Raymond van Barneveld is relishing semi-final clash against Michael van Gerwen
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 01/01/17 4:23pm
Raymond van Barneveld says he is "excited" about taking on world No 1 Michael van Gerwen in the World Championship semi-finals on Sunday after beating Phil Taylor on Friday night.
Van Barneveld faces his Dutch compatriot Van Gerwen in the last four after he defeated Taylor for the first time in the World Championship since his famous victory in the 2007 final.
Five-time world champion Van Barneveld produced back-to-back finishes of 167 and 120 in set four as he opened up a 3-1 lead, only for Taylor to fight back and level by taking the next two sets.
He took the seventh set in three legs though and wrestled his way back from 2-1 down in the eighth to end Taylor's hopes of a 17th World Championship title for another year.
"I'm very proud of what I've done here so far," said Van Barneveld, who's New Year's Day meeting with Van Gerwen will see him contest his third consecutive Alexandra Palace semi-final.
"I didn't feel very comfortable at times but I was expecting more from Phil. I put him under pressure though, especially in the last set.
"I'm going to play the greatest player in the world next when I play Michael and I'm really excited. I can't wait to play him."
Van Barneveld famously knocked Van Gerwen out of last year's tournament in a thrilling last-16 clash and the pair will meet again on Sunday.
"This World Championship is something special," said Van Gerwen, who fired in two 170 finishes in another dominant display as he saw off Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney 5-1 to continue his bid to win a second World Championship title. "I still get goose-bumps on the walk-on and I'm excited and ready for the semi-finals."
You can see all the action from the Alexandra Palace on Sky Sports Darts HD. Don't forget, you can send us your comments throughout this year's tournament by tweeting us @SkySportsDarts ... #LoveTheDarts
I'm going to play the greatest player in the world next when I play Michael and I'm really excited. I can't wait to play him.
Raymond van Barneveld
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