Lewis & Taylor Set Up All Stoke Final

Lewis hits the Jackpot – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis will meet in the final of the BetVictor World Matchplay on Sunday evening after they won through brilliant semi-finals against James Wade and Michael van Gerwen at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

BetVictor World Matchplay Results
Saturday July 27

Michael van Gerwen (2) 15-17 Adrian Lewis (3)
Phil Taylor (1) 17-12 James Wade (4)

Sunday July 28 (7pm)

Phil Taylor (1) v Adrian Lewis (3)
Best of 35 legs.
Must be won by two clear legs, with tie-break to maximum of five additional legs before sudden-death leg is played at 20-20.

Taylor remains on course to win a record-extending 14th World Matchplay title and a record-breaking sixth successive Winter Gardens crown following his 17-12 win over Wade.

Taylor stormed into leads of 3-0, 6-1 and 7-2 – hitting three 11-dart finishes and a 106 checkout – before Wade, the 2007 champion, hit back to level the contest at ten-all by winning eight legs from 11, taking out 146 and 124 in the process.

The world number four also shared the next two legs before Taylor took three of the next four to create a 14-12 advantage, and he then secured a key hold of throw to move three legs clear again.

Wade landed a seventh 180 of the game as he battled to hit back, but missed four darts at doubles as Taylor edged to the brink of victory at 16-12 before sealing a superb win with a 13-darter.

Taylor ended the game with the week’s highest average of 107.61 and finished 46 percent of his chances at a double, and also created a new record of 29 successive victories on the Winter Gardens stage.

2013 World Matchplay

The Power – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

“James came back really well and made it very tough for me,” said Taylor. “I could have gone 8-0 up but then I started missing doubles and it was playing on my mind.

“James came back well and he hung in there, but when your back’s against the wall you’ve got to come out fighting and get stuck in, and I did that. I was steady and I’ll have to be better in the final.

“Adrian’s playing the best darts I’ve ever seen from him and it will be a great final. It’s great for Stoke that we’re both in the final, and while I won’t match him for 180s, I’ll match him for 140s and we’ll have a lovely battle.”

Lewis, meanwhile, won a breathtaking semi-final against world number two Michael van Gerwen 17-15 to reach his first World Matchplay final, where he takes on his Stoke rival and former practice partner.

The 28-year-old produced one of the finest performances of his career, hitting 16 maximums and crucially coming from 15-14 down – when he trailed briefly for the only time in the game – to win the game’s next three legs to edge into the final.

Lewis took out finishes of 121 and 119 as he took an early 3-1 lead, and though van Gerwen hit back to level, the Stoke ace won four of the next five as he moved into an 8-4 advantage.

Van Gerwen replied with a 13-darter, and then took out tops, a 164 checkout for a 12-dart leg and double 18 as he won four straight legs to level a dramatic game.

Lewis took out 106 to regain the lead, and though van Gerwen once more levelled, the European Champion won the next three legs in 14, 12 and 13 darts as he raced into a 12-9 cushion.

A treble from van Gerwen saw him again level as he finished 72, 84 and 112 to level at 12-all before Lewis hit four 180s in three legs – which included two in one leg for a third time in the game – as he edged into a 14-13 lead.

Van Gerwen, though, replied with a 180 of his own in a 13-darter to level before finally getting a break to move ahead, for the first time in the match, by taking out a brilliant 121 checkout on double 14.

2013 World Matchplay

The Machine – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The pair traded 180s in the next before Lewis missed double 14 for a 121 finish of his own – but van Gerwen agonisingly missed two darts on the outside wire of double eight as his opponent levelled.

Lewis then fired in a 180 and double ten to move 16-15 up before leading victory with a 14-darter which featured a remarkable 16th maximum and was wrapped up on double seven.

Lewis had won through his quarter-final with Andy Hamilton 19-17 a day earlier, and ended another epic contest with an average of 102.28.

“It’s absolutely brilliant,” said Lewis. “It was always going to be a tough game and it was such a battle, and it means everything to me to be in the final.

“I didn’t think it could get much tougher than playing Andy in the quarter-finals, but Michael’s been the best player in the world for the last ten months and I dug in deep.

“It’s up there with the best games I’ve ever played. It was played at a fantastic pace, and I thought I controlled the game well. At one stage I was hitting 180s for fun and I put him under the cosh.

