Phil Taylor has said the challenge from pretenders to his throne keeps him motivated and is determined to win back his PDC World Darts Championship title (Taylor 5/6 – PDC World Darts Championship outright).
The Stoke legend saw his hopes of a 16th world title shattered by Mark Webster 12 months ago as fellow Potteries thrower Adrian Lewis made his big breakthrough at Alexandra Palace.
‘Jackpot’ is among a clutch of a new breed at the oche, along with the likes of James Wade and Gary Anderson, plus emerging rivals Paul Nicholson and Wes Newton, but Taylor refuses to accept his time is at an end.
He said: “I wake up some mornings and don’t feel like practising. So I just think about the young players coming through and that soon gets me out of bed and on the board.”
Taylor returns to second-round action in north London on Tuesday when he meets 2010 Lakeside runner-up Dave Chisnall (Taylor 1/10 Chisnall 6/1 – match prices) and knows he has to stay on his toes to have any chance of progressing.
The 51-year-old told The Sentinel: “I’ve been through four or five generations of players now. They all come along saying they will win more titles than me, so I beat them.
“After that, another group comes along, so I beat them too. I just want to keep winning and nobody can beat me - only myself. If I don’t practice enough or I’m tired, there are so many good players out there who can take advantage.”
15-time world champion Phil Taylor has warned his rivals that he has been putting in hours of practice over the Christmas period to ensure he is at his best for the conclusion of the 2012 PDC World Championship (Taylor 5/6 to win the PDC World Championship 2012).
The Power returns on Tuesday evening to take on Dave Chisnall for a place in the last 16 of darts’ premier event (Match betting with bet365 – Taylor 1/10, Chisnall 10/1).
The 51-year-old was eliminated at the quarter-final stage last year by Mark Webster following a tough year in his private life.
Taylor has admitted that he has been unable to concentrate fully on his darts recently and was not overly impressed with his first round performance over Japanese qualifier Haruki Muramatsu, despite coming through with a 3-0 scoreline.
“I wanted to average 110 in my opening match to put the heebee-geebees on the other players,” he told the Daily Star.
“So I resolved to practice three times on Christmas Day. I always watch the Queen’s speech – I wouldn’t miss it for the world – but if you want to win the World Darts Championship, you have to treat it as another working day.”
The winner of the tie between Taylor and Chisnall will face either Andy Hamilton or Vincent van der Voort.
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PDC World Championship | Darts Betting News | December 26, 2011 18:47 |
Raymond van Barneveld is confident of putting in a big performance at the upcoming PDC World Darts Championship and insists that his self-belief has returned (van Barneveld 25/1 Tournament Outright with bet365).
The Dutchman has not enjoyed his best year as a professional and his form at the recent Grand Slam of Darts and last week’s Players Championship does not bode well for his chances at Alexandra Palace (Barney 8/1 to throw 9-Dart Finish).
The five-time world champion failed to win any of his three group games in Wolverhampton, while he was beaten in the second round by Scott Rand at at the Doncaster Dome.
But he remains a class act on his day and his accuracy on the treble twenty when he gets into a groove is as good as any in the sport.
The 2007 PDC world champion will have to get past some top-class opponents if he is to make the final at the London venue but he is clearly in a positive frame of mind heading into the prestigious event.
“I know I have a tough draw as I could face Brendan Dolan, Paul Nicholson and then maybe Phil Taylor but if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything,” he said.
And despite a poor run of results, the man from the Hague is adamant that he will again peak for the year’s biggest tournament.
“I can handle the pressure. If you look back at the last five or six years I always do well at the worlds,” he added to Sportinglife.com. “I know I’m going to do well this year but I have to put a lot of work in and I’m not afraid of that.”
Mark Webster has promised to bury his Cash Converters Players Championship disappointment in time for the PDC World Darts Championship, which starts on Thursday (Webster 12/1 – To Reach The Final – bet365).
The Wales thrower was denied his first Major title when he lost 13-9 to Kevin Painter in the final at Doncaster Dome on Sunday night and must now dust himself down to challenge at Alexandra Palace.
Webster has lost to the eventual winners of the year-end showpiece event in north London for the last two stagings of the competition and is determined to announce himself on the big stage.
“I’m devastated,” said the 2008 BDO world champion after his defeat by ‘The Artist’. “I underperformed in the final and Kevin played really well and he deserved it.
“I never settled from the word go and I’m really disappointed, but Kevin took out some great shots.”
The 28-year-old faces Richie Burnett in the first round in an all-Principality clash (Webster 2/7 Burnett 11/4 – match prices – bet365) and accepts there can be no hangover from his South Yorkshire setback.
He added: “I’m down at the moment but I’ve got to pick myself up because I’ve got my first round game in the World Championship to play on Thursday night. If I can become world champion this will be forgotten about.”
Raymond van Barneveld will go down as one of the best darts players ever to have graced the professional oche, but he has only won the PDC World Championship once and will be dreaming of adding to that at the Alexandra Palace in December.
The Dutch former postman won four BDO World Championships before switching to the PDC and within 12 months of crossing the divide he had risen to number two in the world rankings and won the PDC World Championships. Anyone looking at the best online darts odds should remember this.
In the 2007 final he met 15-time world champion Phil Taylor in one of the greatest ever matches, coming from three sets down to beat ‘The Power’ in a sudden death leg to match the legend Eric Bristow’s record of five world titles.
