World Matchplay 2018 Draw: Van Gerwen handed De Zwaan opener in Blackpool

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 5 Jul 2018
The 'Phil Taylor Trophy' is up for grabs this summer (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Number one seed Michael van Gerwen will begin his quest for a third World Matchplay title against Jeffrey de Zwaan at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, while Gary Anderson meets Stephen Bunting.

The draw for the First Round of the £500,000 major has been confirmed as the top 16 players from the main Order of Merit collide with the top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit.

The 25th staging of the iconic tournament at Blackpool's Winter Gardens will be held from July 21-29 as 32 players compete for "The Phil Taylor Trophy" after the renaming of the honour following the 16-time champion's retirement.

Van Gerwen, winner in 2015 and 2016 and runner-up in 2014, has been drawn to face fellow Dutchman De Zwaan - who famously knocked him out of the UK Open back in March.

Two-time World Matchplay semi-finalist Anderson will meet 2014 Lakeside Champion Bunting in another of the stand-out ties.

Peter Wright, the number two seed and last year's beaten finalist, will take on Dutch ace Jelle Klaasen, while Reigning World Champion Rob Cross marks only his second Matchplay campaign with a clash against in-form Mervyn King.

James Wade, one of only two previous champions in this year's field, will kick off his latest Blackpool campaign against Jermaine Wattimena - one of six debutants in this year's line-up.

Former finalist Raymond van Barneveld will take on Australia's Kyle Anderson, while former semi-finalist Adrian Lewis, seeded number 16 this year, plays James Wilson.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney will play Steve West, while Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic takes on the vastly experienced Steve Beaton.

Seventh seed Simon Whitlock has been handed a tie with his close friend Richard North, while Germany's Max Hopp marks his Blackpool debut with a clash against recent Players Championship event winner Ian White.

Welsh star Gerwyn Price faces a tricky opener against world number 18 Joe Cullen, as Premier League finalist Michael Smith meets Austrian Open champion Jonny Clayton.

Kim Huybrechts hopes to register his first ever win on the Winter Gardens stage when he faces John Henderson, while four-time quarter-finalist Dave Chisnall takes on Keegan Brown and 14th seed Darren Webster plays emerging star Steve Lennon.

The full tournament schedule of play will be confirmed in due course.

BetVictor World Matchplay 2018 Draw


Michael van Gerwen (1) v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Peter Wright (2) v Jelle Klaasen
Rob Cross (3) v Mervyn King
Gary Anderson (4) v Stephen Bunting
Daryl Gurney (5) v Steve West
Mensur Suljovic (6) v Steve Beaton
Simon Whitlock (7) v Richard North
Dave Chisnall (8) v Keegan Brown
Michael Smith (9) v Jonny Clayton
James Wade (10) v Jermaine Wattimena
Ian White (11) v Max Hopp
Gerwyn Price (12) v Joe Cullen
Raymond van Barneveld (13) v Kyle Anderson
Darren Webster (14) v Steve Lennon
Kim Huybrechts (15) v John Henderson
Adrian Lewis (16) v James Wilson


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World Matchplay 2018 Draw: Van Gerwen handed De Zwaan opener in Blackpool

Number one seed Michael van Gerwen will begin his quest for a third World Matchplay title against Jeffrey de Zwaan at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, while Gary Anderson meets Stephen Bunting.

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