Taylor expecting a battle
Reigning champion won't underestimate King
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: July 21, 2012 11:18pm
Phil Taylor: Expecting a 'great battle' against Mervyn King
World Matchplay champion Phil Taylor is expecting a 'great battle' when he goes head-to-head in the first round with Mervyn King.
The 51-year-old opens next week's Blackpool tournament against Norfolk thrower King, who has returned to form after previously dropping out of the world's top 16 this year.
Taylor is bidding to win a record-equalling fifth successive World Matchplay title and extend his own incredible run of success in the £400,000 tournament.
"We've had some great battles in the past and I'm sure that this will be another one."
Phil Taylor Quotes of the week
He has enjoyed some great matches with King and is expecting a tough contest despite being the favourite to progress to the second round.
"It's a fantastic draw," said Taylor. "It's always a big challenge playing Mervyn because he's a great competitor who does everything right to prepare himself, and he's coming back into form this year.
"We've had some great battles in the past and I'm sure that this will be another one.
"It's good for me too, because I know going to Blackpool that I've got to perform from the start if I'm going to keep hold of this title.
"In the past you might have been able to ease your way into an event but that's not the case now because the standard's so high, especially in this event, so I'll be practising hard over the next ten days or so before I get to Blackpool."