Since that world title, van Barneveld has failed to enjoy any real measure of consistency and has not added another TV title to his impressive career trophy haul.
With the PDC World Championships around the corner he is not going into the competition in any real form and was really poor at the Grand Slam of Darts, going out in the group stage without recording any victories.
‘Barney’ is going to have to turn things around if he wants to add to his world title haul, but he does have a tendency for his head to drop when he gets behind and that has happened on far too many occasions in 2011.
Van Barneveld will always be mentioned among the greats of the darting world, but if he really wants to be regarded up there with the likes of Taylor he needs to prove himself more in the PDC and another world title would help do that.
Every time a TV tournament rolls around all eyes focus on Phil Taylor and every player in the draw wants to be the one to knock him out and take the headlines.
He has struggled in 2011 possibly more than in any other year in recent memory, but ‘The Power’ is not going to go down without a fight at the PDC World Darts championship.
The 15-time world champions transcends the game of darts and ask even a non-darts fan in the street to name one arrow flinger and Taylor will be the name to cross their lips.
He is a national icon and has taken the sport of darts onto a new level over the last decade and more.
2011 has seen Taylor lose all the major TV titles he was holding bar the World Matchplay and after being knocked out of the world championship and Premier League at the semi-final stage Taylor will be out to prove at the Alexandra Palace he is still the best. The latest PDC darts odds reflect this.
‘The Power’ has shown at times this year his very best form however these hot streaks have been more hit-and-miss that in recent years and you could say a lot of the younger guys on tour now no longer fear Taylor, and even manage to step up when they face him on stage.
All this means there is now a new breed of darts players looking to pick a fight with Phil and dump him on his backside on the main stage, but Taylor is a fighter and will work harder than ever to ensure he comes into the World Championships at the Alexandra Palace in the best shape possible.
Aged 51 he still has the class to be able to blow away players half his age by reaching three-dart averages of 106 and 107, meaning Taylor remains a hugely dangerous obstacle for anyone in the draw at the Alexandra Palace as he will be gunning for that 16th title.
Austrian Mensur Suljovic was lost for words after beating world number two James Wade to move into round three of the PDC World Championship (Phil Taylor 8/11 with Stan James to win World Championship).
Wade went into the match as a strong favourite to progress and also to challenge the dominance of Taylor for the overall title but he will have to wait another year after a shock 4-2 defeat against the qualifier.
Wade took the opening set but struggled with consistency around the treble 20 and was unable to put pressure on his unheralded opponent.
Suljovic led by two sets to one and had a great chance to go 3-1 up before the Englishman levelled affairs to give himself hope of progressing in the tournament.
However, with Wade blowing the chance of a 127 checkout, Suljovic landed a 74 finish to go 3-2 up and he completed the victory with a double-top finish in the fifth leg of the sixth set to pull off the biggest shock of the event to date.
The 38-year-old was obviously elated with the result and struggled to find the words to describe his feelings.
“I feel like never before in my life,” he said. “I’m so pleased and over the moon. This is the best moment of my career. I don’t have the words.”
Elsewhere the 2009 beaten finalist Simon Whitlock wasted little time in advancing, losing just two legs in his entire match with Dennis Ovens, with a 4-0 victory to set up a clash with Dutchman Vincent van der Voort (Whitlock 6/1 with Stan James to win World Championship).
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PDC World Championship | Darts Betting News | December 29, 2010 18:01 |
Simon Whitlock brushed aside Denis Ovens 4-0 at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday – then declared he was ready for a big push at World Darts Championship glory (6/1 Whitlock – Stan James Outright Tournament).
The Australian restored some pride for his country prior to England’s cricketers retaining the Ashes for the first time in 24 years Down Under with a master-class in ruthless finishing.
He averaged almost 103 in a one-sided contest and took out finishes of 164 and 135 in checking out over 50 per cent of his chances at a double.
The win means ‘The Wizard of Oz’ will now play Vincent van der Voort on Thursday and Whitlock said he was determined to go one better than in his debut last year, when he lost to Phil Taylor in the final of the north London showpiece.
“I started a bit slow but knew I was going to play well because over the last 10 days I’ve been putting a lot of time in on the board,” Whitlock told Sky Sports 3.
“I’ve been working hard for this. We’re all working hard and all want the same thing.”
Terry Jenkins says he is concerned by the likely no-fear approach of youngster Joe Cullen when the pair meet on Tuesday at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship (1/6 Jenkins, 4/1 Cullen – Stan James PDC World Championship 1st Rnd Matches).
‘The Bull’ has failed to progress past the last eight of the showpiece tournament since 2007 but has his eyes on a breakthrough success at Alexandra Palace.
The world number six must first negotiate his way past former postman Cullen in his opener in north London (11/10 with -2 Match Handicap).
‘The Young Pretender’ is tipped to have a bright future in the sport and Jenkins knows he cannot underestimate the talented 21-year-old.
He said: “Joe Cullen, you never know, he’s a youngster.”
He added on Sky Sports: “It’s like the Chinese lad, [Morihiro] Hashimoto, I mean he played brilliant [when losing to Gary Anderson] so you don’t know what these kids are going to be like.
“He hasn’t been on the telly much but is still a good player.”