- Grand Slam of Darts
Taylor survives Wade to set up Lewis clash
Phil Taylor remains on course for a fifth Grand Slam of Darts title after battling past a resilient James Wade to set up a semi-final showdown with Adrian Lewis, who saw off the challenge of Kim Huybrechts.
Wade looked down and out at 9-2 but fought back to push Taylor to his limits, though the 16-time world champion eventually triumphed 16-12.
"I survived, I'll be honest with you," said Taylor. "That was one of the hardest games I've played in my life. I was trying to win any way I could. I won ugly, that's what you've got to do. Not everybody can win convincingly. I'm just glad I got through, that's all that matters."
Wade said: "I'm pleased with my performance, but upset with myself. I missed chances and opportunities. I managed to put him under pressure but it worked out fair in the end.
"Six months ago Phil would've beaten me 16-0. You can't let Phil in, he punished me."
Taylor made the first break in the match to go 4-2 up, and proceeded to claim the next five legs. Wade looked dead and buried but fought back with five legs of his own, finishing double 10 with his third dart to pull back to within two legs.
Taylor regained his composure to win the next two legs, before Wade battled back again to 12-10 after landing tops. Taylor looked set to seal his place in the final after opening up a five-leg gap at 15-10 with double eight, but Wade returned to within three legs, taking out 121 on the bullseye to complete a 12-darter.
Wade almost kept the match going but wired tops for a 120 finish to allow Taylor to seal victory by hitting double 10.
Lewis will face his former mentor after after seeing off Huybrechts 16-11. The two-time world champion got off to the perfect start after finishing 71 to break throw immediately, and then hit double 10 for a two-leg advantage after Huybrechts missed two darts at double 16.
Huybrechts managed to hold in the next leg after opening with a 180, but Lewis reeled off the next four legs to move five clear. The Belgian battled back with two of his own, hitting 180s in both legs.
However Lewis hit an 11-dart finish with 180, 99 and 180 to move 7-3 ahead. Huybrechts came back again with a 180 and a double eight finish, before capitalising after Lewis missed four darts at doubles to make it 7-5.
Lewis then regained his three-leg lead before Huybrechts broke back immediately after Lewis missed six darts at double 18 and nine. Huybrechts staged a comeback from 13-7 down to close within three legs, but Lewis saw out the match, sealing his semi-final spot on double 16.
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