Sixteen-time world champion Phil Taylor survived another scare in the PDC World Championships at Alexandra Palace before seeing off Vincent van der Voort to move into the semi-finals.
Taylor, who had to come from behind to beat Kim Huybrechts in the previous round, saw a 2-0 lead wiped out as Van der Voort won nine of 11 legs to go 3-2 up.
When Taylor missed eight shots at double in the next set, Van der Voort had his chance to go 4-2 up but after he failed to take it, Taylor made him pay in a 5-3 win.
Dutchman Van der Voort was visibly struggling with a back injury, but it was Taylor who was in survival mode for much of the night.
It had looked like a routine outing as Taylor cruised into a 2-0 lead, but Van der Voort was finding a groove and took advantage of misses from Taylor to go on a huge charge and flip the game on its head.
After falling 3-2 behind, Taylor appeared nervous and he almost gifted Van der Voort a commanding lead, missing double 16 three times and then double eight three times before finally taking the set.
From that point on, there appeared to be only one winner.
However, Taylor admitted he made hard work of it.
“Without a shadow of a doubt,” he told Sky Sports Darts when asked if he had been in survival mode. “His back had gone, he’s hobbling and I can see he’s in agony and it’s in my head, ’Come on, he’s in trouble’, and yet he still went up there and hit his scores, hit his 180s and did what he had to do.
“I wanted to make the game go on because he was in agony. I felt sorry for him but I didn’t...I wanted to get through. I can relax now until tomorrow.”
Van der Voort refused to blame the injury but vowed to return to the tournament next year and go further.
“I just gave it everything,” he said. “I tried my hardest, I wasn’t consistent enough.
“I don’t want to make any excuse, I don’t want to talk about that (the back injury) because that makes his effort less. He’s the best player ever, I just lost to the better player today.
“I’m going the right way. I want to come back to this place for many, many years. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the best health state of my career but I know what I have to do and what to expect next year and I’ll be back.”
Taylor will go on to face Raymond van Barneveld who overcame reigning BDO world champion Stephen Bunting in a 5-4 thriller.
The two men matched each other almost all the way, but Van Barneveld broke the game in his favour with a 124 checkout to go two-up midway through the final set.
“I needed extra eyes in set five because I couldn’t see, it was all blurred,” the Dutchman said before taking the microphone and turning to the crowd to praise his opponent.
“This man here, he won everything in the BDO and then he said I will come over, I want to play with the best of the best and he is one of the best.
“Stephen, you are a world class player.”