World Matchplay darts: Phil Taylor beats Justin Pipe to reach semi-finals at Winter Gardens
Phil Taylor booked his place in the semi-finals of the BetVictor World Matchplay with a 16-10 victory over Justin Pipe.
Last Updated: 29/07/13 6:59pm
The 13-time champion, who will play James Wade in the last four, averaged 104.38 over the course of the contest, with Pipe unable to last the distance despite hitting ten 180s and two 11-darters.
After wrapping up the win, Taylor admitted he has been affected by recent criticism following an incident at the Gibraltar Darts Trophy which has led to his sportsmanship being questioned.
"I've been ripped apart this week by the press, by some of the comments people have been making," Taylor told Sky Sports.
"It's very difficult to get up there and concentrate fully when you're getting called a cheat by some people in the crowd. It's not fair and it's wrong."
He added: "I was struggling (at the start) to be honest with you. But then I just seemed to trip into gear, I thought, 'you're in a world championship here, get your head together'. My head wasn't right tonight."
The match got off to a spectacular start, with Pipe nailing an 11-darter in the opening leg before Taylor took out 122 to level things up.
Both players continued their prolific scoring over the first 10 legs, which were shared equally after Pipe took out a terrific 136 to cancel out the first break of throw from Taylor.
Taylor broke again in the 11th leg by hitting double top but then incredibly missed nine darts at a double, allowing his opponent to peg him back once again.
Taylor did eventually open up a two-leg cushion, an advantage which was doubled in the 18th leg as Pipe's dogged resistance began to fade, and the 16-time champion was ultimately a comfortable winner.
Former champion Wade progressed to the semi-finals after securing a dramatic 18-16 sudden-death victory against Simon Whitlock.
The two were evenly-matched throughout in a contest of sustained quality, with Wade taking out a superb 135 finish to cancel out a break and level the contest at 14-14.
Extra legs were ultimately needed, with Wade missing two match darts before completing the victory on the third time of asking.