Taylor on target for Matchplay history
PHIL TAYLOR has locked himself away in a log cabin as he targets a record-breaking 14th win at the BetVictor World Matchplay that starts in Blackpool on Saturday.
King Taylor has won the World Matchplay in 13 of the previous 19 stagings of the tournament at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
Last year’s triumph equalled his own record of five successive wins, meaning that he would create yet more history if he walks away with the £100,000 title again this time around.
After struggling in the European Championships, Taylor has retreated to a log cabin in Lancashire to get himself ready.
He said: “Last year was one of the hardest finals I’ve ever played. I’m having to work harder as I get older and James Wade pushed me all the way.
“I’ve been doing a lot of hard work recently to get fitter and lose some weight and it’s coming together. I’m practising well too, and looking forward to Blackpool. I’ll be ready.
“It’s the best venue we play at and I’d love to end my career there because everybody loves it.
“It’s a venue that everybody wants to play at. It has something magical about it.”
Taylor begins his challenge in the event on Sunday night when he takes on Cheshire debutant Stuart Kellett, who has reached two PDC ranking finals this year. Phil Taylor v Stuart Kellett, Terry Jenkins v Andy Smith, Raymond van Barneveld v Mensur Suljovic, Justin Pipe v Mark Webster, Simon Whitlock v Jelle Klaasen, Kevin Painter v Jamie Lewis, James Wade v John Part, Mervyn King v Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen v Colin Lloyd, Kim Huybrechts v Peter Wright, Wes Newton v Jamie Caven, Dave Chisnall v Paul Nicholson, Andy Hamilton v Ronnie Baxter, Robert Thornton v Ian White, Adrian Lewis v Ronny Huybrechts, Brendan Dolan v Steve Beaton.
CHAMPION: Phil Taylor