Taylor turns up the heat
World number one eases past Ronnie Baxter in Bolton
Last Updated: June 10, 2012 9:43am
Phil Taylor: Very impressive against Baxter (pic Lawrence Lustig)
Phil Taylor averaged 110 as he overwhelmed Ronnie Baxter 9-4 to move into the quarter-finals of the Speedy Services UK Open.
The four-time champion followed up wins over Roland Scholten and Colin Osborne with his best display of the event so far, hitting seven 180s.
Baxter played his part in an entertaining contest, hitting six maximums and a 156 checkout, and joined Taylor in hitting six perfect darts in one leg only for both players to miss out on a possible nine-darter.
Taylor, who opened the game with a 149 checkout, was pegged back from 2-0 up to two-all before winning six successive legs to lead 8-2, and although Baxter rallied the Stoke great pushed into the quarter-finals.
"Ronnie's back to his best and he pushed me hard," said Taylor. "It was a good battle and the only thing missing was a nine-darter.
"It was a better performance from me and I'm improving in each round, and that's good going into Sunday because it's a tough day with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, so I'll be ready for it now."
Taylor now meets Terry Jenkins in the last four, after the seven-time major finalist showed his class with a superb 9-7 win over Dutch prospect Michael van Gerwen earlier on Saturday night.
T Jenkins 9-7 M van Gerwen
D Chisnall 9-5 S Whitlock
P Taylor 9-4 R Baxter
R van Barneveld 9-8 P Wright
W Newton 9-8 Kim Huybrechts
R Thornton 9-5 D Priestley
J Caven 9-8 J Cullen
D Ovens 9-8 P Nicholson
Jenkins could only watch on as van Gerwen took out 130 and 124 in assuming a 3-0 lead in their fifth round clash before the Englishman hit back to lead 7-5.
Van Gerwen added a 133 checkout in levelling, only to see the Ledbury man win the next two legs to seal a quarter-final spot for the third time at the Reebok Stadium.
Two-time UK Open champion Raymond van Barneveld came from 8-6 down to win a dramatic clash with Peter Wright 9-8 in one of four thrilling games in the fifth round which went all the way to a deciding leg.
Wright finished 114 and 120 early on as he took the lead before van Barneveld hit back to five-all, only to see the Scottish World Cup ace win three of the next four to move to the brink of victory.
Van Barneveld recovered from a host of earlier missed doubles by winning the 15th leg, and capitalised in the next to level after Wright incredibly burst his score on 138, before the Dutchman won the decider on double 12.
The 2006 and 2007 champion now plays Dave Chisnall in the last four, with the St Helens man reaching the quarter-finals for a second successive year in Bolton with a high-quality 9-5 win over Australian Simon Whitlock.
Denis Ovens and Jamie Caven, who matched van Barneveld for drama in going the full distance, will also clash in the last eight - with Ovens looking to reach the semis for a third successive year in Bolton.
The Stevenage veteran hit back from 8-5 down to defeat Paul Nicholson, who missed ten darts to take victory as he crashed out of the event.
Caven, meanwhile, hit back from 4-0 and 5-1 down to see off Joe Cullen, taking out a magnificent 160 checkout in the deciding leg of their contest.
2011 runner-up Wes Newton was the night's other 9-8 winner in an incredible contest with Belgium's Kim Huybrechts, who led 7-4 at one stage having hit seven doubles from as many attempts.
Robert Thornton won through to the last eight for the second successive year, following up his fourth round win over Gary Anderson with a 9-5 defeat of Dennis Priestley, as he came from 5-1 down to win eight successive legs, and he now takes on Newton in the quarter-finals.