Taylor overpowers Baxter
'Rocket' Baxter fails to fire in Blackpool semis
Last Updated: 29/07/12 12:14am
Phil Taylor: began the match with a 114 checkout
Phil Taylor remained on course to lift the Betfair World Matchplay title for the 13th time after reaching the final with a 17-10 win over Ronnie Baxter in Blackpool.
The world No 1 looked set for an easy night when he reeled off the first six legs, and after local hero Baxter rallied to close the gap to 8-6, Taylor's consistent scoring and finishing proved out of reach.
Taylor was in ominous form early on, kicking off with a 114 checkout and hitting a 180 in each of the first six legs before Baxter got on the board.
Taylor responded with a 109 checkout and went 8-1 up before Baxter thrilled his home fans by winning the next five legs, but he was punished for a missed double in the 15th leg and Taylor produced an 11-darter to go 10-6 ahead.
Baxter stayed in touch with a 110 checkout, but Taylor reeled off the next three and posted another superb 11-dart leg to go three legs from victory.
Baxter battled on and took out 109 in leg 23, but Taylor hit his 10th 180 of the match and sealed his place in the final with a 118 checkout.
"It's fantastic to be through," said Taylor. "Ronnie made me work hard there and I'm glad in a way that I got such a good start because I was getting a bit nervous when he came back.
"I was expecting Ronnie to come out firing because his confidence was high and he was brilliant in the quarter-finals, but I managed to get on top of him early on.
"He came back really well and took some superb finishes out, so it was a massive relief to finally get the winning double."
Taylor will face James Wade in Sunday's final.