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Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Taylor affected by personal hell

Phil Taylor
Taylor returned to the top of the Premier League in Birmingham

Phil Taylor has told BBC Radio Stoke he is back to somewhere near his best, after his form dipped as a result of "personal problems".

"You don't know what troubles I've had, but I'm probably the happiest man on the planet right now. I can't tell you why, but I am," said Taylor.

"I'm a professional, but sometimes it's difficult to concentrate on what you're doing when you've got problems."

Taylor beat Raymond van Barneveld 8-2 in the Premier League on Thursday.

The victory at the NIA in Birmingham lifted him above Mervyn King and James Wade, and back to the top of the Premier League table after eight matches.

"I'm sleeping well, which is a big difference. When you're worried, you don't sleep well. I'm eating good as well, which I didn't do before," he added.

"I think now you'll see more records broken, more nine-darters, and a lot more of the best of Phil Taylor."

The win on Thursday was Taylor's third high-profile victory against van Barneveld in 2009.

The 49-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent beat the Dutchman to capture his 14th world title in January, and then defeated him on the opening night of the Premier League in Liverpool.

"Wins always mean a lot against Barney," said Taylor. "The build-up that it gets doesn't just build up the crowd, but the players gets excited too.

"It's always a pleasure playing Barney - I'm probably his biggest fan.

"My confidence is very good and the crowd were 99% on my side, which was probably a big factor.

"My scoring was as good as it's been for a long time. If I'd have hit my doubles I probably would have had an average of about 117.

Taylor, who has won the Premier League in each of the four years that it has been played, is up against young Dutchman Jelle Klaasen in the next round of matches in Glasgow on 2 April.


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