Power surge: Phil Taylor far from finished despite losing last major

Holly Thackeray | November 16, 2015

Phil Taylor surrenders Grand Slam of Darts title

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Thirteen - Alexandra Palace
Before a thrilling Grand Slam of Darts finale unfolded on the Wolverhampton oche, critics contemplated how fitting it would be should veteran arrowsmith Phil Taylor lose his last major title held to ambitious Michael van Gerwen.

As it unfolded, The Power initially stormed ahead on Sunday evening, as Mighty Mike struggled to keep pace with his older peer. Yet, like the flicking of a switch, Van Gerwen bulldozed his way back from a 7-3 deficit to clinch an ultimately deserved 16-13 victory, having romped to wins in eight of the last 10 legs.

Civic Hall spectators were certainly treated to a thrilling tungsten tussle, with averages of 102.53 and 100.94 for The Power and Might Mike respectively, though defeat will have been bruising for darting great Taylor, who saw his last major title swiped by a prolific player many have dubbed his successor.

Could this surrendering of his final crown be symbolic of a shift in power once and for all? Hardly. Early on the Englishman had threatened to school his younger Dutch counterpart, with his finishing at times a darting masterclass, leading to a highest finish of 131 and 11 maximums.

Rather than disheartened, Taylor appeared feistier than ever and ready to challenge again as he collected his runners-up trophy, just a year after winning his sixth major Grand Slam silverware.

“I’m not finished yet”

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Ten - Alexandra Palace
Talking to media after his defeat, The Power, apparently annoyed by Van Gerwen’s exuberant celebrations, stated: “I’m not finished yet.”

The latter half of this calendar year, in which the 55-year-old recovered from talk of his career being in decline after failing to qualify for the Premier League play-offs for the first time, certainly served to remind that Taylor is still at the top of this sport.

World Series of Darts successes in Japan, Sydney and Perth put the Power firmly back on his pedestal, and now the biggest task is to overhaul seemingly unstoppable world number one Mighty Mike.

“He has wound me up…I’m going to get ready, I really am,” said the Stoke-born superstar, and Coral customers can back Taylor at 11/4 to keep his word and respond by winning the upcoming World Series of Darts Finals in Glasgow.

Better yet, take tasty odds of 4/1 for fired-up Taylor to snatch the PDC World Championship over Christmas, having finished runner-up last time out.

As for Grand Slam victor Van Gerwen, the Dutchman savours that title for the first time in his career, adding the only missing major to his collection. Of his rival, Taylor said: “I missed too many doubles and it’s my own fault, but I’m proud to have reached the final but I’m disappointed that I lost.

“I gave him chances and he took them, and fair play to him – its set him up now for the rest of the year. He’s a phenomenal darts player.”


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