“I let Michael back in, and he showed what a great player he is with that 121 finish to go ahead. I was frustrated with myself for letting him back in – but luckily enough he missed the double eight.

2013 World Matchplay

MvG – Lawrence Lustig/PDC

“It’s a fantastic feeling to be in the final. I know my form’s coming back well and I’ve got the confidence in my game now to back that up.”

Van Gerwen had been bidding to win his third major title inside a year, and admitted: “I’m very proud of my performance but I’m a winner and I don’t like losing semi-finals.

“I think Adrian was the better scorer in the game and I finished better, but when I missed the 70 finish [to lead 16-14] I destroyed myself. I knew that was a big point in the match and I’m really feeling bad.

“I knew if I hit those two darts at double eight that I had him. It was an important moment in the game. Adrian’s a brilliant player and I think he played his best game in the tournament so far.”

Taylor is now the 1/3 favourite with sponsors BetVictor to retain his title on Sunday night in the best of 35 leg contest, while Lewis is 9/4 to win back-to-back majors following his European Championship victory earlier this month.

2013 World Matchplay Semi-Final Stats

M v Gerwen 15-17 Adrian Lewis
41 100+ 41
16 140+ 18
3 170+ 1
6 180 16
100.54 Average 102.28
164. 121. 112 High Finish 121, 119, 106
6 Breaks of Throw 7
15/30 – 50% Checkout % 17/42 – 40%


Phil Taylor 17-12 James Wade
46 100+ 34
19 140+ 22
1 170+ 2
7 180 7
107.61 Average 98.58
124, 106 High Finish 146, 124
5 Breaks of Throw 3
17/37 – 46% Checkout % 12/26 – 46%


Match Information
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
0-0 – Adrian Lewis wins the bull and throws first.
0-1 – Lewis finishes 66 to hold throw in the opening leg.
1-1 – van Gerwen levels by taking the second leg comfortably on double ten.
1-2 – Lewis scores 140, 180 and 145 as he moves back ahead with a 12-darter, finishing double 18 at the third time of asking.
1-3 – van Gerwen hits his first 180, but Lewis replies in kind and then takes out 121 on double 14 for another 12-darter to break throw.
1-4 – Lewis finishes 119 on tops to move three legs clear.
2-4 – van Gerwen fires in a 180 and tops to win his first leg in four.
3-4 – van Gerwen opens with 180 and 140, and though Lewis hits a maximum to leave 40, he can only watch as the Dutch ace pins double 11 for an 84 finish to break in 12 darts.
3-5 – Lewis breaks back immediately by finishing double five with his third dart.
4-5 – Lewis misses a dart at tops, and van Gerwen breaks again by finishing double ten.
4-6 – Lewis secures another break of throw with a 12-darter, hitting back-to-back 180s before finishing double eight to regain his two-leg lead.
4-7 – Lewis finishes double 18 as he regains his three-leg lead.
4-8 – van Gerwen misses the bull, double eight and double four, and Lewis steps in to finish double three for a break.
5-8 – van Gerwen lands a 180, his fourth of the game, but is given a reprieve for a miss at double 12, with Lewis off-target on tops for a 109 checkout to allow his opponent to return on double six to break.
6-8 – van Gerwen takes another leg, with Lewis missing the bull for an 86 finish before his opponent takes out tops to hit back.
7-8 – van Gerwen finishes a brilliant 164 with treble 20, treble 18 and the bullseye as he cuts the gap to one leg.
8-8 – The Dutch star pulls level, hitting a 171 to leave 36 before posting double 18 to square the contest.
8-9 – Lewis finishes 106 as he wins his first leg in five to edge back ahead.
9-9 – Double ten sees van Gerwen level the game again.
9-10 – Lewis posts a 14-darter as he moves back in front.
9-11 – For the second time in the game, Lewis posts two 180s in a leg before breaking by taking out 41 on double 12.
9-12 – Lewis finishes double top to regain his three-leg cushion.
10-12 – van Gerwen finishes 72 on double six to hit back once more.
11-12 – Lewis misses two darts at tops, and van Gerwen takes out 84 on the bull to break throw and reduce the gap to one leg.
12-12 – Lewis hits a 174, but van Gerwen takes out 112 on tops to level the game.
12-13 – Lewis regains the lead by finishing 56 on double ten.
13-13 – Lewis hits his tenth 180 of the game, but van Gerwen posts double nine to level.
13-14 – Lewis, for a third time in the match, hits two 180s, and takes the leg on double eight.
14-14 – van Gerwen posts his fifth maximum, and finishes tops for a 13-darter to square matters.
15-14 – Lewis hits a 13th 180, but misses double ten and van Gerwen breaks on double 14 with a brilliant 121 checkout as he leads for the first time in the match.
15-15 – van Gerwen kicks off a dramatic leg with a maximum, with Lewis replying in kind with his 14th, only to miss double 14 to match his opponent’s 121 finish – but the Dutchman misses two darts on the wire of double eight, and Lewis lands double seven to break back and level.
15-16 – Lewis opens the leg with five treble 20s as he scores 180 and 139, and finishes double ten to move himself back ahead – and one leg away from the final.
15-17 – Lewis hits a 16th 180 of the game to leave 28, and when van Gerwen misses double 13 for a 146 finish, double seven sees the Stoke ace move into the BetVictor World Matchplay final.

