Full Power for Wembley

Defending champion eyeing fast start against Lewis in semis

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 19/05/11 7:08am

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Champions: Taylor and Lewis clash in Wembley semis

Champions: Taylor and Lewis clash in Wembley semis

Sky Bet

Phil Taylor says he will be on top form for Thursday's 888.com Premier League play-offs at Wembley, where he faces world champion Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals.

'The Power', who made history by banging in two nine-darters during last year's final against James Wade, topped the table with 13 wins out of 14 during the league stages.

Following week 14 last week, Taylor flew to Austria to play in two Players Championship events, whilst Lewis and fellow Premier League semi finalists Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld sat it out.

15-time world champion Taylor did not win in Austria, suffering a rare last 16 defeat against John Part on Saturday but making Sunday's final against Vincent van der Voort.

Despite not winning, Taylor believes one final run-out before Wembley has given him a crucial tune-up for the semi-finals, as he looks to retain his Premier League crown.

"I'm not interested in the final yet - I'm getting ready for the semi-finals and I'm after Adie, big-style. I'd like to go at Adrian as hard as I can, and that's what I'm going to do."
Phil Taylor Quotes of the week

Practice

"I wanted to get some match practice in," said Taylor. "It's up to the other players to do what they think is right, maybe they're right and I'm wrong.

"I've not been wrong many times for the last 20 years.

"It's a little bit like Formula One racing, changing the tyres or putting petrol in at the wrong time, and I had a good practice session out there and enjoyed myself."

Fellow Stoke thrower Lewis is Taylor's semi-final opponent, with his former protege inflicting Taylor's only Premier League defeat of the season on him back in February.

That 8-2 defeat on the opening night was Taylor's biggest loss in the tournament, but the world number one bounced back by reeling off 13 straight wins including a rematch with Lewis.

Big threat

'Jackpot' Lewis still presents a real danger to Taylor though, and the veteran knows he needs to hit the ground running and get at his younger counterpart from the very start.

"I'm not interested in the final yet - I'm getting ready for the semi-finals and I'm after Adie, big-style," added Taylor.

"I'd like to go at Adrian as hard as I can, and that's what I'm going to do.

"He's a great player, a great kid and I love him - but there's no love lost up there on stage. He's the World Champion, I'm not, and it's man against man on Thursday."

Flying Scotsman Gary Anderson takes on Raymond van Barneveld in Thursday's other semi-final clash at Wembley.

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