Phil Taylor has extended his winning streak in the World Matchplay to 37 matches after beating Andy Hamilton 13-6 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool last night.
Taylor's hopes of an eight consecutive World Matchplay title are still very much alive but had to overcome a potential comeback from his fellow Potteries opponent.
"The Power" broke immediately in the first leg, throwing an 11-darter after hitting a 180 and checking out double 16. A 32 checkout was the result in the following leg as Taylor stamped his authority on the match.
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But "The Hammer" was straight back in it, checking out 60 before taking advantage of Taylor's missed nine-darter and three misses on double 6 to hit an 11-darter of his own, finishing on 81.
Taylor then raced into a 6-2 lead but missed doubles counted against him and Hamilton won four straight legs to level the tie at 6-6.
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But it was now his turn to miss doubles and Taylor took advantage, first breaking the throw then holding before producing another 11-darter to re-establish a comfortable lead at 9-6 and then cruising through the next four legs to reach the next round.
"The Power" will now face Dave Chisnall in the quarter finals after he defeated 22-year-old Keegan Brown 13-11 in a tight-knit affair.
And after the match, Taylor told the PDC website that his game is still improving:
"It was an up and down game to be honest, and missing the nine-darter knocked me off my stride. I was so confident of hitting the double 12 that it put me off.
"I started feeling sorry for myself and he came back to six-all, and I had to knuckle down and get on with the job."
"I'm getting there; my practicing is brilliant, I'm doing everything right and it's coming together. My darts are going all around the wires at times, but we'll get there, trust me."
Elsewhere, the World Champion Gary Anderson was stunned in his second round match by Austrian Mensur Suljovic who progressed to the quarter finals with a 13-9 victory.
"Beating James Wade in the World Championship was my greatest win before this, but this beats that," Suljovic told the PDC.
"Gary is one of the best players in the world and the World Champion, so I was very nervous at the end on the checkouts to beat him. I had to stay calm and concentrate and I did that, and I'm so happy right now."
Suljovic will have the chance to beat James Wade again in the quarter finals, "The Machine" defeated Brendan Dolan 13-8 to keep his hopes of a second Matchplay title alive.
The quarter finals get underway tonight, Peter Wright faces Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen takes on Ian White.
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