Phil Taylor v James Wade
0-0 – Phil Taylor wins the bull and will throw first.
1-0 – Taylor lands a 180 and finishes 85 to take the opening leg in 11 darts.
2-0 – Taylor adds a second maximum and finishes double 16 for a 13-darter to break throw.
3-0 – Taylor continues his brilliant start by taking out 106.
3-1 – Wade hits two 180s, and eventually wins the leg on double five – after Taylor missed darts at double 12 and six to continue his charge.
4-1 – Taylor lands another maximum and finishes 83 to regain his cushion.
5-1 – Taylor hits tops to win his fifth leg of the game – maintaining an average of 117!
6-1 – Wade posts a 180 to leave 104, but Taylor had left 40 after 12 darts and hit tops to complete a 14-dart finish.
6-2 – Wade hits a 174 to leave 32, and lands double 16 to win his second leg of the game.
7-2 – Taylor opens with a 177, and finishes 88 on double 14 to regain his cushion.
7-3 – Double ten sees Wade hit back to win his third leg.
7-4 – Wade finishes 124 on the bull to break for the first time in the game.
7-5 – Wade wins a third successive leg as he punishes Taylor for two missed doubles by finishing 52 on tops.
8-5 – Taylor finishes 71 on double eight to regain his cushion.
8-6 – The pair trade 180s, but Taylor misses double top and ten to allow the 2007 champion in on tops to win a sixth leg.
9-6 – Wade misses his chance to pull back to just one leg behind, seeing one dart at double 15 for a 90 checkout land just inside the wire, and Taylor capitalises by taking out 41.
9-7 – Taylor leaves 32, but Wade finishes a brilliant 146 checkout on double 16 to take the leg in style.
10-7 – Taylor hits back with a 124 checkout.
10-8 – Wade lands a 180 and finishes tops to reduce the gap to two legs once more.
10-9 – Wade breaks for a second time in the contest by landing double 12 as he pulls back to trail by just one leg.
10-10 – Taylor misses one dart at tops to finish 70, and Wade hits the same bed to level – completing a superb fightback from 7-2 down.
11-10 – Taylor kicks off with five treble 20s as he scores 180 and 123, and lands double ten to regain the lead.
11-11 – Wade finishes 80 in three darts with a pair of double tops.
12-11 – Taylor misses the bull to take out 161, but Wade is unable to finish the same combination and the reigning champion returns on double eight.
13-11 – Taylor secures a potentially key break, with Wade missing double 13 for a second 146 checkout of the game to allow the world number one in to finish 63 on double 12.
13-12 – Wade hits a 170 score to leave 40, and when Taylor wires double 16 for a 68 finish, Wade lands tops to break throw again.
14-12 – Taylor lands a 180 and finishes 82 on double eight to break throw.
15-12 – Wade posts a 180, but Taylor finishes tops for a 13-darter to move two legs away from the win.
16-12 – Wade kicks off the leg with scores of 180 and 140, but Taylor lands a maximum of his own and capitalises when the world number four misses a dart at tops and three on the outside wire of double ten, returning to win a dramatic leg on double four.
17-12 – Taylor leaves 96 after nine darts, and finishes tops for a 13-darter to book his place in the final and remain on course for a record sixth successive title.

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