Phil Taylor delighted to progress past Rob Szabo

Phil Taylor of Britain reacts as he takes part in the PDC World Championship darts final against Michael van Gerwen of the Netherlands on January 1, 2013
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Defending champion Phil Taylor admits that he was delighted to progress past Rob Szabo after suffering a scare against the New Zealand thrower in the first round of the PDC World Championship on Friday night.

Defending champion Phil Taylor has admitted that he struggled during his 3-1 win over Rob Szabo in the first round of the PDC World Championship on Friday night.

Szabo stunned Taylor by taking the opening set and missed two darts for a 2-0 advantage in the second set before the 16-time world champion stormed back, and the Stoke-on-Trent thrower was quick to praise the New Zealand player.

The 53-year-old told PDC.TV: "It was a really tough game. I'm pleased to get through that because it was a strange game.

"Any top player would have struggled tonight because you didn't know what Rob was going to do. He was unpredictable, but he's a very good player and he deserved to win that first set.

"I've got a week now until the second round and I'll be ready for that. I can go away now, and get my head down and prepare for next week."

Taylor will play either Michael Smith, Morihiro Hashimoto or Paul Lim in the last 32.

Phil Taylor of Britain reacts as he takes part in the PDC World Championship darts final against Michael van Gerwen of the Netherlands on January 1, 2013
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