Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor is bringing the curtain down on his 30-year career after this tournament

Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor remains on course to finish his career with another PDC World Championship title after beating Jamie Lewis 6-1 to reach the final.

Taylor, 57, is competing at his final event before he retires.

He will next face fellow Englishman Rob Cross, who beat defending champion Michael van Gerwen in one of the most thrilling semi-finals in years.

Cross held his nerve to win 6-5 after a dramatic final set shootout.

The 27-year-old from Pembury, Kent, only turned professional at the start of the year but clearly rattled Van Gerwen, who missed five doubles to make Monday’s final.

“Words can’t explain it,” said Cross. “I played well but the crowd helped me, they got on Michael’s back and that is why I won.”

  • Relive the thrilling semi-finals

Cross now faces the daunting task of trying to beat Taylor, who is into his 21st and last World Championship final.

An iconic figure, Taylor has played a key role in making darts the phenomenon it is today, and at the peak of his powers won eight successive world titles between 1995 and 2002.

The most recent of his 16 titles came in 2013.

Welsh qualifier Lewis, 26, gave Taylor a scare early on, taking the first set and coming close to moving 2-0 ahead until he missed a double 13.

Taylor took full advantage, hitting a double eight to make it 1-1 before assuming control, taking the next five sets in a row to progress.

“It was a struggle,” added Taylor. “Jamie is very steady and very accurate, he doesn’t show any emotion or any fear.

“Jamie is a great player. Now I am retiring, he is one to watch.”

Taylor, from Stoke-on-Trent, won the first of his world titles in 1990 when part of the British Darts Organisation, then the only major darts circuit.

He was one of 16 players that formed the breakaway World Darts Council in 1992, the company which became the PDC and held its own version of the world championship in 1994.

Rob Cross

Cross only turned professional at the start of 2017
News Reporter

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