CHAMP: Taylor