Beginning with 32 competitors, the World Matchplay field has been whittled down to just two remaining players, with Adrian Lewis set to line up opposite World No. 1 Phil Taylor on Sunday night.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Professional Darts Corporation’s top four ranked players who made it to the semifinals of this year’s event.
Taylor gathered himself after a shaky period to nudge past World No. 4 James Wade with a 17-12 shutout, putting himself on course for a record 14th World Matchplay title.
So pleased was he with the win that Taylor thought to tweet his post-match interview:
Lewis’ last outing was an altogether more closely fought affair as the World No. 3 managed to overcome the odds and beat World No. 2, “Mighty” Michael van Gerwen, with a score of 17-15.
In terms of ease, making his way to the finale has most certainly been an easier feat for Taylor than it has been for his coming opponent.
In the four rounds it’s taken each player to get to this stage, not once has “Jackpot” managed to amass a higher points average than his former mentor. Not once has Lewis managed to stake a claim as being superior to the seasoned pro in this particular competition.
It’s that sense of power discourse in the tie that lends another angle to the coming encounter, too.
Both originating from Stoke-On-Trent, 52-year-old Taylor was once mentor to the 28-year-old Lewis, helping the latter to perfect his game during the earlier stages of his career.
However, Lewis has had his glossier moments over the last week, not least of which is his most recent display: the comeback victory against van Gerwen.
In that particular match, the less-experienced finalist found himself 15-14 down, but he managed to level matters with double seven before going on to triumph, winning on the same number.
It seemed luck was with Lewis.
Speaking after the game, per Sky Sports, Lewis said:
I've shut up the critics again and I'm looking forward to the final. I've told you I was one of the best before and I've proved it tonight. I just need to maintain it now.
Of course, “The Power” has no critics to silence, at least not in terms of his playing ability.
In his last match against Wade, Taylor averaged a score of 107.61, the highest of any player in the tournament thus far, and the veteran has so far failed to average below 100 in any of his four appearances.
So far, Taylor has come through this year’s edition of the tournament playing only English opponents, clearing all in his vision.
On Sunday evening, he’ll look to make it a sweep of five in a row, with Lewis next in his sights.