PHIL TAYLOR and Raymond van Barneveld will clash in the final of the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship on Sunday night.

The duo will battle at London’s Alexandra Palace on Sunday in a repeat of the classic 2007 final – which van Barneveld won in a sudden-death leg after a three-hour epic.

The Dutchman followed up his nine-darter in his quarter-final win over Jelle Klaasen with a 6-4 win over world number three James Wade on Saturday night.

Wade produced his best display of the tournament, but van Barneveld crucially found an extra gear to win the final two sets of a pulsating clash.

“Getting into the final was my target now but am I good enough to beat Phil Taylor? I have to dig deep to give him a game,” said van Barneveld.

“He is so complete this year, so focused and is killing everyone at the moment. He is good enough to beat me 7-0, but I am good enough to beat him 7-0 and you never know.”

Taylor, meanwhile, powered past Mervyn King 6-2 to remain on course for an unprecedented 14th World Championship title.

He led 3-0 before King took two sets to hit back, but another three-set burst put Taylor into the final, with an average of just under 104 on the night.

“I’m over the moon to be in the final but it wasn’t as easy as it could have been,” said Taylor. “I went 3-0 up and started thinking about what I was doing.

“I thought I was going to be in the final and then started missing, and that was my mistake.

“I think I’ve earned my place in the final, Barney has done well but had a little bit of luck and I think tomorrow his luck will run out!”

King pockets £30,000 as a semi-final loser and will also win a place in the 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts after moving into the PDC’s top six.

Be he admitted: “You don’t expect to beat Phil Taylor when you play like that and it wasn’t good enough.

“I had my chance and blew it. I didn’t play anywhere near what I should have done – you’re not going to beat Phil Taylor with a 90 average and I got what I deserved.”

Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship
Semi-Finals
Raymond van Barneveld 6-4 James Wade
Phil Taylor 6-2 Mervyn King

Final
Sunday 7pm
Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD 6-4 JAMES WADE
(3-2, 0-3, 1-3, 3-2, 2-3, 3-1, 3-0, 0-3, 3-0, 3-0)
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD defeated James Wade 6-4 to reach his second Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship final.

The Dutchman, the champion two years ago in the last Circus Tavern final, gets his chance for glory at Alexandra Palace following another fine display.

After hitting the first nine-darter in the PDC World Championship during his quarter-final win over Jelle Klaasen, van Barneveld continued his march with another strong display.

World number three Wade put in his best performance of the tournament so far and should have led the match 3-1, but wasted opportunities cost him dear as the Dutchman finished the stronger.

Wade made a superb start to the match, hitting a maximum with his first three darts, and going on to break throw with a 13-dart finish.

Van Barneveld immediately hit back with a 121 checkout, but the Englishman won the third leg against the darts by landing double top.

But van Barneveld produced superb darts to win the next two legs, the fourth in 11 darts and the decider with a two-dart 64 finish.

Wade won the opening leg of the second set, before hitting a fabulous 11-darter of his own to double the advantage.

Both players hit maximums in the third leg, but it was Wade who hit double top to square the game.

Van Barneveld opened up a 1-0 lead in set three before Wade hit back-to-back maximums in a 12-dart finish to take the second leg.

The world number three then went on to win the next two legs, landing double ten on both occasions to win the set and go ahead for the first time in the match.

Van Barneveld broke throw with a clinical two-dart 93 finish at the start of the fourth set, but missed a dart at double 16 to extend his advantage, and Wade stepped in to win the second leg.

Wade went 2-1 ahead with a 14-dart finish before van Barneveld hit his sixth maximum of the match in the fourth leg and went on to win by landing double eight.

In the deciding leg Wade missed four darts to win the set and go 3-1 ahead – crucially bursting his score on two occasions before double nine allowed van Barneveld to level.

Wade won the opening leg of the fifth set before the Dutchman hit successive 14-dart finishes to take a 2-1 lead.

But van Barneveld missed two darts at double 18 to win the set in the fourth leg, which Wade won before breaking the Dutchman’s throw to lead for the second time in the game at 3-2.

The opening two legs of the sixth set where shared before van Barneveld broke throw in the third leg with an excellent 112 checkout, despite Wade hitting his 13th maximum of the contest.

The Dutchman then hit double 18 in the fourth leg to win the set and square the game at three-all, before taking a 4-3 lead after winning set seven without reply.

After conceding the previous six legs, Wade managed to win the opening leg of the eighth set after van Barneveld was off-target with a dart at double top.

Wade then broke the Dutchman’s throw with an 82 finish in the second leg, and followed that up with by hitting double eight in the next to win the set and level the game at 4-4.

But van Barneveld went on to take the ninth set to go within touching distance of victory, again storming through three legs without reply.

At the start of the tenth set, van Barneveld broke Wade’s throw to hold the advantage, before winning the second leg with a fantastic 128 checkout, with Wade waiting on a two-dart finish.

