Grand Slam of Darts Sunday semis and final preview
Phil Taylor continues to defy his age, and thrashed young Michael Smith 16-3 to make the semi-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts. The defending champion next faces old rival Mervyn King, who defeated future star Stephen Bunting 16-9.
Tournament favourite Taylor (1/3) enjoys facing the King, though, having won 27 of their 38 meetings. They have played each other twice in this tournament before, with the former beating the latter both times.
The Power won 16-10 at this same stage against King in 2008, and he is odds-on at 1/7 for victory again, and 9/1 by that scoreline once more.
Following his match against Smith, Taylor said: “I’m really happy because I’m in the semis and I’m playing well. I wasn’t going to let Michael off the hook, even when I got to 14 or 15 legs because he can fight back.
“I was surprised that Michael threw a few lazy darts but his mindset wasn’t right tonight. He said to me that he kept snatching his darts and I think that’s pure pressure, but he’ll learn from it and he’ll be a stronger player.
“It will be a different kettle of fish in the semis against Mervyn because he’s on a high and he’s doing brilliantly at present.”
The other semi-final sees Michael van Gerwen’s conqueror Kim Huybrechts take on Dave Chisnall. Belgian Huybrechts knocked out the world number one after a nine-darter, and Coral make him odds-on favourite at 8/11 to beat the Englishman too.
Chisnall, though, has defeated Huybrechts in eight of their 11 head-to-heads, and is a tempting 11/10 chance for victory again.
“I’m absolutely buzzing, what a brilliant game,” said Huybrechts, following his incredible defeat of Mighty Mike.
“Michael didn’t take his chances obviously, when he’s firing there’s only one player who can beat him and that’s Phil Taylor. He wasn’t there, but I’m happy with my performance, I’m so happy.
“That has to be the best performance of my life – a nine-darter, a win against the world number one, the world champion in a big tournament. OK, he may not have played at his best but for me personally, that’s the best game of my life.”