PDC World Darts Championship: Gary Anderson stands between Phil Taylor and a 17th title
Last Updated: 04/01/15 11:30pm
Phil Taylor will attempt to to underline his lasting darts legacy when he goes for an unprecedented 17th world title on Sunday night in the PDC World Darts Championship.
World Darts Championship final
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson is live on Sunday at 8pm on Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports Darts
Taylor will come up against Gary Anderson, whose semi-final shock win over reigning champion Michael van Gerwen has led him into an even taller task.
Alexandra Palace has seen Taylor make history a number of times but a buoyant crowd will pile inside once more to see whether the old master can add a further trophy to one of sport’s most successful cabinets.
His maiden world championship in 1990 was in an era before Premier League football, when Mike Tyson was world heavyweight champion and certainly before the PDC’s inauguration.
Yet, after breezing past fellow veteran Raymond van Barneveld in this year's semi-finals, Taylor remains at the top of the tree a quarter of a century later and on Sunday night can further extend his unique story.
After defeating his mentor Eric Bristow for a first championship, elite names such as Rod Harrington, Dennis Priestly and Peter Manley were beaten in finals as Taylor took his titles tally to eight before the decade was over. A new generation was then outlasted as Van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock and Michael van Gerwen became beaten finalists.
Aged 54, the Stoke thrower made easy work of Van Barneveld on Saturday, winning 6-2 as he continued a steady improvement through this year's World Championship. Not bad for someone using new darts…
But those arrows define Taylor’s constant evolution over the past two-and-a-half decades. He has already insisted that, should he win his 17th crown, the darts will be binned as he continues to move with the times.
In Taylor’s way is the Flying Scotsman whose nickname has never been more apt after he glided past world No 1 Van Gerwen in the last four on Saturday.
Anderson will fly into his second world final having averaged 102.20 against Van Gerwen. His sky-high confidence, combined with a welcome underdog status, makes him a serious threat to Taylor’s fairytale story.
The stats reveal that Anderson had a finishing rate of 50 per cent against Van Gerwen and if he can repeat that form 24 hours later he will likely have beaten Taylor and won the championship.
A decade younger than Taylor, Anderson is comparatively inexperienced in finals but was runner-up in this competition four years ago. He has a Premier League winner's medal but the Scot will require his finest hour – even better than toppling Van Gerwen – to overcome ‘The Power’ in what will be a cracker of a finale at a rowdy and energetic Ally Pally on Sunday night.
Watch Taylor v Anderson in the World Championship final live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports 1 HD from 8pm.
Watch the PDC World Championship live on Sky Sports Darts from December 18. For information on how to upgrade to Sky Sports head to www.skysports.com/watch/get-sky
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