Adrian Lewis on his greatest game in darts against Phil Taylor
Jackpot recalls his 2013 Grand Slam semi-final against Phil Taylor
By Henry Chard
Last Updated: 23/06/20 10:31am
In the eighth of our series, Adrian Lewis chooses his 2013 Grand Slam semi-final against Phil Taylor as his greatest game.
Having won two world titles, Lewis was emerging as a threat to Taylor's dominant reign in the sport and the two players enjoyed some memorable matches in 2013. The pair had met earlier in the year in the final of the World Matchplay, with Taylor taking an 18-13 win and just a few weeks before their Grand Slam clash, The Power got the better of Jackpot again with a 10-1 win in the final of the Masters.
Surprisingly, Lewis had not topped his group after a defeat to Ronny Huybrechts and having qualified for the knockout stages as a runner-up it dealt him a tough second-round clash against Michael van Gerwen. Jackpot managed to overcome Mighty Mike winning 10-8 and would beat Kim Huybrechts in the quarter-final to set up the clash with Taylor.
Taylor started the match with two 12-darters to go 2-0 up but Lewis fought back to lead 3-2 at the first break. The two players hit 32 maximums between them in the game, a record at the time, and there was nothing to separate them after 16 legs of the high-quality tussle.
"He'd beaten me in the World Matchplay final and I'd averaged I think it was 107-108 and he'd beaten me in that 18-13. I thought, right, I'm playing him in the semi-final of the Grand Slam, another huge event and I thought, right, he's having it tonight."
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However, with the match finely poised as Taylor held a 10-8 lead, both players were left with 160 checkouts. Jackpot missed tops to narrow the gap but there was no mistake from Taylor when he stepped up to the oche and it was a moment that looked to have broken Lewis' resolve. From there, The Power moved through the gears to take a 16-9 victory with a 109.76 average, meaning that despite a 110.99 average, Lewis' hopes of Grand Slam glory were over. The combined average was another PDC record at the time and to this day, many call it the greatest match of all time. Taylor would go on to win the title defeating Robert Thornton in the final.
"At one point I was averaging 115 and I was 9-8 down and you think jeez, what have I got to do here? It's ridiculous sometimes, I walked off that stage with a 111 average to his 110 I think it was and I didn't do anything wrong but it is one of those things."
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It's not long to wait until darts is back on Sky Sports, the World Matchplay gets underway on Saturday, July 18 with coverage continuing all the way to the final on Sunday, July 26.