A relieved Pipe celebrates his win over Bernie Smith (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Justin Pipe has set his sights on becoming the last player ever to defeat Phil Taylor in a PDC World Championship as he prepares to face the 16-time World Champion in Round Two at Alexandra Palace on Saturday.
Pipe battled through a gruelling First Round clash with New Zealand’s Bernie Smith on Wednesday, initially squandering a two-set lead before surviving two match darts and edging through in a tense tie break set.
The Taunton thrower is appearing in the Last 32 of the sport’s show-piece for the first time since 2014 and is tasked with taking on the most decorated player in the history of the sport.
Taylor is in the midst of his 29th and final World Championship campaign before calling time on his glittering career, but Pipe insists he will show ‘The Power’ no respect up on the stage.
“It’s history,” said Pipe. “I’m just so happy to be in this position to be able to play Phil.
“I’ve been texting my friends and saying all I want to do is play Phil Taylor in his last World Championship.
“But I’m not going to show him any respect on stage, just like he won’t for me.
“Phil’s not going to pay my mortgage, he’s not going to feed my children, I’ve got to do that.
“We both want to win, if I hit the winning double I will be as respectful as I possibly can.”
Pipe narrowly averted a huge upset at the hands of 53-year-old Smith and believes it is his right to take on Taylor, rather than that of the veteran qualifier.
He added: “With no disrespect to Bernie, I feel it’s my right to play Phil, not Bernie’s.
“If it wasn’t for Phil and Barry Hearn we wouldn’t be sat here doing these interviews or playing in these great venues.
“Every player who comes behind Phil Taylor now has to thank him for it.
“It’s down to the guys who broke away too and had the vision to do what they’ve done, we’re very lucky to be where we are now.”
The multiple major semi-finalist has progressed beyond the Second Round stage in just one of his previous seven World Championship appearances, and the stats suggest he must raise his game significantly if he is to have a chance of equalling his best run at Ally Pally.
Pipe, however, insists he has both the ability and mental strength to guide him to victory and vowed to punish himself with a gruelling 20km run after his sluggish opening salvo.
“The only way is to punish yourself – which is what I will do with a 20k run – then dust yourself down and start again,” added the 46-year-old.
“I’m mentally strong and I’m fitter than I was when I was 18.
“I’m going to go up there on Saturday, just relax and be focused and that’s when I play really well.
“My confidence is really high, I’ve made a few changes with my darts and they’re flying lovely.”