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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Phil Taylor overcomes illness to win in Premier League

World darts champion Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor has won the Premier League Darts title on four occasions

Phil Taylor started the 2010 Premier League with a comfortable 8-3 victory over Australia's Simon Whitlock.

The 15-times world champion from Stoke, who had been battling with a virus for much of the week, struggled for form in front of 8,000 fans at the O2 Arena.

"I hadn't thrown a dart for about a week before today and I really had to concentrate," said Taylor.

Meanwhile, Adrian Lewis lost 8-5 to Mervyn King on his first Premier League appearance since 2008.

Elsewhere on the opening night, defending champion James Wade began the defence of his title with a defeat, losing 8-5 to Raymond van Barneveld, while Ronnie Baxter and Terry Jenkins fought out a 7-7 draw.

The Premier League continues on 18 February in Bournemouth, and will run for a total of 14 weeks before the finals night at Wembley on 23 May.

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