Phil Taylor admitted he was relieved but feeling "a little bit bitter" after avoiding a first-round exit from his final PDC World Championship as he battled to victory against Chris Dobey.

Taylor, hunting a 17th world title before retiring, took a 2-0 lead but then saw Dobey come back to 2-1 and have the darts to level, which would have seen him have the advantage going into the decider.

Although Taylor eventually came through, the 57-year-old said the night only served to confirm it is the right time to walk away.

"Without a shadow of a doubt it is (a relief)," he said in an interview on the PDC Darts website. "It's the first one, there's a lot of pressure on me, and to get through Chris Dobey - when they keep on about the future of darts, that's your fella, I think. Dimitri (van Bergh) as well.

"They're the ones to push this game on...

"I lacked a bit of energy tonight. It's not me. I'm tired. I've never been like that before. It used to be I could play a tournament and then play another one. It's strange, but I've got a few days off now."

Taylor said that although his desire to win remained, the fuel for that fire was waning.

"It's gone, the fire's gone," he said. "I wanted to win, I've got the fire in the belly to win but the old utensils are not working as good as they used to be. It's awful, it's killing me, you know that by my interviews.

"I've been very critical against certain players, sometimes justified, sometimes not. I'm a little bit bitter. I'm gutted I can't play what I can. I'm trying really hard and I'm gutted I can't do what I used to do."