Phil Taylor has set his sights on winning back the world crown after another successful week here. "The Power" retained the World Matchplay title at the Winter Gardens on Saturday night with a hard-fought 18-12 win over Wayne Mardle, a colourful character from Dagenham tipped by many to reach the top.
Taylor's experience and ability to check out under pressure proved the difference. Though he never quite reached the heights of last year, he had little trouble progressing to the final with routine wins over Les Fitton - by a 10-0 demolition - Jamie Harvey, Dennis Smith and Peter Manley.
The 42-year-old from Stoke is already planning for the 2004 World Championships in Purfleet. He is looking to win the crown back from Canada's John Part, who produced a stunning performance in a memorable final in January to end the world No 1's bid for an 11th title.
"The world title is my main target now," Taylor said. "I'm going to be putting a lot of work into that. I'm very hungry. As I've said before, I would love to win 13 world titles, but it's going to be very difficult for me with a lot of good players around."
Taylor, who also won the UK Open in June, has gone some way to silencing those who suggested that his standard was slipping after the defeat to Part and he would dearly love to start off next year by going all the way at the Circus Tavern.
"I think it has put a little doubt in their minds now because they did think that [I was slipping]," added Taylor. "It's a bit like Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson, I've got back up and hit back. A lot of people will knock you if you are successful, it's just a part of life."Reuse content