That took him a leg away from victory, which was wrapped up with a 100 finish to ensure his place in the final.

“I didn’t perform that well today,” admitted van Barneveld. “I was very tired last night and didn’t sleep at all after the nine-darter and the match against Jelle.

“I expected it to be a long game but the way I played tonight I won’t win the tournament.”

Van Barneveld defeated Taylor in a sudden-death leg two years ago, but believes he is facing a different Taylor this time around.

He said: “Getting into the final was my target now but am I good enough to beat Phil Taylor? I have to dig deep to give him a game.

“He is so complete this year, so focused and I have to go into myself tomorrow, maybe do some meditating and I hope it’s going to be a good final.

“Phil is killing everyone at the moment, big time, and everything has to be okay.

“If not, he is good enough to beat me 7-0. But I am good enough to beat him 7-0 and you never know.

“I am hoping I can dream of a new World Championship, but if I’m not I’m very pleased to be in the final.”

Wade said: “In the first four sets I played well and pushed Barney, and that’s a positive and I can take some confidence from this.

“I’ve gone back to my old darts and my old routines and rhythms and unfortunately it took me five games to realise what I needed to do.”

PHIL TAYLOR 6-2 MERVYN KING
(3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 2-3, 2-3, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1)
PHIL TAYLOR set up a final with Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld at the 2009 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship after defeating Mervyn King 6-2 in the semi-finals.

The final will be a repeat of their classic 2007 encounter, which van Barneveld won in a sudden-death decider at the Circus Tavern to deny the Stoke legend a 14th title.

However, Taylor’s determined charge towards regaining the trophy continued at Alexandra Palace with another powerful performance.

He led 3-0 before being pegged back to 3-2 by King, but Taylor raced to victory and ended the match with an average of 103.94.

King won the first leg of the match but Taylor took the next three, hitting a 131 checkout to break throw in the third leg and converting a 76 finish in the fourth to open up an early lead.

The opening two legs of the second set were shared before Taylor hit a maximum in the third, and landed double eight to take a 2-1 lead.

Taylor was on course for a nine-dart finish in the fourth leg, but the seventh treble 20 was off-target – ending his hopes of matching van Barneveld’s feat in the quarter-finals.

However, he completed the leg in 11 darts to go 2-0 up, before breaking throw at the start of set three with a 13-dart finish.

Taylor continued to dominate as he took the second leg with a 14-darter, and he broke King’s throw for the second time in the set in the third to increase his lead.

King stemmed the tide in the fourth set by winning the first leg, before breaking Taylor’s throw after the world number one missed three darts to lead.

Taylor won the third leg despite King hitting his second maximum of the game, but King took the set in the fourth leg in fine style with a 112 checkout to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

After both players held their throws at the start of the fifth set Taylor missed three opportunities to break in the third leg and King landed double top to lead 2-1.

Taylor levelled, but King won a pressure deciding leg in 13 darts to pull back to 3-2 in the game.

However, after King had won the fourth and fifth sets he only managed one more leg in the match as Taylor took complete charge.

He won the sixth set without reply, with a 12-darter giving him the first leg, double eight the second and a 13-darter in the third to stop the comeback in its tracks.

Taylor continued on in similar fashion in the seventh, building up a 2-0 lead before registering his fifth maximum of the game in the third leg to move a set away from victory.

A 101 checkout put him in front in the next before two maximums from King helped him to the second leg.

Taylor opened the third leg with his eighth maximum, followed by a 177 to give himself a second opportunity of a nine-dart finish.

He hit the first treble 20, but was off-target with the second to end his hopes of taking out a 144 checkout and with it the nine-dart finish.

Taylor went on to win that leg in ten darts by landing double eight at the first time of asking, before wrapping up victory in the fourth leg by landing double top to seal his place in the final.

“I’m over the moon to be in the final but it wasn’t as easy as it could have been,” said Taylor. “I went 3-0 up and started thinking about what I was doing.

“I thought I was going to be in the final and then started missing, and that was my mistake.

“I can just concentrate on winning on Sunday and I think it’s the final everybody wanted to watch.

“I think I’ve earned my place in the final, Barney has done well but had a little bit of luck and I think tomorrow his luck will run out!”

King – who pockets £30,000 as a semi-final loser – admitted: “You don’t expect to beat Phil Taylor when you play like that and it wasn’t good enough.

“It’s very frustrating. I felt good and thought I was going to push him all the way and maybe have a chance of nicking it, but I didn’t play well enough.

“I had my chance and blew it. I didn’t play anywhere near what I should have done – you’re not going to beat Phil Taylor with a 90 average and I got what I deserved.

“I had a slow start and you can’t afford that against Phil. I’m disappointed, but this will be gone on Sunday and I can look forward to the start of the new season.”

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